Second, Mr. Bai’s argument that we read and admire works by bigoted authors we wouldn’t invite to dinner might be true. The thing is, we make that decision as adults. In contrast, Dr. Seuss’s books provide children with some of their first permanent impressions through vibrant illustrations. It’s not unreasonable to expect that they will absorb some impact from images of stereotyped characters, especially when they’re contrasted with the more “normal,” European-appearing ones.
We can, of course, make these decisions for ourselves. Still, I imagine most parents appreciate having fewer pitfalls to avoid in selecting their children’s books.
Tom Natan, Washington