Six Dr. Seuss books will no longer be published due to racist and insensitive imagery. The announcement was made on Tuesday, which marks both the late author's birthday and "Read Across America Day." Effective immediately, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street and five other titles will cease production as confirmed by Dr. Seuss Enterprises in a statement.
"These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong," the company told the Associated Press. "Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises' catalog represents and supports all communities and families."
It was also revealed that the decision to pull these titles was made last year after months of discussion, with the company adding: "Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process. We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles."
Along with And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, the other affected titles that will be no longer published are If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot's Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat's Quizzer. The Cat in the Hat has also been criticized in recent years, but that story will continue to be published for now, although Dr. Seuss Enterprises states that they are "committed to listening and learning and will continue to review our entire portfolio."
This news follows particularly heavy criticism over the late author's work over the past few days. President Joe Biden notably refrained from mentioning Dr. Seuss during his Read Across America Day proclamation, while previous presidents had consistently praised the author's work. A school district in Loudon County, Virginia, announced that they wouldn't promote Dr. Seuss's work on the big day either because of the controversy.
"Research in recent years has revealed strong racial undertones in many books written/illustrated by Dr. Seuss," the district said in a statement.
While some of his more controversial titles are going out of print, the world of Dr. Seuss is still set to expand with new adaptations of his classic stories. Last year, it was reported that Oh, The Places You'll Go! was getting an animated movie adaptation from Warner Animation Group and J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions. Also in the works from the same team is Thing One and Thing Two, a Cat in the Hat spinoff. The former is scheduled to be released in theaters in 2027 with the latter releasing a year earlier in 2026.
"Warner Animation Group truly understands the timelessness of Dr. Seuss, the incredible impact of the characters and stories, and how to translate the magical appeal to truly come to life on screen," Dr. Seuss Enterprises president Susan Brandt said in a statement at the time. "With the amazing talent they are bringing to these projects, we are looking forward to bringing Oh, The Places You'll Go! and Thing One and Thing Two to fans in a way that will delight them, capture their imaginations, and inspire them to read and re-read the stories."
In 2018, it was also announced that Warner Animation Group would be developing an animated Cat in the Hat reboot as well. It is set to be released in 2024 and will be directed by Erica Rivinoja (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2) and Art Hernandez (Planes). This news comes to us from The Associated Press.