I have to admit I never liked Dr. Seuss’s books. I don’t know why, but neither the illustrations nor the poems were attractive to me either as a child or as an adult, and they were not part of my childhood in any case. I was reading other stuff, such as Tintin, Asterix and classic fairy tales.

That said, the current announcement that the company now representing Dr. Seuss’ work will no longer publish some of his books because they can be “offensive” for readers is a bit troubling. The modern mania of changing the past to accommodate to the present’s preconceived ideas, as if we were somehow more enlightened or wise than any people in the past, is a form of insanity; in that case, we should “cancel” almost all literature written before the 20th century.

The books “cancelled” are not the most well-known or Dr. Seuss’s biggest best-sellers, so perhaps the publishers just wanted to discontinue them anyway, and this was just a good excuse. It is a bit suspicious that, while the books are characterized as “offensive”, none of the news articles explain exactly why. I had to search for the actual text of the books, and even then, the only thing I could find was that one of those books mentions, once, the word “Chinaman”, which has fallen out of favor. In other books, it appears that the problem is the illustration of foreign cultures in stereotypical clothes, but again, nothing particularly very “offensive”, except to modern sensibilities.

The reader can judge by himself. You can find two of the no-longer-to-be published books in pdf form here: “If I ran the Zoo” and “And I think that I saw it in Mulberry Street“.