Six Dr Seuss books – including Thinking I Saw Them on Mulberry Street and When I Run the Zoo – are no longer published because of racist and insensitive imagery, the company that preserves and protects the author’s legacy said Tuesday

“These books portray people in hurtful and incorrect ways,” said Dr Seuss Enterprises – a division of Penguin Random House – told The Associated Press in a statement that coincided with the late author and illustrator’s birthday

“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and broader plan, Dr The Seuss Enterprises catalog represents and supports all communities and families “

The decision to stop publishing and selling the books was made last year after months of discussions with teachers, academics, and an “expert group,” the company told AP

Books by Dr Seuss – the Theodor Seuss hostage in Springfield, Mass March 1904 – have been translated into dozens of languages, as well as Braille, and are sold in more than 100 countries. He died in 1991

He’s still popular, making an estimated $ 33 million before tax in 2020, up from just $ 9 million five years ago, company Forbes said listed him # 2 on its highest-paid dead celebrity of the year 2020, just behind the late pop star Michael Jackson

Offensive images and plot points persisted in some of Seuss’ works even after they were modified by the author, according to Philip Nel, a children’s scholar and author of Was The Cat in the Hat Black? among other things books about Seuss

In his first book, “And To Believe I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” one of the characters is described with a racist term and portrayed as a caricature of Chinese culture. In a later version of the same book, that name was changed and the image updated, but basically stayed the same

Other depictions and descriptions of people from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia pervade the books in question, he said

The Dr Far from realizing these issues, the National Education Association, which founded Read Across America Day in 1998 and deliberately hosted it on Geisel’s birthday, has de-emphasized Seuss for several years and promoted a more diverse reading list for children

School districts in the US have also benefited from Dr Seuss, and 2017 Cambridge School Librarian, Mass-criticized a gift of 10 Seuss books from First Lady Melania Trump, saying many of his works were “steeped in racist propaganda, caricatures and harmful stereotypes” “

Nel said this way of engaging with history – the question of whether a book we loved as children could harm children today – is healthy and can serve as a stepping stone to learning harmful stereotypes about the contextualization of Seuss’ books alongside examples accurately depicting different cultures and people can also be useful, but requires educators to be trained in anti-racist upbringing and fully immersed in difficult conversations, he said

He said while many see the move as an example of “culture abandonment”, he sees it as a “product recall” at “

“These books are from the 30s, 40s and 50s,” said Nel. “But if you think of cars in the 50s, for example, they didn’t have seat belts Now all cars have seat belts because if you enjoy driving and staying alive it is a really good idea

“So things are changing and Random House realizes that maybe it would be a good idea not to publish books that harm the world”

Canadian children’s author and teacher Nadia Hohn agreed that the decision to remove the books was a good one.It is important that the books in her classroom approve the students, she said, and that they are not ashamed or hiding Who They Are Children’s books that reinforce negative stereotypes can do the opposite, and she said the company’s decision to stop publishing these books was likely a response to parents and educators who have spoken out

“I think they are only responsible and responsive, which is important,” said Hohn. “There are many classics that are just not keeping up with and they have been problematic for a long time”

At the same time, Mock said, just because the books are no longer published doesn’t mean they should be swept under the rug or ignored, making them available for study will ensure similar tropes are not repeated

Brian Liss, owner of Toronto-based Liss Gallery, which sells Seuss’ paintings, also said it was important to further discuss his work

Liss said that while he supported the decision to remove the offending books, he was proud to continue showing the artwork

“His literacy, environmental and peace support will continue to shine,” wrote Liss in an email to CBC

The Cat in the Hat, one of Seuss’ most popular books, has also been criticized but will continue to be published for the time being

Dr However, Seuss Enterprises said it is “committed to listening and learning and will continue to review our entire portfolio””

In the 2007 book “Should We Burn Babar?” wrote the author and educator Herbert R Kohl claimed that the books of Babar the Elephant are a festival of colonialism because the title character leaves the jungle and later returns to “civilize” his companions

One of the books, Babar’s Travels, was removed from the shelves of a UK library in 2012 because of alleged stereotypes about Africans. Critics have also blamed the Curious George books for their premise that a white man brings a monkey home from Africa / p>

And Laura Ingalls Wilder’s portrayals of Indians in her novels Little House On the Prairie have received so many criticisms that the American Library Association removed her name in 2018 from a lifetime achievement award it awards every year

A priority for CBC is to create a website that is accessible to all Canadians, including people with visual, hearing, motor, and cognitive problems

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