5 "Lorax" Quotes That Will Inspire Kids To Care A Whole Lot

“I speak for the trees.”

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... ”


"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees. I speak for the trees as the trees have no tongues.”

In two simple sentences in this great Lorax quote, Dr. Seuss sums up the question of our time: who speaks on behalf of the environment? If not us, who? This quote is meaningful because it explains to a child what it means to give voice to the voiceless, and that includes plants and animals. In this case, the Lorax has become the advocate for all the things that grow and live in the Truffula forest. Without him, there would be no one to defend the environment. The same can be said for our own world. And kids don’t have to know the extent of climate change to make a difference. Instead you can apply this message to the importance of recycling or not littering to help them speak for their own planet.


“The Lorax said nothing. Just gave me a glance .. . just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance as he lifted himself by the seat of his pants.”

Dr. Seuss’s books are noted for being silly. But The Lorax is different in that it’s actually very dark and haunting. More than any other Lorax quotes, here we see the Lorax admit defeat. He knows he’s done all he can do to try to convince the Onceler of his own destruction. While that might sound heavy to try to convey to a child, it’s actually a great life lesson that our actions have consequences. This isn’t a fairytale with a happy ending. Even in fantasy worlds bad actors can cause lasting damage. And no magic wand, fairy dust or spell can fix it.


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

When the Lorax took his leave, he left a pile of rocks with the words “unless.” And that’s the big message of this entire book. Things will continue to fall apart in this world or any world unless someone cares enough to change them, and guess what? That someone can be you! That’s the message of hope Dr. Seuss’s book has been giving kids (and adults) for 50 years! And that’s a message worth reminding children again and again and again and again. They can fight the status quo and truly be the change they want to see in the world. It’s not just a silly story. It’s the truth.


"What I want more than anything is to see a real tree."

Imagine if this quote was real. Imagine a teenager who had never seen a real tree. That’s what the character of Audrey says in the movie version of The Lorax. A resident of Thneedville, an entirely plastic city, Audrey has lived her life having never seen anything of the natural world. Instead, Thneedville is full of fake interpretations of nature, like the character of Ted’s backyard tree that his mother loves saying, “It’s the Oak-a-matic, the only tree with its own remote. Summer, autumn, winter, and disco!” Ted decides the best way to prove his love for Audrey is to track down a real tree for her and that’s how he takes off on his quest to meet the Once-ler and gather the very last Truffula seed.


“A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.”

In the movie version of The Lorax, the eponymous hero asks the Once-ler “What way does a tree fall?” Naive man that he is, the Once-ler responds that a tree falls down. But that’s not the right answer. As the Lorax tells him, “A tree falls the way it leans. Be careful which way you lean.” His words are more than just a lesson in gravity. What the Lorax is saying is that your opinions and choices in life can lead to your downfall. So, don’t be hasty or selfish. How you treat the Earth and others will come back to you. Choose wisely.

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.