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

Nadine Larter

Have taken gross advantage of the fact that my kid is feeling ill enough to let me read to him. usually trying to read to him is a disaster! Luckily he absolutely loves The Lorax so he was quite happy to let me read it. I think Dr. Seuss definitely hit on something grand when he decided to make all his books rhyme. The lyrical quality that automatically creeps into ones voice while reading rymes is definitely a good things for children!

Erin R

This story presents the complicated issue of caring for our environment to children in an approachable lesson about the mythical creature “the Lorax”. The Lorax “speaks for the trees” as he defends a forest of “Truffula” trees from the greedy axe of the Once-ler, a man selfishly determined to make a fortune without thought to his lasting impact on the environment and creatures around him. The Once-ler is successful, as least for a while. But before long, the Truffula trees are all gone, the forest creatures are forced to leave for their own survival, and the Once-ler who refused to heed the warnings of the Lorax is soon out of business for good. The story offers an element of hope and redemption at the end, as the Once-ler gives his account to a small boy many years later, offering him the last Truffula seed with the expectation that the boy will reverse the damage that he has done.In spite of the complexity of the underlying issue being presented in this story, Dr. Seuss tells it in his characteristically decodable, rhyming style. Additionally, the pictures themselves tell the story in ways that the words cannot. For these reasons I have classified this as a picture book.There are many, many ways to potentially integrate this book into a classroom. Students grades K-5 could focus on rhyming and build word awareness that way. Teachers could also utilize the heavy lessons being taught in this book to open children’s eyes to how they can impact the natural environment around them for both good and bad.

Robert Bickers

Ok, so it's a heavy-handed enviromental terror-tale. It's also the Seuss book that stuck with me the longest. Of all the books I read as a little kid, it's the one that I still remember making me feel something.I'm a conservationist-not an environmentalist by any stretch. The Lorax didn't teach me to hate industry or chew on organically-sustainable bark. It taught me to care about nature. To this day, decades after I read and re-read it, the drawing of the barren wasteland still gets to me.

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.


So, I understand that this book was written a long time ago, before this kind of environmental fairy tale was popularized, and perhaps when it was needed more. But it still seems like a total straw man (hello? can't you just plant your own grove of sustainable truffula trees?). And does the Lorax have to be such a jerk about everything? Maybe he could propose some sort of compromise . . . I guess as a kids' book it's supposed to be simple for kids to understand, but kids aren't that dumb. I like a lot of Dr. Seuss, but any time he's trying to get across any kind of message (even a good one) it just rubs me the wrong way.

Deanna Vader

“Catch! calls the Once-ler.He lets something fall.It's a Truffula Seed.It's the last one of all!You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.Then the Loraxand all of his friendsmay come back.”- Dr. SeussDr. Seuss has done it again with the magical book about saving the environment from greedy people. This book is one of my favorites I read it every Earth Day and share with many kids at the Zoo Camp in South Carolina.This books is about about how a man named the Once-ler came to a beautiful forest with a greedy heart who only wanted one thing, money. The Once-ler tells the story to a young boy who wants to know what happened to the forest and the Lorax, and the Once-ler tells him his tale. The Once-ler found out how soft the truffula trees were and found his idea, his th-neeed. However once he cut down the tree the Lorax appeared. The keeper of the trees. The Lorax told the man not to cut down the trees because the animals depend on the trees for food. However the Once-ler ignored his pleads and made is company bigger and bigger. As the company grows the animals one by one leave because they cannot live in the environment the Once-ler has destroyed. Soon the Once-ler cut down all the trees and destroyed the beautiful land. The Lorax left with only the word 'Unless'. Then the Once-ler understands unless someone cares a lot about a issue than things can change.This book if for every age and everyone needs to read it once. The movie is great as well, but read the book first.


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.


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.

Jared Little

The Lorax is one of Dr. Seuss' most legendary stories. This book chronicles the deforestation of a fictional landscape populated by a variety of interesting animals. All done for the sake of capitalism. The story has profound environmental message that would be appropriate in grades 3 and above. The story is a bit more complex than many other Seuss novels and in order to truly understand it, it needs to be analyzed in the upper grades. I could see this story paired with an environmentally themed assignment or possibly a project highlighting an eco problem. This book finds its way into many school curricula across the country and has aged very well.

Matthew Hunter

** spoiler alert ** I cannot for the life of me remember reading The Lorax as a child. It took having an 18 month old daughter, taking her to see the new Lorax movie which opened on Dr. Seuss' birthday, and then buying the book because Sigourney loved the brightly colored Truffula Trees and cuddly Brown Bar-ba-loots, for me to read The Lorax. Honestly, if a better, more empowering critique of Big Business' role in environmental degradation exists, I haven't found it yet.Typical Seussian rhymes and artwork are here of course. But there's so much more. As Once-ler's Thneed business begins to take off, and risk to the Truffula Trees increases, the Lorax's plea falls on the deaf ears of an out-of-control profit motive: "'I repeat,' cried the Lorax, 'I speak for the trees!' 'I'm busy,' I told him. 'Shut up, if you please.'" Wildlife reliant on the Truffula forest must leave to find suitable habitat. And the only thing that stop's the Once-ler's fast-expanding business? The chopping down of the final Truffula Tree marking the Lorax's dramatic departure. The truth that we all rely on our natural environment ultimately hits the bottom line, Thneed production stops due to the eradication of his resource base, and the Once-ler falls unwillingly into the role of environmental prophet.It's the humbled Once-ler who utters this wise, inspirational, empowering line to a nameless young person (aka the reader): "'UNLESS someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not.'"The destroyer becomes the repentant voice of hope as the Once-ler entrusts us with the final Truffula Seed: "'You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds. And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs. Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care. Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air. Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack. Then the Lorax and all of his friends may come back.'" Ultimately, Seuss leaves the door open for us to succeed or fail. Yes there's hope, but we have plenty of work to do to realize this potential positive outcome.The Lorax was first published in 1971 when I was a one year old. I'm 41 now, and except for a two-dimensional appearance on the big screen, the Lorax hasn't returned yet. Seuss' open-ended challenge remains urgently relevant today. Here's to hoping that The Lorax serves as An Inconvenient Truth for our newest generation.


Most children's books have a meaning, a moral if you will. It would seem as though 'The Lorax' had a meaning and message for the future generations, a warning even. My third grade teacher read us this story, and asked us what we thought, many were able to see the connections between our world and the world of the Lorax, where slowly piece by piece the world was destroyed by people with only money on the brain.I was later read this book during High School, which would seem a strange time to be read such a book, but I realised something, there was a reason why we were having this read to us suddenly it became clear that it was us, us destroying everything. Not the businesses or people only interested in money, each of us were contriubting in some form or another. Suess's writing is something that everyone should be able to experience, it does not matter the age, if its simple message can touch the hearts of more, perhaps there is something we can do to save this world. I recomend this to all, deep in meaning, well writen and of course the illustrations are as always perfect.5 Stars.


*After watching and reading The Lorax by Dr. Seuss*Pollution is one of the major problems of the world.Pollution that is brought by thousands of reasons. One of those reasons include: millions of trees being chopped down (not just in one forest) causing smog to constantly spread and form in numerous parts of the world.And at some point or another, we will begin to realize that having water and fresh air of high quality, in the amount we wish, and whenever we wish to use it, will become extremely difficult.UNLESS...Unless someone can speak for them. Unless someone can speak for something worth fighting for. Nothing is going to happen.

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.

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.

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!

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