Dr. Seuss ~ Random House, 1971
I know all you hardcore collectors out there are gonna scream OBVIOUS, but seeing as today is Earth Day and this book is THE kid's book on the subject, I had to tip my hat. Not only that, but The Lorax is my all time favorite Dr. Seuss story. Way back when, I saw the animated version on TV, and it terrified me so deeply, that I never looked at a tree the same way again.
This story of the watchful Lorax, the destruction of a forest, and a regretful old Once-ler who brought about its demise is so important and poignant and touching... the mere thought of it gives me goosebumps all over and makes me want to cry with the hopelessness of it all.
"Mister!" he said with a sawdusty sneeze,
"I am the Lorax. I speak for the trees.
I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.
And I'm asking you sir, at the top of my lungs" --
he was very upset as he shouted and puffed --
"What's this THING you've made out of my Truffula tuft?"
The old Once-ler does not heed the warnings of the wee Lorax, and instead cuts down the Truffula forest tree by tree to make his Thneeds (which everyone needs) until there is nothing left. It is a fitting and stunning metaphor for the devastation of the natural world which surrounds us.
The Lorax said nothing. Just gave me a glance...
just gave me a very sad, sad backward glance...
as he lifted himself by the seat of his pants.
And I'll never forget the grim look on his face
when he heisted himself and took leave of this place,
through a hole in the smog, without leaving a trace.
This is a must-have for your child's library, as hopefully the message will get through and break your child's heart the way it did mine all those years ago.
And all that the Lorax left here in this mess
was a small pile of rocks, with the one word...
Happy Earth Day everyone.
Epilogue: Design Mom posted on The Lorax today too and mentioned a groovy new GREEN edition.
Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are?
Come Over to My House
Bartholomew and the Oobleck