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The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
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The Lorax (1971)

by Dr. Seuss

Series: The Lorax

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,8972681,116 (4.4)86
The Once-ler describes the results of the local pollution problem.
  1. 40
    The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (kellyholmes)
    kellyholmes: Another great book about the importance of trees.
  2. 10
    Our Tree Named Steve by Alan Zweibel (kellyholmes)
    kellyholmes: Both are about why trees are so great!
  3. 00
    The Wump World by Bill Peet (al.vick)
  4. 00
    Bumperboy & The Loud, Loud Mountain by Debbie Huey (cransell)
  5. 00
    The Woodcutter's Christmas by Brad Kessler (juniperSun)
    juniperSun: While the woodcutter deals with real people, they both make the point that "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
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» See also 86 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 266 (next | show all)
$14.95
  CapitalCityPCS | Sep 20, 2019 |
Dr. Seuss calls out the rampant overuse of resources in this classic tale of one man ruining the environment all to make something no one needs or uses. The Lorax is a cautionary tale that still resonates with anyone concerned about climate change and the loss of species. ( )
  lisaladdvt | Jul 6, 2019 |
It had an interesting correlation to the Cold War. Not as fun as his usual books but just as interesting ( )
  bookscantgetenough | May 5, 2019 |
Among the handful of books one of our granddaughters habitually chooses for me to read to her is this, reportedly the author's favourite. Whether it's the pictures, the words, the message or a mixture of some or all of these I haven't asked, but it obviously appeals strongly to her. For the moment I'm happy that it clearly holds some magic for her, even at the age of six, and that now may not be the time to analyse how or why, only to recognise that it does.

The Lorax is an uncomfortable parable about the despoilation of our planet. It's depressing that, half a century on, the moral of the tale has no more been learnt than it was by the Once-lers of our world back when it was first published:

UNLESS someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
It's not.


As with the tale of Pandora's box, there is a soupçon of hope at the end, an indication that youngsters, if they've learnt from the mistakes made by their pig-headed elders, may be able to begin repairing at least some of the damage done.

The tale is told with Dr Seuss' customary verve, wit and insight. A young lad is walking "at the far end of town | where the Grickle-grass grows" along to the Street of the Lifted Lorax. Who is the Lorax and how and why was he lifted? Only the Once-ler knows, and he lives closeted in his multi-storeyed Lerkim. For a measly payment he will tell you his multi-layered story.

The land was once pristine with colourful Truffula Trees, in among which flew Swomee-Swans, where Brown Bar-ba-loots frisked and Humming-Fish splashed. But the Once-ler began a production line knitting thneeds made from the soft tufts of the Truffula Trees.

What is a Thneed? It's
a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need!
It's a shirt. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat...

(I'm not entirely sure it could function as a snood though who knows...)

But, like so much that's manufactured in bulk, it's not something that's really needed---it's frivolous, a fashion item, a passing fad. And, while the forest is rapidly being chopped down, the Lorax, guardian of the trees, warns of the imminent departure of the creatures. But does the Once-ler care?

I biggered my factory. I biggered my roads.
I biggered my wagons. I biggered the loads
of the Thneeds I shipped out.


And of course the inevitable happens: all resources are finite; a polluted grey landscape is the result, denuded of trees and devoid of animal life.

The author sugars this otherwise bitter pill in his own inimitable style. The Once-ler is never fully revealed--he could be anybody, he could even be me or you. The Lorax is of a type with the figures of Yoda, Mr Miyagi or E Nesbit's grumpy It. The buildings and machines have a Heath-Robinson look about them, the technicolor landscapes a more natural version of a Big Rock Candy Mountain. Simultaneously, the delight with words and rhymes is everywhere, not just the Lerkim and Thneed but also phrases like "smoke-smuggled stars" and "cruffulous croak".

The Lorax's repeated cry of I speak for the trees! has been very appropriately borrowed by environmentalists. Judging from the ill-advised trailer I suggest you skip the atrocious animated feature and read the original to yourself, to your offspring and to anyone who has ears but who so far seems to lack both common sense and a moral compass. ( )
  ed.pendragon | Apr 3, 2019 |
This book is a good one to pair with a lesson over the environment, or saving the trees. Will you be like the borax and be a voice for the right thing, or will you just stay to yourself? ( )
  Morgan_Lindsey20 | Mar 28, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 266 (next | show all)
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Epigraph
Dedication
For Audrey, Lark and Lea With Love
First words
At the far end of town where the Grickle-grass grows and the wind smells slow-and-sour when it blows and no birds ever sing excepting old crows... is the Street of the Lifted Lorax.
Quotations
I am the Lorax, I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues ....
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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Book description
This is a story about deforestation and the conservation of land.  It is a perfect book to introduce environmental topics in the classroom.  The colorful illustrations are fantastic and sure are an attention getter.  I would suggest 2nd grade as an appropriate time to introduce this book.

Links to additional materials:  http://kids.mongabay.com/lesson_plans/lisa_algee/deforestation.html
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