Many of us learned to read with Dr. Seuss books. His earlier work, like Green Eggs and Ham and Cat in the Hat are iconic in the children's literary world, and have transcended even beyond kids' bookshelves. Oh the Places You'll Go! for instance, is a popular book that's read out loud during high school graduations across the country. But fans of the beloved picture books recently learned that some of his works will no longer be published due to racist messaging.
And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street, If I Ran the Zoo, McElligot’s Pool, On Beyond Zebra!, Scrambled Eggs Super!, The Cat’s Quizzer are the books that won't be available for purchase anymore. Of course, when anything gets banned (regardless of the reason), the existing products surge in price where you can find them. Technically, all Dr. Seuss books are worth a lot if they're first editions, but the banned books are now pricey and hard to obtain.
Which Dr. Seuss books are worth money?
If I Ran the Zoo and Scrambled Eggs Super! books are listed between $700 and $800 on Amazon, where you can still buy them (eBay has delisted the banned Dr. Seuss books), but if you have a first edition of And to Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street and it's in very good condition, it's worth $12,000. And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street is also being sold on Amazon starting at $300. The Cat's Quizzer is possibly the "cheapest," since it's going for $250 (prices are likely to change).
As with most contraband, the books will probably rise in value.
Theodor Seuss Geisel died in 1991, and the business that oversees his estate is called Dr. Seuss Enterprises. Unsurprisingly, even in death, Dr. Seuss continued to rake in millions of dollars. Who does that actually go to?
Who owns Dr. Seuss Enterprises?
While Seuss's wife, Audrey Geisel, founded Dr. Seuss Enterprises in 1993 (and worked extremely hard to market the brand to keep Seuss relevant), it now seems to be run by Susan Brandt, the president of the company. it's unclear if she actually owns the company, though. While Seuss never had any biological children, he was a stepfather to Lark Grey Dimond-Cates and Leagrey Dimond, Audrey's daughters from a previous marriage. It's unclear if he has any other heirs who would own Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
Will the cancelation of these Dr. Seuss books hurt Dr. Seuss Enterprises, or has it actually encouraged more people to buy the existing books while they can? As of now, it's unknown whether or not there has been a surge in purchases. The point of removing those six books from publication was to call attention to very hurtful and bigoted stereotypes, and it seems like that message has at least been made clear. Either way, Dr. Seuss Enterprises will likely be fine – the books made $33 million in 2020.
Tell me if I’m missing something. Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP decided it didn’t want to print books it thinks are offensive, and people have responded in protest by buying tons of books and further enriching Dr. Seuss Enterprises LP. Not sure about this protest strategy.— Adam Ozimek (@ModeledBehavior) March 4, 2021
“These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” the company stated. Hopefully Amazon will follow eBay's lead and delist the books as well. There's no need to have more hatred and cruelty circulating around the web.