Andrea's Reviews > The Lorax

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
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's review
Oct 27, 2007

it was ok
bookshelves: picture-books
Read in October, 2007

So, I understand that this book was written a long time ago, before this kind of environmental fairy tale was popularized, and perhaps when it was needed more. But it still seems like a total straw man (hello? can't you just plant your own grove of sustainable truffula trees?). And does the Lorax have to be such a jerk about everything? Maybe he could propose some sort of compromise . . . I guess as a kids' book it's supposed to be simple for kids to understand, but kids aren't that dumb. I like a lot of Dr. Seuss, but any time he's trying to get across any kind of message (even a good one) it just rubs me the wrong way.
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12/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-13 of 13) (13 new)

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Michael Hughes You obviously just don't get it.

Michael Hughes Think about this and ask yourself if the Lorax was being a "jerk" for speaking angrily for the trees, the animals, and the water.

Current Mass Extinction Spurs Major Study of Which Plants to Save

October 20, 2008

(Santa Barbara, Calif.) –– The Earth is in the midst of the sixth mass extinction of both plants and animals, with nearly 50 percent of all species disappearing, scientists say.

Because of the current crisis, biologists at UC Santa Barbara are working day and night to determine which species must be saved. Their international study of grassland ecosystems, with flowering plants, is published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

"The current extinction event is due to human activity, paving the planet, creating pollution, many of the things that we are doing today," said co-author Bradley J. Cardinale, assistant professor of ecology, evolution and marine biology (EEMB) at UC Santa Barbara. "The Earth might well lose half of its species in our lifetime. We want to know which ones deserve the highest priority for conservation."

message 3: by Andrea (last edited Oct 21, 2008 12:34PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrea Sorry, I still think the whole situation in the book is a straw man. The real world isn't that simple -- it's nowhere close to the situation described in the book. I'm all for saving plants and animals, but let's work together in a way that's respectful of all involved, and let's use technology and our brains to find solutions where everyone wins.

Michael Hughes It's a FABLE! It's not a work of nonfiction or an essay -- it is meant to illuminate on a deeper, poetic, heart level. Do you criticize characters in fairy tales for being too mean or too nice? The Lorax is a fairy tale wrapped around a deep message -- that we need to care about plants, animals, and the world we live in.

I started an organization many years ago called The Lorax Society. I went to schools, fairs, festivals, and wherever else they'd let me and I read the book aloud to groups of kids and adults. You could see when the core message of compassion and stewardship clicked in the eyes of those listening. The kids got it. As you stated, kids aren't dumb. They understand it is a simplification and not a depiction of reality -- but they also understand the simple truth at its core.

Have you read the Sneetches book? It's also simplistic, but its message -- that prejudice is wrong -- is essentially a simple message. Same with The Lorax. We should have compassion and respect for the other beings on this planet and not foul up our air and water.

Please put aside the idea that the book is a persuasive essay -- it's not. It's a work of art meant to evoke emotions to get people to consider the impact of their actions on the natural world. The book is so powerful it was actually banned in many libraries -- that shows the power of its simple (not simplistic) message.

j to the muthafuckin R you said:
"Maybe he could propose some sort of compromise"
"but let's work together in a way that's respectful of all involved"

If you mean compromise with corporations that are tearing away the natural world and making way for a plastic one, and to be respectful of them...
we have.
we have compromised, and we have been too kind.
and look where that got us.

Petra Eggs lol@J to the m R

I like your review Andrea. Well-argued.

Daybook I enjoyed reading these comments Andrea. I totally agree with you.

Michaela Compromise? Everytime a warning was issued the BIGGERING continued anyway. Where the animals supposed to eat less fruit? Swim in only slightly filthier water and breathe slightly more contaminated air? or should Seuss have thought of a clever simple rhyme where a supply&demand shift caused a soaring cost and the Onceler was able to make more money AND stay small. Maybe a little r&d for thnead options that come from more renewable resources like bamboo fibers?

message 9: by Andrea (last edited Jul 10, 2012 10:30AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Andrea I think R&D for bamboo is a great idea. Fibers like hemp are great, too. Sometimes people forget what the actual paper industry does, which is replant several trees for every tree they cut down. This way the companies have a constant supply of trees for paper. Or even what the national forests do, which is allow the trees that need to be thinned to be cut down for firewood and other wood uses.

We need practical solutions like this where everyone wins, not a lot finger-pointing and making people feel bad without any concrete ideas that could actually work.

message 10: by Brion smith (new) - added it

Brion smith I think it is a good job on this book

Suzanne Cowan Hon, i've lived my whole life at the edge of a National Forest where they sell the trees there to the lumber industry for various uses. Sure they plant trees for the ones they cut down, pines, maybe. Two crappy pines for every long life hardwood. As a result we get pine forests that grow quickly so they can be cut down again quickly, although in a few years the soil becomes so acidic nothing grows well there anymore.
So go ahead and complain that a Seuss book didn't get the message right. Maybe kids should just read a Dork diary book or something else fluffy since the 'sustainable' message didn't come across. These days we should all just appreciate the fact that there are still a few books out there that teach some kind of freakin' message to the kids at all instead of nitpicking about details most children won't understand until they are older anyway.

Jordan The Lorax is a classic story by Dr. Seuss that teaches children how to enjoying the beauty of life (nature) and that doing things the easy way isn't always the best way. I think this is a great lesson for all ages. It also teaches them that even just one person can make a difference. I completey disagree with you the Lorax is not a jerk. He is the voice of nature. People were destroying nature, how would you feel. I recommend this book because it sends a great message. Dr. Seuss uses vibrant colors as well as simplistic shapes to help engage the reader. His images show that your imagination has no limitation.

Meghan Maybe it also shows how important it is for environmentalists to work out these problems in a positive way. It could be a great conversation to have with older kids, even... What could the Lorax have done to be more convincing? I mean, environmentalists and other, similar groups DO tend to over do it, and rub people the wrong way. This is why I think it's kinda brilliant. Don't be like the Lorax! Ha ha.

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