BPC Bulletin: School Boards in Hamilton-Wentworth Order Removal of Dr. Seuss Books

News Reports and Commentary Selected by Franklin Carter of the Book and Periodical Council’s Freedom of Expression Committee.

 

In Ontario’s Regional Municipality of Hamilton-Wentworth, public and Roman Catholic school boards have started to remove copies of Dr. Seuss’s books from their school libraries.

The school boards started removing the books after Dr. Seuss Enterprises declared on March 2, 2021, that six of the deceased author’s books portray racial minorities in ways that are “hurtful and wrong.”

  • And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937)
  • McElligot’s Pool (1947)
  • If I Ran the Zoo (1950)
  • Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953)
  • On Beyond Zebra! (1955)
  • The Cat’s Quizzer (1976)

In other Canadian towns, public libraries are considering whether to keep copies of the six books in their collections.

REPORTAGE

Adina Bresge of the Canadian Press reports:

https://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2021/03/03/canadian-libraries-reassess-dr-seuss-books-pulled-from-publication-for-racist-images.html
 

In the National Post, Tyler Dawson reports:
https://nationalpost.com/news/canada/dr-seuss-childrens-books-are-hardly-the-first-titles-to-cause-controversy-for-libraries?video_autoplay=true

Meghan Collie of Global News reports:
https://globalnews.ca/news/5008003/dr-seuss-racist-books/

Victoria, B.C.

In the Times Colonist, Carla Wilson reports:

https://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/greater-victoria-public-library-system-reviewing-four-of-its-dr-seuss-titles-1.24290555

High River and Okotoks, Alta.

In Okotoks Online, Harrison O’Nyons reports:

https://www.okotoksonline.com/local/local-library-directors-weigh-in-on-recent-dr-seuss-controversy

Hamilton, Ont.

Bobby Hristova of CBC News reports:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/hamilton/dr-seuss-books-hamilton-library-1.5938154

Kitchener, Ont.

In Kitchener Today, Aastha Shetty reports:
https://www.kitchenertoday.com/local-news/local-public-libraries-to-review-classification-of-six-dr-seuss-books-with-racist-imagery-3516868

In The Record, Anam Latif reports. (This story is behind a paywall):

https://www.therecord.com/news/waterloo-region/2021/03/06/six-dr-seuss-titles-pulled-from-local-library-shelves-for-review.html

Thunder Bay, Ont.

CBC News reports:

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thunder-bay/tbpl-dr-seuss-1.5938746

In Thunder Bay News Watch, Gary Rinne reports:
https://www.tbnewswatch.com/local-news/thunder-bay-public-library-pulls-some-dr-seuss-books-for-review-3512001

Sudbury, Ont.

Jenny Lamothe of Sudbury.com reports:

https://www.thestar.com/news/canada/2021/03/08/public-library-has-no-plans-to-pull-seuss-titles-from-shelves-as-of-yet.html

Prince Edward Island

Kevin Yarr of CBC News reports:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-dr-seus-library-1.5936125

COMMENTARY

In the National Post, Chris Selley comments:

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/chris-selley-for-the-love-of-seuss-leave-libraries-alone

In Reason, Robby Soave comments:
https://reason.com/2021/03/08/dr-seuss-defend-cancel-culture-toronto-books-censorship/

In The New York Times, Ross Douthat comments: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/06/opinion/dr-seuss-books-liberalism.html

 

The Book and Periodical Council was formed in 1975 as the Book and Periodical Development Council to provide a venue for members to discuss industry issues, address mutual concerns and undertake projects for the benefit of Canadian writing and publishing.

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