April 19, 2009

Earth Day and The Lorax

Published in 1971, The Lorax was and still is an ecological warning that rings true today amidst the dangers of pollution, global warming and general disregard for the earth's environment around the world (developing countries included).

In The Lorax, we find whimsical rhymes, delightfully original creatures, and unusual illustrations. But here there is also something more--a powerful message that Dr. Seuss implores both adults and children to pay attention to:

The now remorseful Once-ler--our faceless, bodiless narrator--tells the story himself. Long ago this enterprising villain chances upon a place filled with wondrous Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, Brown Bar-ba- loots, and Humming-Fishes. Bewitched by the beauty of the Truffula Tree tufts, he greedily chops them down to produce and mass-market Thneeds. ("It's a shirt. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat.") As the trees swiftly disappear and the denizens leave for greener pastures, the fuzzy yellow Lorax (who speaks for the trees "for the trees have no tongues") repeatedly warns the Once-ler, but his words of wisdom are for naught.

Finally the Lorax extricates himself from the scorched earth (by the seat of his own furry pants), leaving only a rock engraved "UNLESS." Thus, with his own distinct version of a compelling morality play, Dr. Seuss teaches readers not to fool with Mother Nature.

But as you might expect from Dr. Seuss, all hope is not lost--the Once-ler has saved a single Truffula Tree seed! Our fate now rests in the hands of a caring child, who becomes our last chance for a clean, green future. (Ages 4 to 8)

April 22, 2009 is Earth Day this year and another opportunity to remind ourselves that if we want to stay on this wonderful planet, it is in our own hands to make that happen. All countries and global citizens have to join in and do their part to keep our home clean and healthy.

It really doesn't matter where we live, it is HOW we live. We all have the power to make a difference in our own personal environment, and what sort of footprint we want to leave for our children - even if we do not have children we can choose to leave behind a lighter mark on our surroundings.

Peace to all of my fellow citizens.


  1. This is one of my favorite books of all time!

  2. Anyone with Wyoming travel plans this summer might want to check out “The Lorax: Original Illustrations by Dr. Seuss,” on display at the National Museum of Wildlife Art May 9 through September 7, 2009. The museum is just north of Jackson, Wyo. (Jackson Hole area) in an eco-friendly (and architecturally noteworthy)building on a butte overlooking the National Elk Refuge. The Lorax exhibition shows Seuss's creative process on the book from original sketches through camera-ready line art. For more info go to the museum website at http://www.wildlifeart.org

  3. I love this book, and this cool display at the National Museum of Wildlife Art looks like a great reason to return to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone.


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