Supper? No, Super.
This is one of the six recently pulled Dr Seuss books. I had never heard of this one before the controversy and read this 1953 title for the first time as part of this series.
In the book young Peter T. Hooper wants to make the best scrambled eggs ever. A hen egg just won’t do. He tells his younger sister about all of the Seuss original creation birds of the world that he will grab eggs from. It’s silly and there are some great original bird drawings in here. But what is offensive?
Funny thing here, I thought I knew why it was pulled and then it turns out I’m wrong.
My thought was that Ali here is the controversial figure. This Ali Baba stereotype is cartoonish and I grew up at a time when that’s all it was. Bugs Bunny faces off against a guy like Ali with a sword and that’s all the thought I put into it. As comical as Yosemite Sam or an opera singer or mad scientist. There are definitely much worse and more offensive portrayals of anyone from the Middle East today that makes Ali seem harmless.
But wait, that might not be it! There is also this page, in which Peter and a boat full of helpers travel to the North Pole to obtain more rare eggs. This image is suspected to be the reason why the book was pulled. Because they’re Eskimos? In another part of this series I already discussed the debate over the use of the word Eskimo. That argument doesn’t apply here because not once is the word used! It’s people dressed warm in a boat in the middle of the North Pole. What else should they be wearing? Bathing suits?
I’m currently split on these books. I think some definitely had drawings that don’t look great in 2021, and haven’t for decades. I don’t think any little kid should experience a harmful image while trying to enjoy a Dr Seuss book. I also think this book is stretching things and in reality is probably pulled because it’s such a low seller.