New Dr. Seuss books will be released with the help of racially diverse creators
The new offerings will feature never-before-seen illustrations from the late author.
On the late writer’s birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises has announced that it will be releasing new books that feature never-before-seen illustrations from him. Per the AP, the company founded by the family of Dr. Seuss — born Theodor Seuss Geisel — has selected unpublished works from his archives at the University of California San Diego, and those works will inspire stories to be written by an “inclusive group of up-and-coming authors and artists.”
It’s an important move for the legacy of Dr. Seuss, seeing as exactly a year ago, Dr. Seuss Enterprises had decided to stop publishing six titles from their roster due to their racist portrayals of certain characters. 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 were all reevaluated by today’s more critical and evolved standards and found to be racist and insensitive. The decision to remove the titles from publication was criticized by some as an unnecessary casualty of cancel culture, but applauded by others as a step in the right direction of rewriting the wrongs of the past.
The fact that Dr. Seuss Enterprises going beyond the removal of titles and is now seeking to give a platform to a racially diverse group of creators shows that their intentions weren’t purely performative. Susan Brandt, President and CEO of Dr. Seuss Enterprises, said in a statement, “We look forward to putting the spotlight on a new generation of talent who we know will bring their unique voices and style to the page, while also drawing inspiration from the creativity and imagination of Dr. Seuss.”
The books will be published under the umbrella of Seuss Studios by Random House Children’s Books, and geared towards the same age group that Seuss books always have been. Each book will feature the original Dr. Seuss illustration that inspired the story, as well as notes from the creators taking up the torch. With the original Dr. Seuss roster still selling millions of dollars’ worth of books decades after the author’s 1991 death, the new lineup is likely to be a success among readers hungry for more to the Dr. Seuss story.