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Teaching Problematic Literature: Doctor Seuss

Dr. Seuss

Controversy was sparked in 2021 when Seuss Enterprises announced that they were ceasing publication of several of Dr. Seuss's works, claiming that the books in question "portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong." As with any problematic literature, these works should be contextualized and discussed properly, and the harmful images supplemented with more enlightened, inclusive alternatives. The works that we've listed here on the right employ many of the same elements found in the Seuss works on the left. Lower down, you'll find Seuss works that celebrate differences, and even promote anti-racist ideas. As Philip Nel said, "Seuss wasn’t aware that his visual imagination was so steeped in the cultures of American racism," which is why some of Seuss's books perpetuate the very ideas that he criticizes in others.

Dr. Seuss Books with Problematic Content

Inclusive Dr. Seuss Books

The following books serve as examples of the inclusive and antiracist work by Seuss.

Similar, More Inclusive Books

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