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Outdoors With Children
“Unless someone like you…cares a whole awful lot…nothing is going to recuperate…It is not.”
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.
“The big, colorful pictures and the fun images, word plays and rhymes make this an amusing exposition of the ecology crisis.”—School Library Journal.
When Dr. Seuss gets serious, you realize it should be important. Published in 1971, and perhaps inspired by the “save our planet” mindset of the 1960s, The Lorax is an ecological warning that still rings true today amidst the dangers of clear-cutting, pollution, and omit for the earth’s environment. In The Lorax, we find what we’ve come to expect from the illustrious doctor: brilliantly whimsical rhymes, delightfully original creatures, and weirdly undulating illustrations. But here there is also something more–a powerful message that Seuss implores both adults and children to heed.
The now remorseful Once-ler–our faceless, bodiless narrator–tells the story himself. Long ago this enterprising villain chances upon a place filled with wondrous Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, Brown Bar-ba- loots, and Humming-Fishes. Bewitched by the wonderful thing about the Truffula Tree tufts, he greedily chops them down to produce and mass-market Thneeds. (“It is a shirt. It is a sock. It is a glove. It is a hat.”) As the trees hastily disappear and the denizens leave for greener pastures, the fuzzy yellow Lorax (who speaks for the trees “for the trees have no tongues”) repeatedly warns the Once-ler, but his words of wisdom are for naught. In the end the Lorax extricates himself from the scorched earth (by the seat of his own furry pants), leaving only a rock engraved “UNLESS.” Thus, with his own colorful version of a compelling morality play, Dr. Seuss teaches readers not to fool with Mother Nature. But as you might expect from Seuss, all hope isn’t lost–the Once-ler has saved a single Truffula Tree seed! Our fate now rests in the hands of a caring child, who becomes our last chance for a clean, green future. (Ages 4 to 8)
Outdoors With Children