Dr. Seuss Enterprises, publisher of the over 60 Dr. Seuss titles, is cancelling six of the books authored by Theodor Seuss Giesel, the famed American children’s author, political cartoonist, poet, and filmmaker. Why? They are racially insensitive.
In a statement, the company wrote:
“Today, on Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship.
“We are committed to action. To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer. These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.
“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’s catalog represents and supports all communities and families.”
Immediately, the books were labeled “out of print” at Amazon.com. They will, no doubt, become collectibles.
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street was Seuss’ first children’s book published under his pen name in 1937. The story follows a boy named Marco, who describes all the imaginary people and vehicles that go by him on Mulberry Street. He spins a fantastic story to tell his father, but when he gets home, he tells what he actually saw, which was a horse and wagon.
Seuss based the sing-song rhyme in the book on the chugging of a ship’s engines, as he built the theme during a crossing to Europe.
And that is a story that no one can beat
And to think that I saw it on Mulberry Street.
Geisel won the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award in 1958 for Horton Hatches the Egg and again in 1961 for And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Geisel’s birthday, March 2, has been adopted as the annual date for National Read Across America Day, an initiative on reading created by the National Education Association.
Seuss was awarded two Academy Awards, two Emmy Awards, a Peabody Award, the Laura Ingalls Wilder Medal, the Inkpot Award and the Pulitzer Prize.
There is a Dr. Seuss star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Seuss died in 1991 at the age of 87. He never had any children of his own.