One of Universal’s Islands of Adventure theme park’s most popular areas Seuss Landing, which is themed with the world of Dr. Seuss, is likely to be affected by the recent news that six Dr. Seuss books, including “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo,” will no longer be published because of racist and insensitive imagery, according to the business that preserves and protects the author’s legacy.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises shared on the author, Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday.
Within Seuss Landing is a play area focused on “If I Ran the Zoo,” one of the books that have been removed from sale at the Islands of Adventure and will no longer be published. The book includes animals and interactive contraptions from Seuss’s stories and has been criticized for its illustrated portrayal of Asian people in the book.
Mulberry Street Store, is a gift shop in Seuss Landing that gets its name from “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” is another book on the discontinued list.
“Seuss Landing continues to be very popular with our guests and we value our relationship with Seuss Enterprises,” a Universal spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve removed the books from our shelves as they have asked and we’ll be evaluating our in-park experience too. But our guests can plan on continuing to be able to enjoy their favorite experiences at Seuss Landing,” Universal Orlando Resort shared.
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises celebrates reading and also our mission of supporting all children and families with messages of hope, inspiration, inclusion, and friendship,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises shared on its seussville.com website. “We are committed to action. To that end, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, working with a panel of experts, including educators, reviewed our catalog of titles and made the decision last year to cease publication and licensing of the following titles: And to Think That 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. These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong. Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalog represents and supports all communities and families,” it said.
The other books affected are “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” and “The Cat’s Quizzer.”
The author of the Dr. Seuss books is Theodor Seuss Geisel, who was born in Springfield, Massachusetts on March 2, 1904. His books have been translated into dozens of languages as well as in braille and are sold in more than 100 countries. He died in 1991.
Dr. Seuss is adored by millions around the world for the positive values in many of his works, including environmentalism and tolerance, but criticism has grown in recent years over the way Blacks, Asians, and others are drawn in some of his most beloved children’s books, as well as in his earlier advertising and propaganda illustrations.
The National Education Association, which founded Read Across America Day in 1998 and deliberately aligned it with Geisel’s birthday, has for several years deemphasized Seuss and encouraged a more diverse reading list for children.