Several Dr. Seuss books that were essentially banned by the organization which preserves and protects the author’s legacy are now selling for hundreds or even thousands of dollars on eBay.
The organization, Dr. Seuss Enterprises, said that six books—“McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!,” “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” “The Cat’s Quizzer,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” and “If I Ran the Zoo”—will not be published due to allegedly racist imagery.
“Dr. Seuss Enterprises listened and took feedback from our audiences including teachers, academics, and specialists in the field as part of our review process. We then worked with a panel of experts, including educators, to review our catalog of titles,” it said.
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” the organization claimed in trying to explain the cessation of sales of the books to The Associated Press. “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,” the statement continued.
According to listings on eBay, some of the books are selling for hundreds of dollars. One entry lists six of the banned books that are being sold as a set for nearly $3,000—with at least four bids so far. And another entry with all six books shows 19 bids for $1,400.
Sales of Dr. Seuss books online have skyrocketed since the ban. His books were among the top 42 titles on the top 50 list of Amazon’s “movers and shakers” as of Wednesday morning.
The move by the organization to stop publishing the six books considerable backlash online, with some saying it is “cancel culture” run amok.
Among them was Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, a former teacher, and whose office said that “there is no place for ‘cancel culture’ in our country” following the ban. “Instead of worrying about telling kids it is wrong to read Dr. Seuss, let’s worry about getting them back in the classroom.”
According to a recent poll from Harvard CAPS-Harris, 64 percent of Americans who responded viewed cancel culture a threat to freedom while 36 percent viewed it as not a threat to freedom.
Seuss remains popular, earning an estimated $33 million before taxes in 2020, up from just $9.5 million five years ago, the company said. Forbes listed him No. 2 on its highest-paid deceased celebrities of 2020, behind only the late pop star Michael Jackson. Within hours of Tuesday’s announcement, Dr. Seuss books filled more than half of the top 20 slots on Amazon.com’s bestseller list. “Mulberry Street” and “If I Ran the Zoo” were on the list, along with “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!”, “Green Eggs and Ham” and others still being published.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.