What if we nixed the green eggs and ham and opted instead for some Ramona the Brave? (On why NOT to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday during Women’s History Month)

Why all the unadulterated LURVE for Dr. Seuss?

When my kids were little, Dr. Seuss birthday was always cause for big classroom celebrations, usually replete with green eggs and ham. Why no birthday celebrations for the likes of Beverly Cleary, Beatrix Potter, Peggy Parish, Lauren Child, Judy Blume, Margaret Wise Brown, Jan Brett and so many other important female children’s book authors?

These women need to be written into history for all their work, much of which is gender inclusive in a way Dr. Seuss books are DECIDEDLY NOT (not one female protagonist in his over forty kids books!) As noted in a 1995 NY Times op-ed, “Even Dr. Seuss, that titan of the preschool bookshelf, known and loved for his egalitarianism, feeds the cult of the preening princess.”

In addition to side-lining poor sister Sally and writing about “girls who like to brush and comb,” Dr. S, like Walt Disney, penned racist propaganda cartoons for the War Dept.

Alas, on the second day of Women’s History Month, young children throughout the USA hear his books, eat funny looking eggs, and celebrate the man who, if they are girl children, did not celebrate them…

2 thoughts on “What if we nixed the green eggs and ham and opted instead for some Ramona the Brave? (On why NOT to celebrate Dr. Seuss’s Birthday during Women’s History Month)”

  1. Well it’s kind of unfair to put the racist portrayals on him, I think. Yes, that was unfair, but considering the kind of thing the Japanese were doing and who they were allied with, I’d call that a necessary evil. Take into account the fact that he was writing that stuff on government orders (a government trying to keep Europe and China from being razed to the ground and not sure they’d win, mind you) and the guy’s actions are pretty understandable.

    Plus, he did the same thing to the Nazis so he wasn’t singling them out.

    Agreed on the lack of credit to female children’s book authors though. Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and its sequels were pretty damned important pieces of my childhood development and I’d like to see her get more respect.

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