Fuse 8 n’ Kate: And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street by Dr. Seuss
And to think we had never read this book before. When we heard that the Dr. Seuss estate was pulling six relatively obscure Seuss titles from publication due to offensive content, we thought we might try one on for size. We’d already done the worst of the bunch (inarguably If I Ran the Zoo) but since we just did Eric Carle’s very first illustrated picture book last week, why not do the very first Dr. Seuss circa 1937? That was a while ago. Beatrix Potter liked it, but will we? Mmm.
Should you wish to read it, you can find the New York Times piece Dr. Seuss Books Are Pulled and a Cancel Culture Controversy Erupts here.
Kate mentions in the course of things that Universal has a If I Ran the Zoo section. I discovered the newspaper article Universal Orlando ‘evaluating’ future of Seuss Landing, named after yanked book.
The entire premise of this book is that this was the boring thing the kid saw at the start. Never mind that if a kid saw this on the street today they’d be astounded.
Okay, toga historians. Teach me what you know. Why does this toga have sleeves?
What’s wrong with Jane? I’ll tell you what. She’s the only acknowledgement that women exist. So, naturally, “even Jane” isn’t exactly a compliment.
I dunno, guys. I don’t think I’m on board with the traveling outhouse.
Me: I think of muscles when I think of giraffes.
Kate: Do you?
Kate calls this the most terrifying section in the book. Say bye-bye to the giraffe’s ears, kids!
Look! We’re going to have giraffe ears falling from the sky! It’s like the treat we never knew we needed before.
Lest you believe there is only a single kind of racism in this book, there appears to be a plethora to choose from. But the top two contenders go to . . .
Recall that this book came up as problematic in the past. Grace Lin called this one out years ago. As recently as 2017 she saw that it was part of a mural at the Dr. Seuss Museum and brought it to national attention.
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Filed under: Fuse 8 n' Kate
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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