Born in 1904, Theodor Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, became one of the best-known and beloved children’s book authors, and his work still enchants readers. Both a writer and an illustrator, Dr. Seuss published more than 60 books in his lifetime, most with rhyming (or tongue-twisting) verses and fantastical drawings of imaginary places and animals. All told, more than 700 million copies of his books have been sold globally.
LIke many authors, Dr. Seuss saw his manuscripts rejected before his first book was published. After 27 turn-downs, his first literary effort, “And to Think I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” was published in 1937. His first bestseller didn’t come until the 1957 publication of “The Cat in the Hat.” Today, the chaos-causing feline with the red-and-white-striped top hat is one of the most famous literary characters.
Another testament to Dr. Seuss’s timeless popularity is the fact that several of his books, like “How the Grinch Stole Christmas,” “Horton Hears a Who,” “The Lorax,” and the best-selling “The Cat in the Hat,” have been made into movies. (See which Seuss-inspired films are among the highest-grossing kids’ movies of all time.)
Of all the books he wrote, some are more popular than others. To determine the most famous books by Dr. Suess, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on Wikipedia pageviews for all of his books. The books are ranked based on daily average pageviews between Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31, 2022.
In his books, Dr. Seuss encouraged his young readers to take chances and accept each other’s differences. Yet Dr. Seuss explored adult topics in his children’s books, too. “The Lorax” is a plea for preserving the environment. The Cold War-era “The Butter Battle Book” warns about the dangers of mutual assured destruction in the nuclear age.
But his books aren’t without controversy. In recent years, several Dr. Seuss books have been cited for racist imagery. In “If I Ran the Zoo,” African and Asian figures are portrayed in stereotyped costumes. “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street” contains a racist depiction of an Asian man. (Here are 30 things you didn’t know about Dr. Seuss.)
The estate of the late author who died in 1991 said in 2021 it would no longer publish those books, and have similarly 86’d “McElligot’s Pool” (for its depiction of “Eskimos”), “On Beyond Zebra!” (potentially insulting drawing of a Middle Eastern man and use of the word “spazz”), “Scrambled Eggs Super!” (caricatures of an Arab or Turkish man), and “The Cat’s Quizzer” (seemingly mocking the Japanese).
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