dr seuss books

Toronto libraries were once asked to ban a Dr. Seuss book but not for the reason you think

Dr. Seuss has been making headlines this week due to revived backlash against a number of his works, which contain anachronistic imagery that the author's publishing house has agreed is "hurtful and wrong."

Popular picture books like And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street and If I Ran the Zoo are among the six titles by Theodor Geisel that will no longer be released by Dr. Seuss Enterprises due to insensitive and racist illustrations of characters described as "a Chinese man who eats with sticks" and "helpers who all wear their eyes at a slant."

(The former of these two was worded even worse in the original 1937 story until Geisel decided to alter it slightly in the '80s.)

But, this is not the only reason people in Toronto have been calling for Dr. Seuss to be banned in recent years, nor the reason that Toronto Public Library was once formally asked to take one of the author's title's off its shelves.

At least one resident had in 2013 asked that the story Hop on Pop be removed from local branches not for its potentially racist overtones, but due to its alleged endorsement of violence against parents.

Complaints stated that the library should not only get rid of the book, but "issue an apology to fathers in the GTA and pay for damages resulting from the book" due to the fact that it "encourages children to use violence against their fathers."

The titular lines of the story read: "Hop pop, we like to hop, we like to hop on top of pop," after which the offending youngsters pictured bouncing on their rather shocked-looking father's stomach are angrily told "Stop, you must not hop on pop." 

As the library noted in its review of the material, the children are righted for their wrong in the "humorous and well-loved children's book" that it ultimately decided to keep in circulation.

The extremely problematic aspects of some of Seuss's other reads, though, are not as easily shrugged off.

Lead photo by

Tom R.

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