Review: The Lorax

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Title: The Lorax

TheLorax245 Author: Theodor Seuss Geisel (Dr. Seuss)

Themes: Excellent Read-Aloud, Environmentalism, Humor, Exquisite Illustrations, Extraordinary Language
Published: 1971, 72 pages

'Sweet' book summary:
Reviewer: Melissa Y.

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

These are the prescient words of Theodor Seuss Geisel at the end of The Lorax. Talk about a forward thinking mind. Dr. Seuss was really a wonder. His stories are so entertaining, yet so very thought-provoking for the child and the parent. The Lorax is no exception.

The Lorax is the speaker for the trees, because the trees can't speak for themselves. When the Once-ler chops down his first Truffala Tree, the Lorax pops out of the stump and demands that the Once-ler stop hurting the Truffala Trees. But the Once-ler needs the soft tuft to make his Thneeds. The Once-ler explains why everyone needs a Thneed, although the Lorax (and the reader) can't help but wonder why everyone needs such a seemingly useless product. He doesn't heed the Lorax's warning, but instead, he soldiers on, making more and more Thneeds and chopping down more and more Truffala Trees. The demand for the Thneeds is endless, and the Once-ler produces them until there isn't a tree left, much to the sadness of the Lorax. With all the trees gone, the animals, the birds and the fish (and the Lorax!) must move on, and the Once-ler is left all alone with his misery, in a desolate environment. He finds out too late that the Lorax had been right when he wanted to preserve the trees!

The undisguised message in The Lorax is that of conservation. But, as with all of Dr. Seuss's work, there is more to it. The smaller message here, for your reader, could simply be about caring for the things in their world. For a preschooler, it could simply be caring for a pet or being a good listener in school or at home. The beauty in Dr. Seuss's messages is that they are universal. A parent reading The Lorax may come away with the idea that perhaps they could recylcle more or walk instead of drive. A child reading The Lorax may be prompted to take better care of the books in their classroom library. Dr. Seuss's work is remarkably global and applicable for all age groups.



What You Need to Know:
  • The Lorax is a cautionary tale; its message of conservation is possibly even more relevant today then when it was written in 1971.
  • As with all of Seuss's stories, The Lorax is an entertaining and thought-provoking tale.
  • The movie version, based loosely on The Lorax, was just released on March 2, 2012.
  • This is always a great title to read on Earth Day, April 22, 2012.

If you liked this book, try:
  • Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
  • Look for the Lorax by Tish Rabe
  • How to Help the Earth-by the Lorax by Tish Rabe
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