NEW ORLEANS — He's been celebrated as a children's author for years, but starting Tuesday, several of Dr. Seuss' books will no longer be published, and some say that's a good move.
Published in more than 100 countries and translated in dozens of languages, Dr. Seuss is one of the most recognized children's authors in the world.
However, on what would be his 116th birthday, comes change.
According to his publisher, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, six books will be shelved after a panel of educators and others found some stories portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.
For example, there's an image of an Asian man in "And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street." He has lines for eyes and is carrying chopsticks and a bowl of rice.
"I was gifted 'Oh the Places You'll Go' at my High School graduation," said Kedrick Perry, PhD. "And one of the quotes in that book is '...face up to your problems whatever they are...' and I think that's what we're doing right now, we've realized something is problematic and we're facing up to it."
Dr. Perry is the Vice President of Equity Inclusion at Loyola University. He says children should grow up accepting not only their identity, but others as well. Literature, he says, can influence that.
"I think that when we're considering books we read to our kids, we also have to keep in mind that children start to form racial stereotypes at a young age, studies show by age 3 or 4," he said. "So, if they're seeing illustrations, characters or racist propaganda those things will have an effect on them as they grow older."
While publishing the books has stopped, Perry hopes it'll start a conversation between parents and children, discussing the importance of celebrating each other's differences. He also says there are countless new books that highlight this and should be utilized by children.
"Let us introduce some of those to our kids, that express love, acceptance, positivity and at the very minimum, let's try not do any harm," he said. "And I think that's what people are trying to do by discontinuing these books, they're trying not to do any harm."
The six books being discontinued include: And To Think 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. After the announcement, many of those books became hot selling items on websites like Amazon, where some paper back versions were selling for almost $1,000.