Classic Dr. Seuss books are flying off the shelves at Amazon after the late author’s publisher moved to stop printing six titles containing “hurtful” imagery, driving up sales for one work by a staggering 5.7 million percent.
A decision by Dr. Seuss Enterprises to scrap the six books on Tuesday over what it called “hurtful and wrong” stereotypes appears to have sparked a buying frenzy on the e-retail giant, with the defunct ‘McElligot’s Pool’ surging to the top spot on Amazon’s “Movers & Shakers” section. At the time of writing, the page showed that sales for the book were up by 5,785,593 percent over the last 24 hours, while ‘If I Ran the Zoo’ – another nixed work – was up by more than 835,000 percent.
Seuss also dominated Amazon’s “Best Sellers in Books” category, taking eight of the top 10 slots, including several books not swept up in the publisher’s printing ban, which also applied to ‘And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,’ ‘On Beyond Zebra!,’ ‘Scrambled Eggs Super!,’ and ‘The Cat’s Quizzer.’
Though the beloved children’s author – born Theodor Seuss Geisel – became a household name with titles like ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and ‘How the Grinch Stole Christmas!,’ some of his works have come under fire for racial caricatures and stereotypes, namely many of the cartoons he drew in support of the Second World War.
However, the publisher declined to give a rationale for each book pulled on Tuesday, leaving the decision somewhat unclear, given that some of them contain few depictions of people or none at all.
One of Seuss’s step-daughters, Lark Grey Dimond-Cates, pushed back on the allegations of bigotry on Tuesday, telling the New York Post “there wasn’t a racist bone in that man’s body. He was so acutely aware of the world around him and cared so much.”
She added that it was nonetheless a “wise” move to cease printing the six books, saying “This is just a very difficult, painful time that we live in” and “we don’t want to upset anybody.”
However, another of the author’s step-daughters, Leagrey Dimond, disagreed, arguing that instead of canceling publication of the books outright, they should simply receive disclaimers explaining the controversial content.
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