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Six books by acclaimed children’s author Dr. Seuss have been pulled by the company that manages the author’s work, citingracist and insensitive imagery.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced Tuesday, on the author’s birthday that it made the decision last year to cease publication of the six books because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
March is National Reading Month, and President Joe Biden noted the occasion Monday. While former Presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama mentioned Dr. Seuss in their proclamations, Biden did not, according to USA Today.
Some of the work by Theodor Seuss Geisel has come under fire in recent years. A Virginia school district disputed rumors over the weekend that it banned books by the author but said “research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss.”
The National Education Association’s Read Across America program previously partnered with Dr. Seuss Enterprises, but it said in January it is now “independent of any one particular book, publisher or character.”
“There’s a growing need for schools and libraries to include and promote diverse books,” the association said. “Students need books that provide both windows and mirrors if we are going to create more readers, writers, and people who feel included and recognized, and who understand that the world is far richer than just their experiences alone.”
The publisher said it took feedback from its audience of teachers, academics and specialists to make its decision, according to The Associated Press.
“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,” the publisher said.
Some people reacted to the news Monday, saying Dr. Seuss is another victim of “cancel culture.”
“So now we are canceling Dr Seuss. What is wrong with these people,” one Twitter user said. “America is doomed. We have forgotten the most important tenants of our society: Freedom. Freedom of speech, religion, press. Instead we have cancel culture. Wait until they get canceled. Who will speak up then? Crazy.”
“Last week, it was Mr. Potato Head. This week, Dr Seuss,” another person tweeted. ”There are some evil forces out there.”
The six books are: “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.”