There is no doubt that Dr. Seuss is one of the most well-known illustrators of all time.
But like so many other white creators of his time, some of his past imagery has now been considered racially insensitive.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises is looking to grow past that narrative with a new series of books that will include never before seen Dr. Seuss characters accompanied by stories written and illustrated by a diverse group of talented authors and artists with different racial backgrounds. The company wants its artists to look like the families who read their books. The illustrations, which are from the author’s archives at the University of California San Diego are all unpublished.
Although the books will use original Dr. Suess sketches for inspiration, each artist will look to add their uniqueness to the stories.
“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,” said Susan Brandt, President, and CEO of Dr. Seuss Enterprises.
The new books, which will be tailored for readers 4 to 8-years-old, are expected to go on sale next year. The company looks to publish two new books each year.
Dr. Seuss Enterprises has not yet released the names of the authors or artists participating in the new book series but says once contracts are complete the creators will be revealed.
In March 2021, Dr. Suess Enterprises stopped publishing six of its books because of racist and insensitive imagery. One of the books shelved was “If I Ran the Zoo,” which portrayed two African men barefoot with grass skirts on.
The company said their goal was to preserve and protect the legacy of Dr. Suess and for good reason.
In 2021, Dr. Seuss earned nearly $35 million and was reach 5th on Forbes paid dead celebrity list. His books are also sold in more than 100 countries in the world.
Adding diversity to Dr. Seuss’ stories will only make them more relatable. His characters are some of the most popular in the world and look for that to continue for centuries to come.