Several books by Dr Seuss are now topping Amazon’s bestseller list just days after the author’s estate said it would stop publishing six books containing racist or offensive images.
Dr Seuss Enterprises, who preserves the author’s legacy, said he worked with a panel of experts to determine that the books “portray people in ways that are hurtful and false.” These titles, including “And Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” “Scrambled Eggs Super !,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer,” have since sold in bookstores.
On Thursday, nine books by Dr. Seuss filled the top 10 of Amazon’s bestseller list, with “The Cat in the Hat” at No. 1. There were a total of 25 titles in the top 50, including “Oh, The Places You” Go For It “and” Green Eggs and Ham “.
Resale prices on sites like eBay were listed for higher prices, as part of the marketing of rare “prohibited” collectibles.
Seuss, real name Theodor Seuss Geisel, remains one of the most popular children’s authors in history, with a collection of 45 books that have been sold in over 100 countries and translated a dozen times. He is best known for his whimsical work, which imagines fantastic creatures, large and small, that help teach children important life lessons in verses.
However, some of his work has been criticized for its harmful stereotypes about ethnic communities. In the 1937 title Mulberry Street, he included a character with pigtails, chopsticks, and a cone-shaped hat. He has been described as “Chinese” and the only character drawn in yellow.
In 1978, the yellow was removed and the character renamed “Chinese man”. But the caricatures of Arab and African peoples have remained. Meanwhile, many of Dr. Seuss’ books that feature non-human characters encourage readers to be inclusive, kind, and generous.
“I think he’s like a lot of white people that I include myself in, you know, who just aren’t fully aware of how racism has shaped their own imaginations,” Phillip Nel, an author who wrote three books on Dr. Seuss, told CBS News. “I don’t think it is unusual for him to try to be anti-racist and racist at the same time. I think that’s actually quite common.”
Dr Seuss Enterprises announced on Tuesday that it would continue to revise its catalog. “Stopping the sale of these books is only part of our commitment and our larger plan to ensure that the Dr. Seuss Enterprises catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” the organization said in a statement.
Adriana Diaz contributed reporting.