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Drop the Pop? Library Gets Request to Ban Dr. Seuss Book

The library said it takes all complaints "very seriously"

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    TK
    The Toronto Public Library's Materials Review Committee wrote that Dr. Seuss' "Hop on Pop" is "humorous" and "well-loved" in response to a complaint that the book encourages violence.

    Dr. Seuss' famous rhyming book "Hop on Pop" was one of seven publications that residents asked the Toronto Public Library to remove this year.

    A patron requested that the children's classic be banned, saying it "encourages children to use violence against their fathers."

    The complainant asked that the library remove the book and issue an apology to fathers in the greater Toronto area — presumably because they were put at a greater risk of being hopped on. It also said the library should pay for damages resulting from the book.

    In "Hop on Pop," two children hop on their father, much to his dismay. "HOP POP We like to hop. We like to hop on top of Pop. STOP You must not hop on Pop," Seuss wrote. The lesson at the end is that children shouldn't hop on their parents, a detail cited by the library's Materials Review Committee as a reason for keeping the book. "The children are actually told not to hop on pop," the committee said.

    The library also wrote that the book is "well-loved" and that it "appeared on many 'Best of' children's book lists" since its publication in 1963.

    Several Dr. Seuss books have faced bans over the years, normally because of the political messages Seuss would weave into his stories. "Green Eggs and Ham" was banned in Maoist China from 1965 until Seuss' death in 1991 for its "portrayal of early Marxism."

    Seuss' book "The Lorax" came under fire in 1988 for its depiction of the logging industry as destroying the environment. A member of the National Wood Flooring Association wrote a counter book called "Truax," which showed support for loggers.

    The Toronto Public Library's review committee denied all of this year's requests for removal. Among other publications on the list was the 1984 children's book "Lizzy's Lion," in which a lion eats a robber who is terrorizing a girl. Bill O'Reilly's 2012 book "Killing Kennedy: The End of Camelot," which is about the assassination of John F. Kennedy, was also on the list.

    The Toronto Public Library has some 32 million books in circulation and is the world's busiest urban library system, according to its website.