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The parents' guide to what's in this book.
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What's the story?
When his beloved Truffula Trees are hacked down to make Thneeds ("which everyone needs" -- supposedly), the mustachioed little Lorax protests angrily. Unfortunately, the potato-shaped crusader's gripes are in vain. The greedy industrialist Once-ler won't stop until the last Truffula is felled and the surrounding ecosystem is hopelessly polluted. This Seussian fable has become an environmentalist classic.
Is it any good?
Few fiction writers -- for children or adults -- have successfully melded politics and good storytelling, but Dr. Seuss succeeds. He does it by explaining simply and clearly the process of building an industry at the expense of an ecosystem. The book is an excellent teaching tool, but despite its humor it isn't the most enjoyable of Dr. Seuss' works. Of course, environmental devastation isn't a cheerful topic.
Unfortunately, the idyllic scenes in which the Brown Bar-ba-loots frolic under the furry-lollipop tufts of the Truffula Trees while the Swomee-Swans sing and the Humming-Fish hum are ... well, boring. Luckily, the pint-sized hero is quirky enough to be compelling: The bushy-mustachioed Lorax has a folksy, righteous manner and is a guilt mongerer for a good cause. His harangues against the unrepentant Once-ler are both funny and poignant.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about natural resources. What are they?
How did the creatures use them?
Why do you think they got used up?
What would have been a better way for them to live?
Do you think this happens in our world? Is there anything you and your family can do to conserve resources and be nicer to the Earth?
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