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Title: The Lorax
Author: Dr. Seuss
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 1971
Summary: Long before saving the earth became a global concern, Dr. Seuss, speaking through his character the Lorax, warned against mindless progress and the danger it posed to the earth’s natural beauty.
Preaching to the Choir
When was the last time you read The Lorax? Me? I haven’t read it since I was a kid, and I don’t remember it being influential to my childhood. Basically, the only thing I remembered is the same quote that everyone knows whether or not they read the book: “I’m the Lorax, and I speak for the trees!” Now I am reading the book for the second or maybe third time as an adult with all of my adult ideas and experiences. Can I share a secret with y’all? I care about what is happening to the planet. I believe that climate change is a real occurrence that is affecting our present and future. I recycle paper, cardboard, cans, bottles, plastic bags, ink cartridges, and electronics. I buy environmentally friendly cleaning products and paper products made from recycled paper. I use reusable bags when I go to the grocery store. I bring a cup when I treat myself to Starbucks. So, it boils down to I am playing my part as a planeteer to help Captain Planet because the power really is mine. So…of course I am going to be on the side of the Lorax when it comes to this David versus Goliath battle!
Greed is Great
The Once-ler is a villainous “crazy with greed” mcgreederson who only cares about selling his Thneeds. He settles on land that doesn’t belong to him to reap the natural resources, Truffula Trees, without thinking of the consequences or the inhabitants. Through his actions, he basically said “skedaddle Swom-mee Swans”, “hit the bricks Humming-Fish”, and “beat it Bar-ba-loots”! The Once-ler only cares about making the moolah and turning Truffula Trees into Thneeds. If that means destroying an ecosystem with unsustainable deforestation and dumping hazardous waste into fresh water sources, then so be it! Because the Once-ler is not only the president of the Gordon Gekko Fan Club, he is also the founding member.
The Thneedy Tree-ty
In the clash between The Lorax, lone environmentalist, and The Once-ler, Mr. CEO, it is obvious that the Once-ler wins the battle (making lots of money is AWESOME!) but loses the war (can’t make Thneeds ‘cause there’s no more Truffula Trees!). When the Once-ler cuts down the last Truffula Tree, the Lorax gives him the Side Eye of Shame and lifts himself into the heavens as sacrifice for the greed of Big Business. That’s a mic drop, yo! End of discussion! The Lorax basically did his version of Kermit the Frog sipping Lipton. #TeaLizard
But with all that being said, even I have to admit that the Lorax is a bit preach and totally self righteous. He is like that vegan friend that berates you while you’re trying to enjoy your bacon cheeseburger. Of course you know it would be healthier for you and better for the planet if you ate more lettuce and legumes and less pigs and cows, but that freaking burger is delicious! Then when you bring up your heartburn, Vegan Victor just sips his green power smoothie. BLOOP!
This book is a great way for kids and adults who love the planet to connect. Depending on their age, the kids might not completely understand the thematic tones, but they will definitely enjoy the beautiful colors and illustrations. When you are looking to have story time with rhymes, timeless illustration, and a valuable message, this is a go-to book.
The Final Grade
Carpe Librum: This is considered a classic in the world of children’s literature, and I would have to agree.
So…is The Lorax one of your childhood favorites? Will you read it to your kids? Do you agree that The Lorax is right, but too preachy? Did the book inspire you to become a more dedicated environmentalist? Are you like Vegan Victor or Burger Bob? Let us know in the comments! |RL