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6 Dr. Seuss Books Will No Longer Be Published – What to Read Instead


6 Dr. Seuss Books Will No Longer Be Published - What to Read Instead

On the week of Dr. Seuss’s birthday, the second-highest paid deceased author has gained more attention than ever before. Six of his popular children’s books will no longer be published, according to the company. Internal reviews have determined these titles to be “hurtful and wrong.”

In a Facebook post and multiple statements to the press, Dr. Seuss’ company listed the following books to contain images and messages that go against their goal of “hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship.”

  • And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street
  • If I Ran the Zoo
  • McElligot’s Pool
  • On Beyond Zebra!
  • Scrambled Eggs Super!
  • The Cat’s Quizzer

Concerns with Dr. Seuss books

So what exactly is wrong with the books? Teachers, parents, and students across the country have expressed concern that they promote racist ideals. For example, according to the Associated Press, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street involves problematic depictions of Asian people. If I Ran the Zoo has illustrations of African men many view as racist today.

This year isn’t the first time public institutions and advocacy groups have pushed for a lighter emphasis on Dr. Seuss’s work and more diversified reading materials for children. At 2018 NEA premier event, instead of Michelle Obama reading Green Eggs and Ham or The Cat in the Hat. Students listened to Black Panther: Who is the Black Panther, read by author Jesse Holland instead.

Pulling books that have been deemed as nostalgic classics has created a large reaction from educators and parents on social media. Critics of the decision have said that it’s just another example of “cancel culture.” But as author Philip Bump writes in the Washington Post, if you are worried this is “cancel culture” then what culture does that mean you are supporting? As teachers, we promote and condone inclusivity and racism-free materials that help us celebrate each of our students and their cultures, which means we have one logical choice here – to share materials with our students and our own children that teach the ideals we hope they will carry into the future. There’s no room for racism in our nostalgic visions of what childhood reading should look like.

So instead, some elementary teachers are looking for other options to diversify their reading shelves, ensuring all materials promote the right ideals. This week we can take time to examine if our protagonists are as diverse as the students we teach and love. We consider what swaps we can make to ensure our bookshelf builds a wide and comprehensive viewpoint of the real world, and all of the cultures, religions, viewpoints, beliefs, and ideologies within it.

Check out these Dr. Seuss alternatives:

Just so you know, we may get a small share of the sales made through affiliate links on this page.

  • Sulwe, by Lupita Nyong’o: A young girl’s journey with colorism and finding inner beauty from Oscar-award winning actress and author
  • Suki’s Kimono by Chieri Uegaki: A girl wears her kimono on the first day of school, allowing her the opportunity to share her experience at a Japanese street festival
  • The Boy Who Grew Flowers by Jen Wojtowicz: A classic story of realizing we can help others feel included even if they are different from everyone else.
  • We’re Different, We’re the Same by Bobbi Kates: If you are looking for nostalgia, this Sesame Street classic teaches us all of the great feels that childhood should be about.

Come connect with other educators in the Empowered Teachers community!

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6 Dr. Seuss Books Will No Longer Be Published - What to Read Instead


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Alexandra Frost

Alexandra Frost is a freelance journalist and high school publications teacher in Cincinnati, OH. She's worked with other publications such as Glamour, Women's Health, Reader's Digest, and more. She has three young sons under age four and has been teaching high school for ten years. She encourages her students to develop communication skills, independence, and a passion for writing in their authentic writers' voices. To connect or read more of her work please her website or follow her on social media: Twitter Instagram Linked In.

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