If I Ran The Zoo (Dr. Seuss)


Summer Reading Day 48: Today was a busy day, but we managed to squeeze in our book, If I Ran The Zoo by Dr. Seuss. So…. I had not read this book in a very long time, but we just got a new copy of it at the library. So I thought, who doesn’t love Dr. Seuss, and brought it home. For those unfamiliar, it’s a story of a little boy listing all the fantastic (and fictional) creatures he would populate the zoo with if he were its keeper. It’s typical Dr. Seuss fun: crazy rhymes, nonsense words, ridiculous illustrations. This one is a bit long for a one year old, and she got squirmy about 2/3 of the way through.

However, I got squirmy much earlier when I got to the RACISM. I had no memory of the generational racism in this book, so you can imagine my shock when I reached the pages that showed African natives with black skin, nose rings and grass skirts, as well as the painful page that described Asian natives as having “eyes all a-slant” (don’t worry, there’s an illustration of that too, in case the language was not descriptive enough for you). I mean, yikes. I love Dr. Seuss as much as the next, but there’s no way I can recommend this book, mostly because there’s no way I would ever let it be a part of JJ’s permanent library. Sorry, Seuss, but a big thumbs down.

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