First lady Melania Trump fired back Friday at a Massachusetts elementary school librarian who rejected her donation of Dr. Seuss books, claiming their illustrations are examples of “racist propaganda.”
Stephanie Grisham, director of communications for the first lady's office, said in a statement that the response was "unfortunate," and Melania wanted to use her platform "to help as many children as she can," reports Fox News.
"She has demonstrated this in both actions and words since her husband took office, and sending books to children across the country is but one example," she said. "To turn the gesture of sending young students some books into something divisive is unfortunate, but the First Lady remains committed to her efforts on behalf of children everywhere."
To celebrate “National Read a Book Day,” the first lady had sent out a collection of 10 Dr. Seuss books to one school in each state across the nation. The titles included: "The Cat in the Hat"; "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish"; "Wacky Wednesday"; "Green Eggs and Ham"; and "Oh, the Places You’ll Go!"
She followed in the footsteps of her predecessor, Michelle Obama, who often read Dr. Seuss books to children. Former first ladies Hillary Clinton and Barbara Bush also read to children at Dr. Seuss-themed educational events.
“I wanted to send you a special gift. Dr. Seuss’s Oh, the Places You’ll Go! is a book my son and I have read over and over again, and one that we want to share with all of you,” the first lady wrote in her letter to students. “Please also remember that you are the future of America and that you can accomplish anything you set your mind to.”
But despite the gesture, Liz Phipps Soeiro, a librarian at a public school in Cambridge, wrote a letter to the first lady, which was then published on The Horn Book blog, notifying Trump that her school would “not be keeping the titles” for their collection, explaining that her school didn’t have a “NEED” for the books, due to her school and library’s “award-winning” status.