The Lorax

by Dr. Seuss

Hardcover, 1971

Status

Available

Call number

JC A SEU

Series

Publication

New York : Random House, 1999, c1971.

User reviews

LibraryThing member gbill
Brilliant, and in the must-read category for kids. The Lorax is the story of a bright beautiful world full of ecological diversity that turns into a gray, smog-ridden wasteland through industrialization. It’s telling that the Once-lers, the businessmen chopping down all the truffula trees because they are interested in short-term profit only, are faceless. Isn’t that how they are in real life?

The “protect the environment” message is obvious and a teeny bit on the heavy-handed side; aside from that, there are a few other great messages, the first of which was captured perfectly by a wise friend:
Give a damn. “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
Sometimes those who may be a preachy and a pain because they’re challenging what’s happening are actually right. Listen to them. Don’t be afraid to be them.
Even when all looks dark, continue to hope, and make a positive impact.

Of all the Seuss books, this one was my daughter’s favorite.
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LibraryThing member varwenea
I did not grow up with Dr. Seuss books. English was not my first language. Even though I had read many children’s books when I was learning English, I recall rejecting these books. Now that I read it as an adult, I understood why I had set these aside at the library. Lots and lots of made-up words. I was reading with a dictionary, and it’s a *%$ as a 10 year old that I can’t understand the concept of made-up words! Lol. Hindsight is 20/20, and now I appreciate the beauty of this book before me.

In this cautionary tale, the visionary Dr. Seuss calls attention to the need of protecting our environment. The Lorax is the speaker for the trees and the animals; he repeatedly pleads with the destructive Once-ler not to chop all the trees down and not to pollute the water. But in his “figgering on biggering”, the Once-ler ignores the pleading until all was lost. The Once-ler punishes himself by staying in his destroyed world and was finally awaken from his stupor when telling his tale to the curious boy that he realizes “UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” This boy receives the last Truffula seed. Grow a forest, and maybe Lorax and his friends will return.

From the brown earth and hazy polluted skies that filled the present-tense pages which transformed into the colorful trees and bright blue skies in the story of the past, Dr. Seuss called attention not only to the environment but also mocked the more and more consumerism – “who would buy that fool Thneed”. But fools do come and buy such nonsense. There is no happy ending, as we the readers need to participate to bring forth that happy ending. Sadly, 44 years since the 1971 publication, that happy ending is yet to come.

This truly is a top notch relevant tale perfect for the youngster (especially ones in a room full of toys), hopefully read with a loving parent to explain the details.
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LibraryThing member conuly
This is one of Dr. Seuss's more moralizing books.

Here's the funny thing. I like Dr. Seuss. I agree with the points he makes in most of his preachier books - The Lorax, The Butter Battle Book, The Sneetches, Yertle the Turtle. The message in this book (seriously, cutting down beautiful woodland for junk is a foolish idea) is a good and timely one.

And yet... I don't like the book that much. I think it's a little heavy-handed, and while I understand *why* it is heavy-handed (and maybe it needs to be), it just plain irritates me.

I took off half a star for that. I do have a copy of it, but it's for private reading, not reading aloud.
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LibraryThing member fame123
this story is about a man named the LORAX and he speaks for the trees. their is one man he is the onesler he's the one who choped ALL the trees :( :(. ALSO Theire was a boy who wonderd abou the real trees... so he was bthe one who saved the DAY :)
LibraryThing member MeditationesMartini
What could make Dr. Seuss better? What about a social justice message, a sense of wist for what is lost and cannot be regained, and the prismatic tufts of the truffula trees??? This classic has all three of those self-evident goods.
LibraryThing member quaintlittlehead
I somehow never managed to get my hands on this book during childhood, but as possibly Dr. Seuss' most adult story, that doesn't really seem to matter. The colour contrasts in this book are striking and effective, and the message remains sadly relevant over 40 years after it was written. Critics often call the story "preachy;" I would simply say that its theme is less figurative than that of some of the author's other stories (say, "The Sneetches" for example). Probably the most powerful thing about the book, though, is the abruptness of its ending. I expected the typical, happy, "I've learned my lesson" wrap-up, and that's not what you get. Or maybe it is--but it's you, the reader, who has learned the lesson, and not the main character.… (more)
LibraryThing member chengc28
The Lorax is a classic children’s picture book by Dr. Seuss, published in 1971.

The book is a cautionary fable about the dangers of unregulated capitalism/industrial development. Dr. Seuss employs the literary technique of personification to give voices to abstract concepts such as nature/the environment in the form of the Lorax and industrial progress in the form of the Once-ler. While the book does have a message which is preaches, unlike some stories where the moral lesson is told at the expense of the story, the Lorax’s theme of environmentalism/conservation is quite effortlessly integrated into the rhyming text. In addition to the excellently written text, the book features colorful illustrations in the unmistakable Dr. Seuss style. The illustrations work well in that they help establish the setting, define the characters, reinforce the text and establish the mood.

The Lorax is an important children’s picture book in its historical context, because it is a book with an explicitly environmentalist stance, long before environmentalism became mainstream. Overall, the Lorax is a fun and entertaining read for all ages.
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LibraryThing member JenRobYoung
Story of how a good business idea and way to earn money, if waisting precious resources can negativity impact our environment.
LibraryThing member celestialfingerpaint
"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 except old crows, is the street of the Lifted Lorax."

This book was read to my class by our science teacher on Earth Day when I was in fifth grade. She even spent who knows how many hours wrapping beans in foil so each of us could have a Truffula seed. I managed to work a reference to the story into an Optimist Club speech I gave several years later. When I read this story to my little sister, she was always delighted by the voice I gave the Lorax. It has a message, but it's also a fun read for children, as one would expect from Dr. Seuss.… (more)
LibraryThing member beau.p.laurence
a must for any environmentalist. I grew up with this book. The Lorax and The Giving Tree influenced me more than any other books ever have.
LibraryThing member verbafacio
Somehow, I managed to make it to age 26 with no recollection of ever reading this book. I think maybe it was a little grim for my mom to read to us when I was a kid. She didn't like to address unhappy things very much. However, this will definitely be on my list to read to my kids early and often (once I have them), as I can't think of a better way to explain environmentalism and industry to a small child.… (more)
LibraryThing member mamorico
A fantastic message delivered before it's time. This book is a bit dark for young children. The message may be more appropriate for teens and adults.
LibraryThing member jhedlund
The message in this book about the impact of our actions on the environment is perhaps even more relevant in today's times than it was when it was written. Certainly, it is more urgent. The story and pictures are presented in a way that even the youngest of children can understand the message. The book is a great way to introduce children to the topic of taking responsibility for our actions, to the planet, and to all creatures. This book should be in every child's library and in every school.

I can't count how many times I've read this to my daughter, and she gets something new out of it each and every time. She asks a lot of questions, so the book has become a springboard for teaching her about caring for the earth and for others. Rather than being a "dark" message, as some other reviews have suggested, I think the book ends with a strong message of hope - the hope contained in the last remaining truffula seed. Even the Once-ler has some redemption in the end, learning that it's never too late to take action to right our wrongs.
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LibraryThing member chocolatechip
this is just an all around great reminder to take care of the environment
LibraryThing member numbert
The very best of Dr. Seuss. This is a book designed for children ,but it has a message for everyone. In the Lorax it comments on how we are useing up nature and not respecting it as we should. It is an excellent one for parents to read to thier kids with a little reminder to the parent to think before they throw away something instead of recyce, or to maybe consider getting that more expencive hybrid car.… (more)
LibraryThing member abbeystombaugh
Beautiful. I recieved this book from the directors, Doug King and Leslie Beauchamp, of Suessical the Musical at the Civic Theatre this summer on opening night. I had never read it before, but it's beautiful and had lots of good messages. My copy is even better because of the personal messages written in the cover. :)
LibraryThing member rjmcwhorter1
This story is cleverly written, and would probably be better appreciated by a slightly older crowd. It has a good theme that all ages can somehow identify with, and I think that makes a book more enjoyable for teachers to read to their students, if they can identify with it as well.
LibraryThing member paroof
Good of course - gret even - and with the usual social message if you care to read it that way. I am one of Dr. Seuss's biggest fans. This isn't my favorite of his works though. A little too heavy handed to be excellent - just my humble opinion. But again, like I said I'm a huge Seuss fan and I think anything of his is at least great.… (more)
LibraryThing member m.gilbert
Powerful environmental message aside, this is a wonderful book to read aloud and beautifully illustrated. My three-year-old loves it. I think it's one of Dr. Seuss's darker books--the laughter and the sadness point you to something profound about (human) nature, greed, social responsibility, and hope. Not that these matters to her yet, but they will, maybe some day.… (more)
LibraryThing member Bitter_Grace
I think this is the best environmentalism book ever, and it's not even a product of our 21st century global warming scare. Witty and playful yet heartfelt and compelling, it teaches and entertains at the same time, which is surely the best sort of book. Interestingly, it shows the way that irresponsible production and consumerism go hand-in-hand with the desctruction of nature, a concept you don't find in many children's book, but one that is also beautifuly explored in the film "Wall-E." Also poignant are the illustrations which go from Dr. Suess's usual psychdelic colors to drab grey as the truffula forests are destroyed. And Suess's irreverence for language! Huzzah for the editors who let him play with words without fear that children would grow up saying "biggered" and "sharpish"!… (more)
LibraryThing member t1bclasslibrary
Though I generally dislike Suess' made up words and rhymes (and I've read that kids shouldn't read his books because they haven't yet learned when something's made up), this is a book I really respect. In this imaginary place, the Lorax stands alone to defend the earth from corperations. We see what happens to the land, air, and water and the plants and animals on it when we are not carful custodians of the earth. This book is an important part of an environmental education, and a way to introduce kids to problems profoundly but with a degree of separation that oddly allows for empathy.… (more)
LibraryThing member julie_savage
This book about the impact of our actions on the environment is quite relevant iin to. Certainly, it is more urgent. The story aday's society. The book tries to teach and encourage children to care for our planet. I think the message it was written before a time where anyone was even concerned about the earth. I think it really ties in to the story of Wall-E , the new Disney movie.… (more)
LibraryThing member mjbengtson
I loved this book growing up. Very long and very interesting with a good moral story hidden inside. The illustrations are very good too.
LibraryThing member PigOfHappiness
In this inspirational story, readers are taught to value and respect the environment and all its riches. Appropriate for second grade and beyond...
LibraryThing member kimcc
There are very poignant lines in the story, such as “You never can tell what some people will buy” as the Once-ler’s philosophy on why it’s okay to use the trees to make the Thneeds. Another telling line is "business is business! And business must grow..." The Once-ler justifies growing his business beyond sustainability by saying his product is something "which everyone needs." Even though the book is over 30 years old and depicts a forest environment, it reads very contemporary and can be applied to various situations (such as oil spills in 2010).

This could be a book used with different levels of children or even a whole school for a Earth-day project. The underlying point of the ending is that a new generation can make new choices. A school could decide on a project to do across grades and read this book at an assembly (for example) or within each class...and then each grade could choose a project for Earth day. The project could include different levels of sophistication and research, depending on the ages involved.
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Original publication date

1971

ISBN

9780394823379

Local notes

inscription: donated by Kaye Wright 2018
Note: There is a set of First Day School Lessons accompanying this book (and other Dr Seuss books): JR BRI large.

Call number

JC A SEU

Barcode

5959
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