|Friday, June 25, 2010 9:49 AM|
There are countless books out there about the environment — how to save the planet, how we’re destroying the planet, some politically-minded transcripts, others more generalized reports. Out of all that has been written on the topic, and perhaps, out of all that has been written period, there is one very important book that really gets to me. So I’m making a departure from the usual grown-up fare and zoning in on one of my favorite children’s books, Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax. While I love anything generated from the wonderful brain of Dr. Seuss, I especially adore this storyline and message incorporating the author’s usual whimsy with a powerful (and timeless) warning about inflicting abuse upon our precious planet.
The Once-ler narrates the sad story, relaying his remorse for using up every last Truffula Tree tuft and converting them to the mass-marketed Thneeds, which the book explains, are shirts, socks, gloves, hats, etc. The Lorax speaks for the trees “for the trees have no tongues,” attempting to prevent the Once-ler from completely destroying the earth. The Lorax’s words fall on deaf ears, however, and he finally manages to leave the desolate area after everyone else has long gone, in search of a better place.
The Lorax leaves behind nothing but a rock with the haunting word “UNLESS.” There is a ray of hope when it is discovered that a single Truffula Tree seed has been saved. It is up to one caring child to secure the environmental fate of the earth.
Dr. Seuss’ simple yet astonishingly riveting assessment of what humans do to take for granted and abuse the planet makes the hairs on my neck stand up every time I read it to my daughters, who know it’s “Mommy’s favorite.” If you haven’t read it, please do, and you’ll see why. I bought this for myself way before I had children, as I worship the brilliant musings of Dr. Seuss, particularly this cautionary tale reminding everyone that we’re never too old, busy, or entitled to ignore the Lorax, who speaks for the trees, “for the trees have no tongues.”
Sara Berelsman has an M.A. in literature and lives with her hunky husband, Andy, and their two adorable daughters, Adele and Eleanor, in Delphos. Sara leads the book club discussions at the Delphos Public Library.
|Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:07 PM|