Sometimes there are books that stay with you through a lifetime and for me it is The Lorax.
Growing up I lived all across the country as my Dad was in the Navy; one of the steady things in life was going to Michigan to visit the grandparents. My Grandpa would always read to me before bed and one book I couldn’t get enough of The Lorax-this book had to be read at least once every time we visited. In college I ran across the anthology Six by Seuss – the same one from which Grandpa would read The Lorax to me!
Over the years there have been several books and movies that focus on our part in helping the environment; from preservation, to recycling, and conservation. What I love about The Lorax is creative with its presentation of the idea of taking care of our environment. A whimsical story of a young child who goes see the Once-ler to hear the tale of the Lorax, truffula trees, swomee-swans, humming-fish, brown bar-ba-loots, and why there are no trees and gloom runs rampant in the area.
The Once-ler shares his story how he comes to the area and starts to make Thneeds, something he says, “everyone needs.” He meets the Lorax who speaks for the trees, the swans, the fish, and the brown bar-ba-loots. Each time they meet the Lorax gives a warning and asks him to stop but the Once-ler keeps going and biggering his business. He keeps “biggering” until there wasn’t anything left to make and the Lorax lifted and left the word Unless in his stead. The Once-ler realizes at the end the meaning of the word Unless:
“Unless someone like you
cares a whole awful lot,
nothing is going to get better.
The Once-ler gives the child the last truffula seed with the a hope that it will be planted and cared for and maybe one day the Lorax and his friends would have a home again.
Dr. Seuss is known for his whimsical style, his made up words, and his fun doodle-like illustrations. The illustrations for this book go back and forth between the bright colors of before the Once-ler depletes the resources of the town to the purples, blues, and grey tones for the after effect. It give a vast contrast of the two environments and which emphasizes the importance of taking care of the resources around us and restoring what we can.
The rhythm of the book is classic Dr. Seuss made easy to read aloud and share with young and old alike.
It is something that I will always remember and look forward to reading to my own child.
This book is perfect for this month for multiple reasons but two currently stand out; one it takes place in August and two this happens to be my due date on the 19th (whether or not Jumping Bean decides to make an appearance then is another story). This book inspired the bedding for my child’s room; which of course means this book is further intertwined in my life and heart.