Following the news from Dr. Seuss Enterprises that six of its books written by the iconic Dr. Seuss are being taken out of print due to racist and insensitive imagery, CBS News reports that more than a dozen books from the author have climbed the best-seller's charts on Amazon. As of Tuesday afternoon, it was reported and marked by users on social media that 13 of the best-selling books among the Top 20 listed on Amazon U.S. were written by Dr. Seuss. Of the titles, four of the books from Dr. Seuss Enterprises said it will stop publishing and licensing.
A Twitter user posted a screenshot that showed the top six books on the Amazon sales charts. Five of the six were Dr. Seuss's creations. The list included Oh, the Places You'll Go!, The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, and If I Ran the Zoo. Dr. Seuss's Beginner Book Collection topped the list. Further exploration revealed eight of the top 10 titles on the best seller's list were Dr. Seuss's books.
"Although only one of these Seuss titles are the ones being withdrawn from further publication and circulation. People are panicking without paying any attention to the facts," one person commented in response to the tweet. Several others weighed in and argued about "cancel culture" and the political beliefs of those purchasing the books en masse.
"Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics and specialists in the field as part of our review process," the company said in a statement. "We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles." The six books going out of print are 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.
The books went out of print after a Virginia county public school system decided to not exclusively promote Dr. Seuss's books on national Read Across America Day. Loudoun County Public Schools issued a statement and clarified that the books are still available in the libraries and are not banned. "We want to encourage our young readers to read all types of books that are inclusive and diverse and reflective of our student community, not simply celebrate Dr. Seuss," the statement said.
The author's works have received criticism in recent years due to the portrayals of certain characters. One study in 2019 published in "Research on Diversity in Youth Literature" noted that the books featured the stereotypical, offensive portrayal of Asia. The study noted that the two "African" characters both have anti-Black characteristics.