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Dr. Seuss Book Ban Sparks Ebay Bidding Wars

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Michael Ginsberg General Assignment Reporter
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Six books discontinued by Dr. Seuss Enterprises over concerns of racial insensitivity immediately became big-ticket items on Ebay.

The books “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “If I Ran the Zoo,” “McElligot’s Pool,” “On Beyond Zebra!” “Scrambled Eggs Super!” and “The Cat’s Quizzer,” will no longer be published because they “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises, which controls publication of the late author’s works, announced Tuesday. Following the announcement, at least 158 copies of the books were placed on Ebay for auction.

The removal of the six books from publication was preceded by President Joe Biden’s decision to not mention Dr. Seuss in his “Read Across America” announcement. Former presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump both mentioned Seuss in their announcements, according to the Independent. (RELATED: Melania Trump Isn’t Happy An Elementary School Rejected Her ‘Racist’ Dr. Seuss Books)

Sellers offered 49 copies of “And To Think I Saw It On Mulberry Street,” the most of any of the books, with the highest bid placed at $650. “Mulberry Street,” published in 1937, was the first book Theodor Geisel published under the pen name Dr. Seuss.

The $864 bid placed on a first edition copy of “If I Ran The Zoo,” was the highest bid placed on any of the discontinued books. First edition book copies are rarer than later printings, so they are thus more valuable to collectors, according to Barnes and Noble. At least 37 copies of “If I Ran The Zoo,” were offered Tuesday.

Only one copy of “On Beyond Zebra!” has been listed since the Dr. Seuss Enterprises announcement, the fewest of any of the six. Sellers also listed 15 copies of “Scrambled Eggs Super!,” 35 copies of “McElligot’s Pool,” and 11 copies of “The Cat’s Quizzer.”

Five out of the six books were sold out on Amazon, while three copies of “If I Ran The Zoo” were available for purchase at more than $900.