LA JOLLA, Calif. – The publisher of Dr. Seuss’ catalog announced Tuesday that it will cease sales and publication of six of the famed children’s author and former La Jolla resident’s books due to “hurtful and wrong” portrayals.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced that following a review of Seuss’ titles, a decision was reached last year to halt publication and licensing of “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.”
UC San Diego is home to the iconic Geisel Library, which stands in memory of Dr. Seuss.
Students said they were surprised to learn several titles would no longer be published due to racist and insensitive imagery.
“It’s relatively disappointing considering how much of an icon Dr. Seuss tends to be,” student Dave K. told FOX 5.
“These books were written a while ago — I feel like the climate has changed a lot,” student Andi Ruttan said. “People are learning a lot, so I feel like it’s totally possible that when they were written and published, things could have been published that were insensitive.”
Criticisms of racially insensitive depictions within Seuss’ body of work have been increasing in recent years.
In 2018, the Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum located in Seuss’ hometown of Springfield, Massachusetts replaced a mural featuring a scene from “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” due to a depiction of a Chinese character wearing a pointed hat and eating with chopsticks.
Seuss, whose real name was Theodor Seuss Geisel, lived in La Jolla until his death in 1991.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises made its announcement on what would have been Geisel’s 117th birthday.
In a statement, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said, in part, that the company “celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship.”
Dave K. said the decision makes sense if insensitive undertones were determined to be in the text; however, he says he’s not sure if censorship is the best solution.
“I feel like once something is part of history, it’s kind of important for people to you know be aware of it and move forward to not go about it,” he said.