PEI

Dr. Seuss books with racist imagery to live out their shelf life at P.E.I. library

The P.E.I. library will be keeping three books by Dr. Seuss in the children's section after the author's heirs decided to stop publishing them due to racist and insensitive content.

The 3 held by the library are among 6 the author's heirs decided to pull due to racist imagery

If I Ran the Zoo is one of the books held by the P.E.I. Library. (CBC)

The P.E.I. library will be keeping three books by Dr. Seuss in the children's section after the author's heirs decided to stop publishing them due to racist and insensitive content.

The three held by the library, And to Think that I Saw it on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, and McElligot's Pool, are among six the heirs decided to stop publication of.

Youth services librarian Roseanne Gauthier said she was surprised by the decision, but said there is no doubt the books contain problematic content.

"I think that was fairly obvious," said Gauthier.

"I was really happy to hear them say, like, these are things that could potentially be hurtful for children who are reading them."

But Gauthier said the books currently held by the library would remain in the children's section. Over time, she said, the books will wear out or be lost and she said it is not likely they will be replaced.

"It's always kind of a parent or caregiver's prerogative to decide what comes home with kids," she said.

Issues for discussion

Gauthier said the library encourages parents and caregivers to look closely at what books their children are choosing and consider carefully if they are comfortable with those choices. And also to think about discussing with their children any issues raised.

There are six total Dr. Seuss books that will no longer be published. All six will be pulled from publication because of racist and insensitive imagery, Dr. Seuss Enterprises said Tuesday. (CBC)

There is still value in the books, she said.

"There's still a place for those books to be read and discussed and analyzed," she said.

"Particularly, you know, in a scholarly way, because issues like racism, they're very important for us to be aware of and to be talking about."

Gauthier said librarians are always happy to offer guidance on book choices, and that the library holds many excellent, more modern, titles that are similar to Dr. Seuss.

More from CBC P.E.I.

With files from Island Morning

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