In A Nutshell
Get ready, dear Shmoopers, for some major tree talk
You may call yourself green, but let's walk the walk.
Dr. Seuss sure did, and boy did he strut:
He penned The Lorax to show us what's what.
First, some background on our favorite kid's doc:
He couldn't cure measles (we know, not a shock).
An American man, Dr. Seuss is Shmoop's muse.
So read him with us—there's no way you'll lose.
Say it aloud now, WE LOVE DR. SEUSS!
Aha! You misspoke, you silly young goose.
Now try it again, with a big booming voice,
The Lorax was written by one Dr. Zoice!
Born Teddy Seuss Geisell (well, we guess, Theodore)
He became the man that we all so adore.
And now, you say, you want some more facts?
Well, in '71, he wrote The Lorax.
We're telling you, Shmoopers, this book is great fun,
But don't be fooled, it's a serious one.
The Lorax is all about what we can do
to keep our trees green, our lakes and skies blue.
Let's meet the players: the Once-ler does shine
an inventor, he is, who messed up big time.
And so he confesses to a special young boy
about the Truffula forest, the one he destroyed.
It turns out it was his own careless fault,
His own greedy deeds caused this assault.
But don't worry, readers, someone rebelled,
The Lorax (the star!)—he protested and yelled.
This fuzzy guy said, "don't be so commercial!"
(You know what that means—it's a bit controversial.)
So the Lorax is now iconically green,
reminding us how to keep our earth clean.
Some people, like loggers, thought it too simplistic,
(They seemed to have missed that it's very artistic!)
Economists, too, are putting it down.
They say Seuss-onomics just ain't all that sound.
But The Lorax is more than just rhymes and confessions.
It's a fine work of art, on top of a lesson.
The illustrations, for one, were delightfully new.
Such reds and greens! Even yellows and blues!
Doc's second wife Audrey suggested he switch
to a new color palette: more lush, plush, and rich.
In his post- Lorax books, this M.O. was clutch,
He created new worlds with this beautiful touch.
Now one last thing before we Shmoop back to prose:
Check out the movie, and see how it shows
the wonderful Lorax's marvelous story,
With romance, to boot, in all its glory.
But watching the movie is just no excuse
To not read the book, or to skip the Shmeuss.
Why Should I Care?
Ah, nature. You either love it or you hate it. Oh wait, no, that's Napoleon Dynamite . Everyone loves nature.
The Lorax is a great place to start a conversation with your kids and students about nature, and to increase their ecological smarts. Not every adult is going to be on exactly the same page after reading this gem: for those of you in the logging industry (too many to count), you might find that the book oversimplifies the big issues and demonizes your peeps. But wherever you stand, this tale is a fun way for you to talk about this stuff with your kids.
The Lorax is so smart, and visually appealing, you're likely to get just as into it as your kids will. You might like it so much you'll want to get interactive. If that happens, take your kids on a wild Truffula Tree hunt, or bribe them into doing chores with the promise of a trip to the zoo to see the real live Lorax. Or, seriously, you can plant something green with your youngster and help them make it grow—hopefully! Cactus is a fun and easy one to try because you can place a cactus ear in soil and it will start sprouting little baby cacti before you know it. (Also a good way to teach avoidance of sharp, spiny things.)
Be it at sea or on land, in mountains or sand, in the forests or a penthouse suite, you'll find many ways to connect, compare, and contrast the natural world in The Lorax with the one in which you and your kids live. So enjoy, and prepare yourself for the toughest question you'll ever get from your little ones: "What is miff-muffered moof?"
Why Your Kids Should Care
The Lorax is about an environmental disaster. Not so kid-enticing, it seems. But even at its ugliest, this world keeps kids awake, alert, and engaged. From the Once-ler's wacky inventions, to the peak and decline of the forest creatures, to the beauty of the Truffula Trees and their tragic demise, The Lorax draws kids into its world. This is a world that's just enough like our own to be relatable, but just different enough to be, well, less boring.