281 of 299 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2000
12 years ago at the old age of eight, I received this book and found it quite great! My parents had read me of this and of that, of Berenstein Bears and a Cat in a Hat. This book in itself makes quite a statement, sounding nothing quite like a drawn-out old lament. The story involved something unlike you or me, a being called a Once-ler, who we never do see. He tells his story from a boarded old store, and will not answer you if you knock at his door. But for the right price, he'll tell you the tale, and here is that story, in some minor detail: While travelling across lands and seas, the old once-ler found the Truffula trees. When he chopped down one tree there was a loud thump, and the Lorax appeared right out of that stump. He warned the Once-ler of what he was for, but the Once-ler didn't listen and thought him a bore. With cutting down trees, was born a Thneed, a so-called "Fine thing that all people need." The Once-ler made many, and money to spare, but his doing caused many to sadly despair. He polluted the air, he gummed up the pond, he cut down the trees til they soon were all gone. A sad story yes, but sad is to say, such examples of Once-lers can be found today. Dr. Seuss wrote this story out of will and good faith, but unless we heed it's warning, it may be too late. -Michael Howe, 11/10/00
67 of 70 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2001
Dr. Seuss's The Lorax is a fantastic story by one of the most lovable, creative children's books authors ever. In the story, Seuss presents a statement concerning the environment in his own original way. Of course, the book would not be complete without those witty rhymes and colorful illustrations. The Lorax "speaks for the trees" and tries to save the Truffula trees from the greedy Once-ler. The Lorax protects the trees and all the creatures that inhabit them. When the Once-ler comes and desires to cut down the Truffula trees, the Lorax tries to stop him, but he fails. The Once-ler cuts down every last Truffula tree, pollutes the environment, and drives all the creatures, including the Lorax, off the land. The story does end on a positive note, but to learn what it is, you must read the book for yourself.
Because The Lorax was first published in 1971, it is easy to believe that the story is referring directly to the environmental movement of the 1960's. The story clearly illustrates the themes of conservation, love, and respect for the land. The author grabs the reader's attention in the beginning of the story by starting in the future and then narrating the past. The reader sees the death and bareness of the land first and then learns the causes for the current state of the environment. Seuss approaches the subject in a blunt and obvious critique of the methods used to strip resources from the land. This story sends a simple, yet powerful statement about the world in which we live.
Because of the book's strong message concerning the environment (clear-cutting forests in particular,) this children's book has found itself on the Banned Books List. The reason is simple. Several logging companies feel threatened by the book and its message. They are afraid of people reading the book and making the great discovery that clear-cutting is bad for the environment! I believe that if this book has been placed on the Banned Book List, then the goal of the story has been achieved. The entire purpose of this book was not just to make kids laugh but to point out that clear-cutting is a serious problem. We, as humans, are trashing the environment. Sometimes the message is the most effective when it is reduced to its simplest form. In the future, this problem will rest in the hands of our children and educating children will help them make better choices than previous generations have.
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 1998
I grew up on Dr. Suess books(I even learned to read with one), and I think he is one of the greatest children's authors ever. His hypnotic phrasing and wonderful illustrations are enough to delight children and adults as well (my brothers and I still enjoy looking through our old Suess favorites). In my senior year of high school, I had the opportunity to go with two other classmates to a local elementary school on a weekly basis to teach basic lessons on honesty, friendship, etc. When we taught our lesson on the environment, I brought "The Lorax" to read to the class. To my surprise, when I asked who in the class had read the story, only three out of the 28 students had. Many looked skeptical, thinking it was a little kid's book, but once I started reading, the entire class was mesmerized. After I was finished with the story, we had the most lively question-and-answer session that we had ever had-the story really hit home with the kids and brought our planet'! s ecological crisis into terms that they could understand. Afterward, many of the children asked where they could get a copy of "The Lorax". Thank you to Dr. Suess for a masterpiece of children's literature!
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2001
Children used to Dr. Seuss' lighthearted, whimsical stories filled with wacky names and places will undoubtedly perceive a vast difference with "The Lorax". It still contains the wacky names, places, and rhymes, so characteristic of Seuss, but with one blatant overtone. This story goes all out to show the devestating consequences of human greed, and what can happen to the environment when humans misuse and take advantage of nature and natural resources.
The story begins when a boy comes to the home of a peculair creature called Once-ler. The boy wants to know about something called the Lorax; "what it was", and "why it was there". After paying the Once-ler a small fee, he narrates the story for the boy. The pictures incorperated into the story are also poignant; for, as we see in the beginning, the small town in which the Once-ler lives is very grey and barren.
However, as the Once-ler begins his story, the pictures become brighter, more cheerful, and colorful, as we see how the town once looked, long, long ago. There were animals, birds, green grass ... and trees!
The Once-ler says, "I came to this glorious place. And I first saw the trees. The Truffula trees". Transfixed by these trees, the Once-ler cuts one down to make a "Thneed". Now, a Thneed is supposed to be a useful thing, which people can find many uses for. Shortly after the first tree is cut down, the Lorax appears. He explains that he talks on behalf of the trees, because the trees cannot talk for themselves. "They have no tongues".
The Lorax is very upset at what the Once-ler has done. But the Once-ler ignores him, and continues to cut down the trees to make Thneeds, until all the trees have been cut down. This action, of cutting down the trees, building a factory to make the thneeds, and releasing waste residue into the water is greatly illustrated in the pictures, showing the cause and effect of polluting the environment.
Eventually the pictures return to the grey, morbid colors we see in the beginning. The Lorax has had to make all the birds, animals and fish leave the town before they die of hunger and starvation, and before they choke to death on all the smog generated by the Once-ler's factory.
As we can clearly see in "The Lorax", Dr. Seuss is making a very defined political statement about how humans have manipulated and destroyed our natural surroundings for their own personal greed. "The Lorax" was written in 1971, in the hayday of environmental activism, and one year after the first Earth Day.
Still, Dr. Suess does not make this story into a gloomy one. He gives us hope. The Once-ler tosses down a seed to the boy; the one last remaining Truffula seed. With this one seed, Dr. Seuss tells us the possiblities are endless, and hope is not lost.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 13, 2002
The Lorax is a little bit spooky but it shows what happens
when you get rid of a certain thing in the enviroment. That is
esential to live. if you take away all the worms birds cant eat
and if they cant eat things that pray on birds cant eat either
after all the birds die. So on so an The Lorax explains in a
childs mind why we dont destroy the enviroment. The Lorax is a
very good book for anyone whos looking for a good and
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
The good doctor has always been one for a message, and this one comes through with uncommon bluntness: it's pretty easy to screw up the environment, and you get plenty of warning before it's too late. Anyone sufficently blinded by greed will just go ahead, though, until they ruin everything - even the sources of their own wealth.
Here, in the America of Pres. Bush II, the issues are even more vivid than they were 35 years ago when this was written. Maybe your kid will get the message. One can only hope.
14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on January 22, 1999
I'm 14, and don't typically read kid's books but I LOVE Dr. Seuss, and The Lorax is my favorite story of his. The illustrations are typical Dr. Seuss fare- wacky but beautiful- but the story has more to it than most of his books. The sad but hopeful story of a land destroyed by pollution gives kids a good understanding of environmental issues. Not only kids; I'm in high school and our science teachers read it to us sometimes. It's a very important book, one that I think everyone should read. If your kid misses out on "One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish", oh well, no big deal, but you MUST read them The Lorax. You owe it to them and to the world. Remember: UNLESS.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on April 19, 2002
It's not The Cat in the Hat. This Dr. Seuss book has a message. Believe it or not, the first time I was exposed to The Lorax was in my undergraduate Ecology course. It tells a story of greed and excess. It also shows that what we do impacts the environment and other species. The Lorax pops in now and then to remind the greedy Onceler that he is cutting down too many trees, destroying other animals homes, and polluting the air and water to boot. However, his message isn't well received and finally the last tree falls. It is only at the end the the Onceler realizes his mistake, but is powerless to act. It is up to you. "Unless someone like you care a whole lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not." It is important to note though that it is all done in typical Dr. Seuss fashion, with rhyming and nonsensical words that makes his work so popular with kids. I would have to agree that this may be the most important Dr. Seuss book ever.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on January 28, 2000
The Lorax is one of Dr Seuss' best books, and like all good children's books, is for adults as well as children. In other hands, a book for children about environmental destruction could be boring and dull, but in the sure hands of Dr Seuss it retains all the magic of other Seuss books, while imparting a serious message that sticks in your mind. This is a great book if you want to teach your children about the need for environemental awareness, because, in the words of the Lorax "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not!"
13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on April 14, 2008
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I love this book. Well, not the exact book I received, but the original "Lorax" story. The text of the book I received from Amazon is slightly blurred: some sort of printing error, I guess. And of course, it's nigh on impossible to find an edition of the book with the truly telling line about Lake Erie anymore ("...looking for water that isn't so smeary./I hear things are just as bad up in Lake Erie."). Ah well - it's much better to have this shell-of-a-copy of the tale than none at all!