The Lorax

ISBN: 0394823370
ISBN 13: 9780394823379
By: Dr. Seuss

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About this book

Long before “going green” was mainstream, Dr. Seuss’s Lorax spoke for the trees and warned of the dangers of disrespecting the environment. In this cautionary rhyming tale, we learn of the Once-ler, who came across a valley of Truffula Trees and Brown Bar-ba-loots (“frisking about in their Bar-ba-loot suits as they played in the shade and ate Truffula Fruits”), and how his harvesting of the tufted trees changed the landscape forever. With the release of the blockbuster film version, the Lorax and his classic tale have educated a new generation of young readers not only about the importance of seeing the beauty in the world around us, but also about our responsibility to protect it.

Reader's Thoughts


“The Lorax” is one of Dr. Seuss’ most memorable books as it is about the importance of taking care of all of the trees in the world. “The Lorax” may have some controversial issues, but it is still a great book for both children and adults to treasure for many years.Dr. Seuss’ story about how chopping down too many trees can destroy the Earth’s environment is truly powerful and moving as it realistically portrays what can happen to the environment when trees are cut down through Dr. Seuss’ childish world. Dr. Seuss’ illustrations as always are extremely creative and inventive especially when we are first introduced to the land of the Truffula trees, the land is colourful and peaceful looking, but when the once-ler starts cutting down all the Truffula trees, the land looks dark and bleak, representing the pollution that is caused from cutting down the trees.Parents should know that even though I personally do not see anything wrong with this book, this book was considered extremely controversial due to the fact that many people believed that the book was trying to promote the idea that industrialization is a bad thing. Personally, I think that this book was just trying to discuss about the issues of environmentalism and that cutting down too many trees can cause pollution on the earth.“The Lorax” is one of the greatest books about the issues of environmentalism that kids will understand perfectly and will definitely be evolved into one of the greatest cult classics to ever come to the world of children’s books. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up due to the controversial material about whether or not industrialization is a good or bad thing for the world that small children might not understand. Review is also on: Rabbit Ears Book Blog

Joel Duff

I forgot just how sophisticated the rhyming in this book is. It is a joy to read ... and an environmental message way ahead of its time.


I love this book so much, I have a quote from it on my facebook:"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to change. It's not". It expresses my bottom-up view of how fundamental change is accomplished; collectively. As I wish to be a teacher that emphasises students' power to affect social change, this would be a great choice. I would love to use this book in a social studies class wherein we are addressing environmental issues. It could be regarding anywhere around the world, because from America to China a teacher can address the effects of things like wasted resources and the damage humans cause to the planet.

Julie Decker

In a showdown between the Lorax's environmental conservationist voice and the Once-ler's rampant consumerism and greed, a grim future is shown to await us if we are not responsible with our resources.First off, the book is packed with the quintessential Seuss invented words, which make it fun for kids to read because they feel less like they're being force-fed vocabulary lessons. And the illustrations are lovely as usual--especially the depiction of Truffula trees, which look so squishy and bushy and fun to touch. The Once-ler--who is only shown through his arms--is a metaphor for faceless consumerism that depletes natural resources and will ruin the world unchecked, and the Lorax--who puts himself in harm's way to speak for the trees over and over again--is left to sadly leave the world when there's nothing left to save.The story's deliberately exaggerated presentation of industry vs. nature does make it seem like there is no Earth-friendly way for industrial progress to be made--and that's not true--but it does accurately highlight the dangers of caring only about the needs of yourself and people like you in the short term, and it does show that even the perpetrators can suffer.An excellent book, even if the ending is a bit depressing despite the hope.

Crystal Marcos

I remember reading the Lorax as a child and what stuck out the most in my mind was the dark and eerieness of a world without life. I read it again today. (Side note for those of you who don't know Kohl's has 4 Dr.Suess Books and the green book for $5 each made on 60% recycled paper and the money goes to Kohl's cares for kids. They have new books every month) I thought it was fitting to have this title seeing as how it deals with saving the earth. I enjoyed reading this book again. I loved seeing the drastic contrast between life and no life. I love how it teaches the importance of caring for the earth and putting that decision in the child's hands. Dr. Suess did a fine job of conveying his message.


Move over Chinese calendar, there's a new animal (?) to add to the wheel. This is apparently the Year of the Lorax, because my son wants to read this story EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. Good thing I love the story.Basic Plot: Evil corporate goon comes to unspoiled wilderness, destroys it, and then has to live with what he has done.Kinda depressing concept for a kids' book isn't it? The whole book starts off dark and gloomy, in this polluted environment that's nothing but grey and drab. I was sure the 4-year-old would have nothing to do with this book. He surprised me, though, by sitting through the whole thing (and it's not one of Seuss's short ones) and then continuing to ask for it night after night. It's the story that holds him. Yes, there are bright colors (eventually) and some fun illustrations. There are Seuss's traditionally silly made-up words and rhymes. There is definitely a moral. I continue to believe to this day that this book is one of the main reasons why I recycle obsessively and try to do what I can to reduce my impact on the environment. I read this book a LOT as a kid. Everyone should read this book.Note: color Nook version has audio with voices, an autoread feature that turns the "pages" once they are read, and words pop up with audio when you touch the pictures in both audio and non-audio versions.

Debbie Reiber

The Lorax by Dr. Suess is a picture book. The age group this is intended for is nursery to intermediate. The book is about being greedy and cutting down the “Truffula Trees” to make “Thneeds.” The Lorax tried to warn the Once-ler that he was destroying the land and making it impossible for the animals to inhabit. Once-ler didn’t care and he made thneeds until every “Truffula Tree” was gone.I love the rhyming and made up words to tell a story about the importance of the environment and greed. The story itself can relate to real life and the businesses that continually cut down trees and put up homes. The industries that pollute the air and dump waste in the ponds and lakes. I like how Dr. Suess showed the animals leaving at different times; it made it a little more dramatic. When there are countless “Truffula Trees,” the illustrations of the land are bright, welcoming, and fun. But once the trees have all been cut down, the area becomes dreary, dark, and uninhabitable. I would recommend this book for children because the art work and the story are creative and interesting. The rhyming and made up words make the story fun. This book can serve a child flipping through the pages and enjoying the mysterious pictures or the child that likes the rhyming and challenges of new words.


Classic social and economic treatise on the tragedy of the commons and the futility of environmentalist agitation in the absence of property rights.


What is the Lorax? The only person who knows is the Once-ler who has lived in the Street of the Lifted Lorax where the Grickle-grass grows for many years ... and he is not telling or letting you see more than an arm, or tentacle, of the Lorax,The Once-ler will, however, tell the story of the Lorax over the lengthy Whisper-ma-Phone for a small fee that is passed up to his lofty domain in a bucket.Apparently the Lorax had words with the Thneed over the destruction of the beloved Truffula Trees. This caused the Bar-ba-Loots to leave the area t be followed by the Thneeds when the Lorax equipment caused so much smog that they couldn't breathe!The Lorax and the solitary Thneed were the only ones left in a desolate countryside until the reader comes along, receives the final Truffula Tree seed, which, when planted would grow and encourage everyone to return ... or so we hope.Great fun, as always, from Dr Seuss.

Krista Lineweaver

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss is a great picturbook that can be enjoyed by the nursery and primary age group of children. The Lorax tries protecting his land from the people who want to cut down all of the trees. Children will enjoy reading about the troubles that the Loraz goes through to protect his home. The illustrations are amazing, and of course, Dr. Seuss puts a great and fun twist on all of the characters and plot. The story is fun to read and can be enjoyed by all children. I use to love reading this story when I was younger. Dr. Seuss does a great job making his books fun but including a valuable lesson in all of his stories. Children will definitely be appealed to this story beacuse of the fun setting, characters, and colorful illustrations. The children will think that they are right there in the story with the Lorax!

Jack Doherty

** spoiler alert ** The Lorax, writen by Dr. Seuss, is one of the most timeless picture books ever written and should be cherished by those, young and old. Although this may be a picture book, more meant for children, I believe it has a really mature message. This book undoubtedly brings up the topic of deforestation and pollution, and the more broad topic of destroying the environment. In the book, the Onceler comes up with a nifty idea to turn the Truffula Forest's Truffula trees into a garment called a Thneed. Now as ludicrous as this may sound, things like this happen all the time. Trees are hauled in the thousands from the Amazon Rain Forest to be turned into wooden products and trinkets. And although this sort of thing wasn't happening on such a massive scale during Dr. Seuss's time, he found a way to accurately represent the topic of deforestation in a picture book. I first read this book in my early childhood, but now after reading it as a teenager, I've started to realize many more things about this book. For one, I used to think that the Lorax was just a grumpy old blob trying to save the Truffula trees. Now I see that there was more to his complaining. The Lorax didn't just come out at random, he was a damn hippie! He knew that the environment needed the Truffula trees to operate. The factories turning the Truffula trees into Thneeds produced sludge that was then dumped into a pond. The fish in the pond were forced to move because they couldn't live in the sludgy water. The same thing happened with the smog and the lack of trees. If the Lorax had succeeded in preventing the Onceler from chopping down the Truffula trees , he would have been named a hero. I would recommend this book to anyone, specifically because it's just a great book. This is one of to most finely illustrated and well written books known to man, and i can not think of anything wrong with it.


You can have your Silent Spring and Inconvenient Truth. The Lorax and his lesson of unless is, to me, the most moving piece of environmental literature ever. It shows that a) good children's literature doesn't have to be simplistic or happy to be effective and b) that you certainly need not be a member of a political group to appreciate the message that our drive to industrialize must not happen at the expense of our planet.

Keri Payton

This is the story of how the Lorax was lifted away. Read this book and come to understand you just may.I had never heard - or at least had no memory - of 'The Lorax' before I saw the posters for the upcoming film adaptation. He was a strange orange sight I didn't understand. Now I've read his story and I intend to do so again and again.This is a story of financial gain at the cost of the environment. It is a tale of greed and redemption. It shows us the benefits in standing up for others and not only thinking of ourselves. It is as relevant now as it was when it was first published.The book does not begin as loud and colourful as many other of Seuss' stories. Instead, it is grey and dreary and pulls the reader in closer with the eerie quiet of the scenery. The first words of the story are like a breath, pulled from the lips of the reader, lost in an echo of a landscape.In the beginning, the Lorax is an unanswered question. Who was he? Why did he disappear? There is only one person who can answer that question - the Once-ler - and we never see what he looks like. Instead we are told the story in a way which feels right, through a Whisper-ma-Phone.Seuss uses such fresh imagery to contrast the gloom at the beginning of the book, showing how drastically everything has changed from what it once was. More importantly, he writes of "back in the days" in such a way that you can smell, hear and feel the wonders that you see on the page.The story pits two figures against each other, the Lorax and the Once-ler. The Once-ler is enamored by the Truffula Trees. He only means to make something with the materials available to him but it isn't long before he is carried away with greed and is putting the needs of his business before all other things. The Lorax is the voice of reason against all of this. He speaks "for the trees, for the trees have no tongues" and takes care of the other animals in the area.This book really touches on the subject of human rights. The Once-ler has found an inventive opportunity and is taking advantage of it. He is producing a product which people are buying. A Thneed is seemingly ludicrous but his sales are skyrocketing. It shows people's attachment to materialism and how we are willing to part with our money and put materialistic values above environmental ones if we can be persuaded that we need something.In the words of the Once-ler, "A Thneed's a Fine-Something-That-All-People-Need!" However, it isn't something that benefits the Truffula Trees or any of the other creatures around. Their opinions and needs go unnoticed, except by the Lorax. He speaks for those who can't voice their own agonies.The Once-ler is a creature of his own making. He shows us that we have to live with the consequences we set out for ourselves. None of us are innocent. Books are made by cutting down trees* and we benefit from them so much more than a Thneed but that doesn't mean that there aren't consequences to cutting them down.The Lorax is a figure that everyone should look to emulate. What we can't do is wait and hope he will come back. We have to summon him by finding the Lorax in ourselves. We must do it before it is too late and well all end up as Once-lers.'The Lorax' is a book which everyone should read. It is a story with a message that all people need.*My copy of 'The Lorax' is printed on recycled paper.(From my blog: Quill Café)(From my blog: Quill Café)In accordance with the FTC, I would like to disclose that I purchased this book. The opinions expressed are mine and no monetary compensation was offered to me by the author or publisher.

Aliya Farooq

As a child I only read a couple of Dr Seuss’ books and ‘The Lorax’ was not one of them. However, looking through the library shelves I spotted this book and it stuck out because of the bright and bold colours, straight away grabbing my attention. Let’s face it, although everyone says “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, we still do, it is the first thing we do, and the front cover of ‘The Lorax’ was eye- catching and alluring.It is about, as you can guess.. a Lorax.. a sort of creature resembling a man, short, oldish, brown in colour with a moustache and the Once-ler of whose only green arms can be seen. It is based in a fantasy land with colourful looking trees known as the ‘Truffula’ trees. The Once-ler comes to this land and suddenly comes up with a bright idea for a business and begins to chop down the beautiful Truffula Trees. Steps in the Lorax, a voice for the trees, a warning for the Once-ler to stop but as you can imagine, the Once-ler is adamant that his business needs to grow bigger and bigger and so more trees are chopped and new equipment is made. As I started to read this book, the first few pages had be engrossed immediately. It was a mystery that needed to be solved, there were questions that needed to be answered; ‘Who was the lorax?’, ‘Why did he disappear?’ and ‘Why is the land so empty.. what happened here?’. Although I have read it as an adult, the message of the book is still very touching. It has been written in such a witty way that not only will adults be reminded about the importance of the Earth’s environment, but young readers will be made aware of this through fictional characters and a simple story. It shows that there is a life- cycle on Earth that one action can cause a chain reaction negatively affecting other aspects of the environment that we live in. It reminds us that money isn’t everything and that empathy for others and a love for your environment is crucial.This book has been criticised for displaying anti- industrialist views and has said to be controversial for children, however the way I see it is that this book teaches an important lesson on how greed can get the better of you and how greed can cloud your judgement. The Once-ler says “I felt sad as I watched them all go. BUT... business is business! And business must grow...” There is more text in this book as compared to some of the other Dr Seuss books such as ‘The Cat in the Hat’ and the language is more complex. As there are a number of fictional words embedded within the book it would be suitable for readers who have had practice of phonics to be able to read it themselves. I would personally say readers from the age of 5 and upwards would benefit from this book as not only would they get practice reading some hard language but also be able to understand and grasp the message ‘The Lorax’ is sending. As usual, the illustrations are fabulous, and although young readers may find it difficult to read all the text, they will be able to relate text and pictures facilitating them to comprehend what they are reading. The illustrations describe the mood of the story perfectly to such an extent that whilst the town is still full of truffula trees, the fish in the pond can be seen smiling and the colours are jumping out at you giving an aura of happiness. On the other hand when the book begins, dull colours are used to depict the sadness and emptiness of the town. This book will surely be memorable to anyone who reads it; it shares an important message of caring for our surrounding and other living things in our world. It is about greed and regret and standing up for one another. Read this book to see how far the Once-ler actually goes, how he affects others lives and whether in fact he regrets what he has done.

Megan Sanchez

Especially gorgeous and sad as an adult. Adorable illustrations and fun word play, as you would expect from Dr. SuessI plucked this off a display table at the library last week, a table probably inspired by the recent release of a film based on the book. I have not seen the movie, but I remembered the book and the cartoon movie from elementary school. I remember being really overwhelmed by this book and the cartoon and feeling terribly guilty on behalf of all humans. My parents then helped us to buy and plant a tree in our backyard. I took crazy care of that tree and recently, when I went by our old house, I was happy to see that it had grown very tall and now peeks over the roof of the house. I say all this - I was a pretty sensitive kid and was also raised Catholic. Let's not even talk about the kind of guilt capable of being felt by such a child. Now, I read it with a better understanding of the world and it's even more directly relevant. I know many people say that this book is too black-and-white, that the message is part of a great liberal indoctrination campaign. I truly don't understand how teaching children to love and respect the environment is bad. I feel like you must be one selfish asshole if you're more worried about your Thneed than your future child's ability to play under the truffula trees. This book will definitely have a place in my child's library. And I hope they are thoroughly indoctrinated by it.

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