The Lorax

Book review by
Robyn Raymer, Common Sense Media
The Lorax Book Poster Image
Seuss fable has become environmentalist classic.

Parents say

age 4+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 3+
Based on 7 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

A great introduction to environmental awareness.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Once-ler and his family use up a community's natural resources and pollute its air and water.

Violence & Scariness

Small children may be scared by the faceless, green-armed Once-ler and his dilapidated home. An entire ecosystem is wiped out.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this tale, told in Dr. Seuss' trademark rhymes, is a good introduction to environmental awareness.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byeribean8990 February 9, 2009

"Save the Planet, Listen to The Lorax!"

“I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.” Not once have I found another children’s book that has mixed great, abstract poetry with environmental awareness and ma... Continue reading
Parent Written byqtnn January 11, 2009
Teen, 14 years old Written bymurdermystery August 5, 2020
Teen, 14 years old Written byTheAlmightyCastform February 5, 2018

Excellent introduction to environmental awareness and the destructiveness of commercialism.

This book shows a man who founded a company who ended up chopping down an entire forest, and the animals had to leave and go elsewhere, and the man regrets it.... Continue reading

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?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books

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