Dr. Seuss’s famous book The Lorax was published in 1971, but the way it reads you might think its message of protecting the planet was produced today. Seuss seemed to know what was coming with climate change when he wrote about the Once-ler, a selfish profiteer hellbent on destroying a Truffula forest to fashion Thneeds, all purpose objects (which everyone, everyone, everyone needs), and the sage Lorax who tries to persuade him to stop. A cautionary tale full of lines disguised as silly rhymes warning of climate collapse, Lorax quotes continue to teach children to care for the planet.
By reading this book or watching the movie adaptation you can share these quotes with your children and help them better understand the importance of protecting the planet without being preachy. That’s the magic of Seuss, whose wild characters, including Brown Bar-ba-loots and Swomee-swans, populate the mystical world the Lorax lives in. But as we all know, that beautiful place is in jeopardy. Thanks to the Once-ler’s greed, what was an oasis for so many creatures is on the brink of becoming a smog-filled wasteland. Can it be saved? Seuss gives children the most important message of all in the final stanzas of the book: a message of hope. Hope that things can change and recover, hope that nature can heal if someone “cares a whole awful lot... ”
The Lorax has withstood the test of time because it’s such a compelling story. Even in the midst of so much that’s so wrong, those who care can make a difference.