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People in Metro Vancouver are selling their 'banned' Dr. Seuss books for thousands

The sellers are acutely aware of how the discontinued books’ value will only go up

“Yes… the woke mob is banning books just like Hitler.”

That’s the take of one Craigslist seller who is hoping to sell several Dr. Seuss books including the recently discontinued And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street. Like others in the Lower Mainland, this particular seller is attempting to take advantage of the recent media storm the books and the late author have caused.

Earlier this month, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced the company will stop publishing six books, including the previously mentioned title, because of racist and insensitive imagery.

The Delta-based listing says the books are in good condition and are no longer on major sites due to "scary content.” To capitalize on the books’ infamy, the seller is hoping to get $1,000 for all four.

“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises said in a statement on March 2. “Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment and our broader plan to ensure Dr. Seuss Enterprises’ catalogue represents and supports all communities and families."

The other books affected are McElligot’s PoolOn Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, and The Cat’s Quizzer.

Another Craigslist ad from Port Moody is looking to sell a vintage copy of And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street printed in 1937 for $1,500.  

“This is the first special edition of the classic story that is one of 6 books that will no longer be sold or published. This will quickly rise in value should you want to resell in the future, especially since I’m asking below the current market. It would make a beautiful addition to any collection,” the listing reads.

A listing on Facebook Marketplace from Richmond is looking to sell the same book and includes photos from the book’s pages. One illustration shows an Asian person with yellow skin wearing a conical hat, holding chopsticks, and eating from a bowl. The seller is also looking for $1,000 for the book. 

Another of the discontinued books includes If I Ran the Zoo, which has a drawing of two bare-footed African men wearing what appear to be grass skirts with their hair tied above their heads.

Random House Children Books, Dr. Seuss' publisher, issued a brief statement the same day the discontinuations were announced: “We respect the decision of Dr. Seuss Enterprises (DSE) and the work of the panel that reviewed this content last year, and their recommendation.”

As adored as Seuss  whose real name was Theodor Geisel is by millions around the world for the positive values in many of his works, including environmentalism and tolerance, there has been increasing criticism in recent years over the way Black people, Asians and others are drawn in some of his most beloved children’s books, as well as in his earlier advertising and propaganda illustrations.

With files from The Associated Press and Canadian Press