Connect with us


UPDATE: Letters to Dr. Seuss: Umm Yousuf | Random House Consents!


UPDATE: Alhamdulilah, Sr. Umm Yousuf’s persistence paid off and Random House sent a very gracious letter that they will change the boy’s “rumpled grimace” to a “nice bright smile”.  This is a reflection on character of Americans (as opposed to the character of its government).  No argument… just a simple, “you are right, and we’ll change it, and here is a gift too”.  Forever Umm Yousuf’s effort will be memorialized in the smile of this bald boy in this book: for many more kids to enjoy, even the ones who don’t have hair for no fault of theirs.

Please take a moment to send a short note of appreciation to Random House, addressed to Alice Jonaitis via this contact page.

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

dr seuss letter

As most of our readers are probably aware, Shaykh Waleed Basyouni’s son, Yousuf, was diagnosed with leukemia some months ago.  Umm Yousuf, Yousuf’s mom, has been keeping up a blog where she opens up a little window into Yousuf’s world, where we can all be part of Yousuf’s progress towards health and betterment, insha’Allah. We’d like to share two letters that Umm Yousuf wrote “to Dr. Seuss”,  touching upon something that we may find so trivial, yet what can have such an impact upon those for whom the issue has a completely different relevance. As you read these poems, make several dua’s for little Yousuf, for his family, and for all other children and families facing this fitnah.

Also, consider writing to the Seuss Foundation, supporting Umm Yousuf’s request, though we wonder if this would be the best address for this, or if it should be to Random House Publishers. If anyone has any better idea on contacts, pls add in comments, it would be much appreciated.

Dr. Seuss Foundation
Audrey S. Geisel
7301 Encelia Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92037-5279


My Letter to Dr. Seuss

I looked forward to enjoying a nice trip to the bookstore the other day. I was checking out the kids books while Yousuf and Omar were running around on the pretend stage. They were having fun while I was looking for a book to read to them. I was browsing in my favorite section, Dr. Seuss’ books. I came across one I hadn’t seen before called “My Book About Me By Me Myself”. It was a really nice idea where the kid fills in the blanks with their name, age and details about themselves. It asks like how many teeth you have, how big your feet are -and then you trace your foot. I came across a page when it talks about the hair; the length of it, what color is it etc. Anyway, all the pictures they give you that you can choose from are all smiling except the very last one which has no hair, ie. bald. The picture of the bald kid has a very sad face expression. As soon as I saw that, I closed the book right away worried that Yousuf might see it. I literally held my tears back and steered clear from that section. I know Yousuf may have seen me getting excited about a book, in the beginning, so therefore pick it up and look through it. I was a little heartbroken, and to say the very least, upset.

SO, I decided to write a letter to the Dr. Seuss Foundation…if there was one. I did a little research and surprisingly, Dr. Seuss’ wife does have a foundation. He actually died in 1991, and get this from cancer!! The book was published in 1969, more then 20 years before he died. All I am asking for is that whoever is in charge of his books reprint them with the bald little kid having a smiling face just as all the other kids. Of course, I have to ask in a Dr. Seuss fashion. So here is goes:

Beyond the Grinches, the Hortons and Who’s,yousuf basyouni
Came a page in a book that I wouldn’t choose.
Strolling in the book store I came across my favorite section,
I looked up and down, of the rack, of this Dr,’s collection.
There was a book I hadn’t seen before, I grabbed it right off the shelf,
It was called, “A Book About Me” By Me Myself!
I thought this would be nice for my son, age four,
I opened the book and began to read more.
It looked fun and exciting, another masterpiece of his,
As we have many of his books because of the whiz that he is!
Flipping the pages I came to page four,
And what to my surprise I dropped the book on the floor!
That book, “A book About Me” By Me Myself,
I put that book right back on the shelf!
There is a part of this page I wish I could go and delete,
For I’m afraid we don’t even see on Mulberry street!
A kid picks their hair color, length and their style,
But there is one little boy who hasn’t a smile.
All but one is smiling, and by this I am appalled,
All of the kids look happy except the one who is bald!

Usually getting another Dr. Suess book is a best buy,
I just left the book and started to cry.
My son who has cancer would be sad to know,
The boy who is sad has hair he can’t grow.
So I am asking the author or the one with authority,
To make one little sick boy their priority.
Just as the red, the purple and the long hair,
Please put a smile, on the one bald, and be fair!

Dr. Seuss Letter Number TWO

I’m wondering what happened to that kid on page four,
When the mailman came, did you open your door?

This is my second attempt in getting you a letter,
To make all the kids, with cancer, feel a little bit better.

Because not everyone has hair that they can go show,
But we believe they still smile as they did long ago.

Though a little bit sick and a little bit weak,
Kids who are sick can still grin cheek to cheek,

About this kid on page four, down the row and across,
Next to the green hair, and who has the hair loss,

That last little face with no hair and sad look,
Could you please take this picture right out of your book?

In the hospital we go, if you see where we’ve been,
Many bald kids and they each have a grin!

I love Dr. Seuss and don’t want to give a bad rating,
But me and my son just keep wondering and waiting.

So this letter number two, in my effort, I write,
To please change this expression to a look of delight!

Keep supporting MuslimMatters for the sake of Allah

Alhamdulillah, we're at over 850 supporters. Help us get to 900 supporters this month. All it takes is a small gift from a reader like you to keep us going, for just $2 / month.

The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.



  1. Umm Layth

    November 18, 2009 at 1:27 AM

    as salamu alaykum

    Thank you for sharing this blog with us and the letters. Her letters touched a spot and now I can’t stop crying… Allah truly tests those whom He loves. InshaAllah this is but a way for them to come closer to Him. It breaks my heart to see the pictures of this little boy…. ya Rabb… too painful to imagine the pain he is going through. Oh Allah, bestow Your Mercy on this family and all other families going through hard tests and ease their pain… oh Allah, ease this little boy’s pain. Ameen

  2. N.S.

    November 18, 2009 at 2:23 AM

    As Salamu Alaikum,

    May Allah give Yousuf sifaa very soon, and make this fitna easy for him and his family.

    I am very impressed with Umm Yousuf’s actions, may Allah give you the strength and dedication to better our society. This article just has so many messages that I can’t help but notice. 1) as a Muslim if you see a form of oppression, correct it with action and your voice; 2) speak to the people the way they understand, 3) bettering a non-Muslim society, 4) teaching your kids from a Dr. Seuss book (really an awesome tool for kids!) even though it is a non-Muslim source.


  3. Abu Muawiyah

    November 18, 2009 at 3:17 AM

    As Salaamu Alaikum

    Masha Allah, this was a very beautiful thing the Shaykh’s wife did. It shows we can work together with the Non-Muslim community to build a better society. I am very happy to to see the way she responded, in poetry too! There are some Muslims who if they had seen that, their response would have been: It was written by Kuffar thats why its like that. Such people should learn from this wise woman’s actions

    Abu Muawiyah

  4. ummfatima

    November 18, 2009 at 7:18 AM

    Assalamualykum ,

    AllahuAkbar. Yah Allah !!!You are the one to whom we turn to help ..We ask you, we beg you to grant shifa to this little kid and all other sick kids…Indeed you are the hearer of dua.

    I am also very impressed by Umm Yousuf ..She didn`t give up and keep on insisting…Mashaallah..May Allah ease her pain.


  5. Imtiaz

    November 18, 2009 at 8:31 AM

    Has there been any response ?
    Did you try random house yet or was it just The Seuss Foundation ?

    Random House, Inc.
    1745 Broadway
    New York, NY 10019
    (212) 782-9000

    WaterBrook Press
    12265 Oracle Boulevard, Suite 200
    Colorado Springs, CO 80921
    (719) 590-4999
    (719) 590-8977 fax

    Random House, Inc.
    Distribution Center
    400 Hahn Road
    Westminster, MD 21157
    (410) 848-1900
    (800) 733-3000 (Accounts Customer Service)
    (800) 793-2665 (Consumer Customer Service)

  6. aideh

    November 18, 2009 at 8:48 AM

    wow, that is some talent writing that in poetry. TabarakAllah

    Insha Allaah, your efforts will get through to them! I applaud you Umm Yousuf!! Now this is a mother who takes action!

  7. Fauzia

    November 18, 2009 at 11:42 AM

    Salaam alaykum warahmatullah,

    to say this was impressive is an understatement of the worst kind! How many of us take such action especially at a time when we have a sick child to care for? I have truly learnt a great lesson by reading Umm Yousuf’s letters. This is how we should move to change our society by making it better for one and all. This is a true example of a strong, forward thinking Muslim woman and I for one am proud of her! It sure beats the stereotypical comments we hear everyday about who we are or supposed to be! I will be sending a letter to the foundation and I hope they action this request.

    May Ar Rahman bestow His Mercy on this family and other families, grant little Yousuf a shifa’ that doesn’t leave any traces of sickness in his body, give them an abundance of patience and give them ease…ameen thumma ameen. Was salaam alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh.

  8. Yasminah

    November 18, 2009 at 12:05 PM

    What a wonderful mommy, mashaAllah!

    May Allah grant them ease and patience during this hardship and restore Yousuf to perfect health, ameen!

  9. Holly Garza

    November 18, 2009 at 12:36 PM

    SubhanAllah sitting here in Tears Great Job at the rhyming even though your heart must have been aching when writing it. Great job you have not only moved and impressed me but I will be sharing this as well if you don’t mind? May I?

  10. Yasir Qadhi

    November 18, 2009 at 2:54 PM

    Ma sha Allah this is really great.

    May Allah reward Sh. Waleed and Umm Yusuf for their extra patience and sacrifice, and cure Yusuf with a swift and complete cure!


    PS I’m a huge fan of Dr. Seuss’s books. Not only did I grow up reading them (they are the earliest memories I have of reading), I love to recite them to my children!

  11. muslimahh

    November 18, 2009 at 5:33 PM

    mashAllah, Ya umm yusuf, do not worry, inshAllah Allah will grant your son Shifaa sooon, very very soon, you will see, and he’ll have a smile always, may Allah grant him and you and your family smiles in this dunia and in the here after…Ameeen…it’s just a test inshAllah, just be patient sister, Sadaqa has cured many and many many people who suffered from cancer, I heard so many stories…Qiyam has cured many…and Allah is the one who cures his I’bad, May Yusuf grow to become a sheikh and an Immam leading the new muslim generation to the right way.


  12. Cucumber

    November 18, 2009 at 5:45 PM

    SubhanAllah, this brought tears to my eyes. May Allah azzawajal grant you patience. Little Yusuf and your family are always in my du’as.

    May Allah reward you for caring so much about all the children, this was really inspirational.

  13. Mehdi Sheikh

    November 18, 2009 at 9:13 PM

    While the poems are nice and cute, I am sure the Seuss foundation gets tons of them everyday, to the point of it becoming mundane. If you really want results why not just try a real serious letter?

    • Verbage

      November 19, 2009 at 3:49 PM

      obviously it worked?

      • Mehdi Sheikh

        November 19, 2009 at 9:12 PM

        wow. someone actually reads all their mail seriously. I stand corrected.

  14. Kul

    November 18, 2009 at 9:56 PM

    May Allah cure Yousuf of his illness and give happiness and good heath through out his life and May Allah bless the family with patience and barakah. Amen

  15. SSal

    November 18, 2009 at 10:00 PM

    Masha’Allah, amazing what you did Um Yousuf!

    May Allah SWT reward you and your husband for your patience, and May He grant your son and the rest of the children out there shifaa’! Ameen.

  16. Amad

    November 19, 2009 at 1:39 AM

    This is a proud moment for Umm Yousuf, her family, for Random House and for everyone who believe in the inherent goodness of people.

    Mashallah, it is great that the new book will have a smiling boy, all because one person decided that no other parent of a child or the child himself/herself should see a bald child with a grimace… esp. when it is no fault of theirs. May Allah cure Yousuf and return back his hair to go along with his bright smile… Ameen ya rabb.

  17. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  18. Abu Muawiyah

    November 19, 2009 at 4:12 AM

    Subhanallah! This shows that if we make positive efforts and work with the Non-Muslim for points of mutual benefit, then we can accomplish so much.

    May Allah bless the Shaykh and his wife and grant their son complete recovery, and may Allah guide the good people at Random House to the straight path.

  19. iMuslim

    November 19, 2009 at 4:57 AM

    So pleased to see that the letters were received and responded to, alhamdulillah. Yey! :)

    I didn’t grow up with Dr Seuss… I’m not sure if it’s just more popular in the States, or at least when I was growing up. I’m sure things have changed by now, especially with films like ‘The Grinch’, and ‘Horton hears a Who’. I do remember coming across one Dr Seuss book in the local library when I was little, but the illustrations scared me! I guess it wasn’t meant to be… hehe :)

  20. Amatullah

    November 19, 2009 at 5:04 AM

    mashaAllah that is AWESOME that they responded! :) May Allah reward you Umm Yousuf.

  21. Imtiaz

    November 19, 2009 at 5:25 AM

    Alhamdulilah no boycott necessary ! lol…

  22. UmA

    November 19, 2009 at 7:54 AM

    Salam alaykum
    The things we can do for others by helping our own, ma sha Allah

    I just sent in this note at the address above:

    I recently learned about your plans to make your book about Me by Me Myself more bald friendly. Congratulations. What a great learning opportunity for kids of all levels of hair. Any more titles in the works for all little friends with big medical trials? Hospitals would love to see some, I’m sure. Kind regards and all the best.

  23. muslimahh

    November 19, 2009 at 11:36 AM

    mashAllah…. :)
    that is good news, May Allah cure him

  24. darthvaider

    November 19, 2009 at 12:25 PM

    subhanAllah this is really great news. May Allah grant Yousuf shifaa and sabr to Umm Yousuf and the entire family. Ameen.

  25. MUA

    November 19, 2009 at 2:11 PM

    superbly creative!

  26. ibnmasood

    November 19, 2009 at 2:55 PM

    CAN SOMEONE PLEASE REPORT THIS TO THE MEDIA?!?! This is an AWESOME contribution, indicative of the type of positive change Muslims can be making in society, masha Allah!

  27. Verbage

    November 19, 2009 at 3:50 PM

    masha’Allah :)

  28. Muslim02

    November 19, 2009 at 3:55 PM


    May Allah continue to give you and the entire family sabr and quick shifa to Yousuf aka”YOYO” if you know him like that. I miss and Love you both.

    Thinking of you guys ….

  29. Abu Ayesha Al Emarati

    November 19, 2009 at 7:19 PM

    Talented sister MashaAllah, there are loads of sisters out there who are like that. Umm Ayesha herself is like that and I’ve always felt we should encourage our wives and sisters to take the initiative to bring about changes in society.


    May allah cure Yusuf completely. Aameen.

    And all like him. Aameen

  30. Sadaf Farooqi

    November 19, 2009 at 9:12 PM

    May Allah grant shifa to Yusuf and all the other sick little children on this earth, and reward Umm Yusuf for representing Islam in such a positive light.
    It is so great to know that there are proactive, positive, and strong-willed mothers in our ummah! May Allah bless them.

  31. Umm Yousuf

    November 19, 2009 at 10:35 PM

    Salaam alaykum wa rahmatulahi wa barakatuh,

    First of all, JazakaAllah khair to Muslim Matters for posting my story and letters. I never knew that I would get such a great response, alhamdulilah. I learned something from all of this, that no matter how small a deed is, it can bring a lot of good.

    Thank you to all of those participating in giving Randon House a letter of thanks. It will be those letters (from Muslims) who will help shape a new image of Muslims in this society, insha’Allah.

    Finally, and if nothing else, I have benefited and given so much strength in each of the dua’s.

    Umm Yousuf

    • Holly Garza

      November 19, 2009 at 11:11 PM

      InshaAllah May Allah reward and keep you and your family Ameen

  32. Holly Garza

    November 19, 2009 at 11:10 PM

    SubhanaAllah! AlhamduliAllah! How awesome that they replied and will be changing it. AlhamduliAllah!

  33. abu abdAllah Tariq Ahmed

    November 19, 2009 at 11:27 PM

    MashaAllah. :) I read this thread before going to bed. A blessing, worth much professing. I’m glad, I am, for the boy with the beautiful smile.

  34. Umm Bilqis

    November 19, 2009 at 11:56 PM

    Ya Rabb please give shifa’ca to a little boy named Yusuf and all the Muslims that are ailing, or in prison without reason except their love for you and those who are defending their land , property, selves, wealth and the oppressed!
    Allahumaa Ameen.

  35. Aurora

    November 20, 2009 at 12:26 AM

    Asalamu alaykum,

    Alhamdulillah! I’m sooo glad to hear about the reply! It just made my day.

    Umm Yousuf, may Allah reward you immensely and keep you strong. You’re truly an inspiration for your strength and overwhelming amount of patience. Allah truly loves those who are patient. :)

    I’ll keep the little sweetheart, Yousuf in my duas. He’s beautiful masha’Allah! May Allah grant him health!

  36. umm haya

    November 21, 2009 at 7:05 AM

    May Allah grant your son shifa ya umm yusuf and may this be a source of purification for your entire family………

  37. umtalhah

    November 22, 2009 at 11:57 PM

    a wonderful story and a truly happy ending here.

    may Allah give yusuf a swift and complete cure and reward him and his parents abundantly.

  38. Pingback: Bald Kid in Dr. Suess Book Gets a Smile: MM

  39. Pingback: Twitted by yasminhamidi

  40. Pingback: Positively Muslim in the West: Umm Yousuf |

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *