Library Patron Pushes for Dr. Seuss to be Banned for Violence

I don’t generally cross-post here from my other blogs, but the response to a blog I posted in 2014 on was too good to let vanish when they reorganized their site. The comments are what really puts the whole thing over the top for me, which is why this blog entry has earned a spot over here on the Screamsheet.


The Toronto Public Library recently received a request from a concerned patron asking that the Dr. Seuss book Hop on Pop be banned. The reason, according to Director of Collections Management Vickery Bowles, was that, “It was violent and encouraged children to be violent with their fathers.”

Ms. Bowles and the review committee ultimately decided to keep the book on shelves. Although the fight was lost, I for one want to salute the anonymous patron for fighting the good fight and lobbying for this book to be banned.

I am a father, and like many fathers I live in mortal fear of my children attacking me. There’s already an unspoken tension between us. I’m getting older and weaker, they’re getting bigger and stronger. I don’t need lunatics like Dr. Seuss exacerbating that tension with lines such as “We like to hop. We like to hop on top of Pop.”

If I have any complaint about the attempt to ban Hop on Pop, it’s that the library patron didn’t go far enough. Dr. Seuss books are filled with violence, and society has turned a blind eye to this trend for decades.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish encourages children to box a Gox in their yellow Gox box socks. That’s not only forcing violence upon our young children, but it also encourages animal cruelty, since a Gox certainly isn’t human. And don’t even get me starting about the blatant commercialism. Obviously, Seuss was shilling for the Gox box sock industry with such blatant product placement.

The Cat in the Hat gets away with mischief in multiple books and suffers absolutely no repercussions. I am now terrified of leaving my children alone for even a moment, lest they try to follow the cat’s advice of having fun while balancing a ball and holding up a cup, a cake, some books, and a fish on a rake.

And don’t even get me started on How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, which tells kids that you can go ahead and steal from people but it’s okay in the end because they’ll just sing about it before inviting you over to their feast.

The initial attempt to ban Hop on Pop may have failed, but this is just the beginning. People have given Dr. Seuss’s violent and deviant literature a pass for far too long. It’s time for all those parents who have lived in fear of that rhyming devil to ban together and prove that a protest is a protest, no matter how small.

26 Responses to Library patron pushes for Dr. Seuss to be banned for violence

1. Danny’s Momma says:

My own son has claimed that he can in fact “lick” 30 tigers. Of course, he wasn’t born in the age where “lick” meant “to beat up”, but either way, the prospect is troubling. And don’t even get me started on the war that has begun in our house over which side of the bread should be buttered. This madness needs to be stopped. Won’t somebody please think of the children??

2. Heather says:

Don’t get me started on how Dr. Seuss has been gateway literature. First, it seems innocuous that children learn to read, but leading reads to education, which leads to children learning about & demanding their rights. I can not treat them like chattel. Next thing you know, they will be making arguments about driving them to the mall, and they will be legitimately persuasive. Then, with the Lorax teaching them to respect the Earth & have consideration for others. It’s a Marxist revolution up in here.

3. Jo says:

Robert Munsch i think writes horrible books that encourage children to do terrible things. My son got one last year where the boy floods the bathroom and then blackmails his father into buying him a bunch of stuff before he’ll pull the plug.

4. Jlynn says:

No issue with Dr. Suess yet but the little monkey George has me worried. I mean he has the mentality of a toddler to preschooler, yet the Man with the Yellow hat always leaves him alone. Hello! I would not leave my 3 or 5 year old alone and I think they would get in less trouble than George does. Then when he does do something and gets caught he never really gets in trouble. There are never an consequences for his actions. Everyone just laughs it off.

5. shirley says:

You cannot BELIEVE what my children found in the park, in the dark! They brought it home, and called it Clark! It lives in their room, and it grows and grows! Something has to be done about the Seussian menace.

6. Jen B says:

Are you all really serious? I am hoping that there is more of a facicious undertone here in stating timeless books like Dr. Seuss and Curious George are setting bad examples. Surely parents read these books and enjoy the silliness of them with their children as well as learn from George’s mistakes. Books are written to provide our children opportunities to think outside the box, learn from various scenarios and problems, while increasing their imaginations. So please tell me the author of this blog is seriously joking in addition to the posters….if not I strongly feel badly for your children in having parents who cannot read a silly and adorable book and turn the story into a wonderful learning moment for you and your child.

7. M says:

I cant beleive Jen B and Jo think the author of the article and the commenters are serious. THAT is troubling.

8. Tesslynn’s Mom says:

I am pretty sure the comments are mostly mocking the complaint, as is the author of this article. Dr. Seuss’ books have always had ridiculously named creatures in them or unusual situations that would never be real.

9. holly says:

Seriously people?? I bet almost every on here has had the classic books read to them as a kid, even teen. And out of the past many years this great fun author had written so many books that are crazy, cute, and fun. Now since its the ridiculous” 2000s ” and everyone is just all up tight about everything now a days.. it’s ridiculous.. I remember parents and teachers explaining things that happen in books even it’s just imagination, or there is a point to it, or “the more you know” things. Let’s not just read a book and expect kids to get it. Let them understand. And instead of going after the books, how about that parenting your doing . Children need to know right and wrong, pros and cons. What’s just for goofs and what is serious. Out of all the years of books and tv and everything. The only generation I see failing is the latest. Less problems back when then now. I wonder why… Let’s poke at books that’s why kids are awful these days..please..

10. Jasmine says:

Wocket pocket always gets me. Today my daughter decided to be the jertain in the curtain. She also decided to eat her foot book because she loves it so much. And let’s not get started on how everything turns into a drum after she read hands hands fingers thumb.

11. jessi says:

ROFLMAO!!!!!!! that was awesome and the comments were better! (then the people who don’t know what satire is showed up……)

12. Ashley says:

Seriously? Teach your kids that this is just fun, silly books and that we don’t act like this. My niece loves her dr seuss books and she is majority of the time well behaved minus normal 7 year old attitude.

13. Allyx says:

Oh man, don’t even get me started on all those nefarious Dr. Seuss books! And then those people who don’t even understand satire!

14. Amy says:

Are you kidding me? I love dr Seuss we even have a dr Seuss day! If you are afraid of your children then maybe you should have corrected that behavior before they get bigger and stronger then you. And the grinch book, don’t even get me started, it’s about Christmas and the true meaning not the meaning now a days where you have to buy every toy/game whatever you kids want. It’s about loving one and another and being together or I could go all religious on you if you want! All the other books I don’t even know where to start. My kids make a mess in their playroom, bedrooms I say I’m coming in in x amount of time and by the time I get there it’s clean! That’s what the cat in the hat taught my kids clean it up before mom gets homes!!! If you don’t like them don’t read them to your kids!

15. april says:

Are you fn kidding me?

16. Betsy Shaw says:

I can 99 percent guarantee all of you who ask “Are you kidding?” that Charlie is indeed kidding. Charlie finds the idea of banning Dr. Seuss books so ludicrous he was compelled to take the insinuation that Dr. Seuss characters and their behavior are a bad influence on children and make good clean fun of it in hopes everyone would see just how ridiculous the idea is. That said, Hop on Pop was my favorite book as a child. I made my mom read it again and again and again. To this day, I have never once felt inclined to attack my father, or anyone–well there was that no-good cheating boyfriend back in college…..

17. Sandra H says:

Don’t get me started on Dr. Suess! Thanks to him, my children now have a major addiction to green eggs and ham!! They will eat them in a box. And they will eat them with a fox. And they will eat them in a house. And they will eat them with a mouse. And they will eat them here and there.Say!They will eat them ANYWHERE! My fingers are permanently green from the dye and the local grocery store ran out of supply so now I have to order online. All I can say is, I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

18. Sarah Brooks says:

I’m glad the majority of people got the joke. We love Dr. Seuss in this house. That being said, think of Yertle the Turtle that teaches kids to sit on those of lesser social standing than you… Horrible!

19. Wait. What? says:

Oh. My. God. You dare attack Dr. Suess? A. He’s a doctor! The fact that he was able to rhyme words on a page in between what I can only imagine were incredibly complicated major surgeries is something to be admired and celebrated. B. He clearly had to overcome a terrible upbringing in which his illiterate parents made up words like Bloogs, Na-Nup, and Vipper for real animals. Thankfully a lot of those rhymed with actual words otherwise we may never have come to know his genius. This brilliant Doctor and son of mentally disabled parents overcame obstacles and grew up to tell stories that would resonate for decades covering such hard hitting topics as fussy eating, the joy of cleaning, and recognizing satire. How dare you make light of him Chuck! You must be going after a quick buck! Have you no shame? It is you I blame!

20. shirley says:

I swear I don’t know what’s funnier: the comments from the people who understand what’s happening here, or the comments from the people who don’t. You are all hilarious, whether intentionally or unintentionally!

21. Roogirl says:


“STOP! You must NOT hop on pop!”, pg. 41.

Problem solved.

22. Tammy says:

Sorry Charlie! The people with the negative comments below are even funnier than you! Keep up the great job!

23. Charlie Brooks says:

Roogirl: Do you really think kids are going to wait 41 pages before deciding on the lesson they learn? My kids aren’t likely to get past page 17 before dropping the book, jumping across the room in a flying tackle, and crushing my trachea.

24. jim says:

We like to hop.
We like to hop on top of Pop.
You must not hop on Pop.

That is so sad, that is so bad
To use such violence on your Dad.
This book must go, it must go now,
It must go far, I don’t care how!
It tops the ranks of children’s lit?
Does not matter, not one bit.
You coaxed my kids to jump on me?
Why, I demand apology!
And cash! Pay cash! Pay cash to me!
For damages to Pop, I plea.

“Hop on Pop” he claims he read,
But makes it sound like crime instead –
Perhaps they came down on his head?

25. mamabadger says:

And just as Yertle is teaching conservation, the poor children read “If I ran the zoo” and suddenly they’re traveling the globe to collect critters? Poor confused children. How will they survive?

26. Catness says:

this is ridiculous.


Image: Dr. Seuss

One thought on “Library Patron Pushes for Dr. Seuss to be Banned for Violence

  1. Stuart Massey

    If you feel that you have to shield your children from a silly book, then there’s more serious things happening in your life than something this trivial.
    You must be the type of person who is afraid to go outside or live and enjoy your life, that you have to pass those fears onto your children.
    If you think that a children’s book that has been around for decades poses a threat to you and your children, then don’t buy it.
    Don’t lobby and raise ridiculous alarms because of your own fears.
    You’re one of the reasons why this world is the way it is.


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