An unfortunate event turned out to be a fortunate win! Dr. Seuss Enterprises made an announcement that they will pull out six books due to racist portrayal of characters according to some experts and teachers. However, last Thursday his other books made it to the top of Amazon’s Bestseller List this week.
Last Thursday, his books “The Cat in the Hat,” “One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish,” “Green Eggs and Ham,” and “Oh, the Places You’ll Go! became top four bestsellers!
Dr. Seuss Life’s Work
Dr. Seuss or Theodor Seuss Geisel was an author and illustrator of children’s books. He started writing while he was still in Darmouth College. He used the pen name “Seuss” in his works in the school’s magazine. Some of his books became one of the most notable children’s books of all times selling 600 million copies and was translated in 20 languages.
How The Grinch Stole Christmas and The Lorax are also some of his popular works which was made into movies. It would seem like nothing could touch his great success and his major contribution to Literature but there are critics who see his works to be racist. His illustration to his Asian and African characters became subjects to criticism due to stereotypical depictions.
As a reader myself, I could tell how his books are actually entertaining and could not feel any sort of offence as to the way Dr. Seuss made up his characters. He gave them some unique qualities that are not usually seen in other children’s book without failing to give ample lessons.
Dr. Seuss books has been a huge influence to children. His books are widely distributed around the world. His characters in the book became iconic as they were used as costumes and become part of entertainment not only to children but to adults as well. This being said, criticisms are still expressed and some experts and academic figures are adamant on how they see his books to be no other than wrongly illustrated.
“In And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street, for example, a character described as Chinese has two lines for eyes, carries chopsticks and a bowl of rice, and wears traditional Japanese-style shoes. In If I Ran the Zoo, two men said to be from Africa are shown shirtless, shoeless and wearing grass skirts as they carry an exotic animal. Outside of his books, the author’s personal legacy has come into question, too — Seuss wrote an entire minstrel show in high school and performed as the main character in full blackface (https://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2019/02/26/695966537/classic-books-are-full-of-problems-why-cant-we-put-them-down“.
Six books are now pulled out and will not be published anymore because of offensive imagery. According to Dr. Seuss Enterprises, “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr Seuss Enterprises’ catalogue represents and supports all communities and families.”
The Legacy Goes On
Despite the negative opinion to the illustration of some characters, it is by no doubt that Dr. Seuss’ other published books will keep soaring to be read now and for generations.