Top 100 Picture Books #33: The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
#33 The Lorax by Dr. Seuss (1971)
A timeless classic. I haven’t seen the movie, and I don’t plan to; it’s one of those cases in which the book is perfect just as it is. – Melissa Fox
because “UNLESS someone like you / cares a whole awful lot, / nothing is going to get better. / It’s not.” – Philip Nel
Previously #83 our little Lorax take an almighty leap and goes up fifty places to #33. Undoubtedly the film helped to give him a bit of a push. That’s the way a list like this works sometimes. Classics with recent tie-ins move up faster because of their new status. So here he is, ladies and gentlemen! The little guy who starred in a made-for-TV movie that I saw when I was eight and have been effectively traumatized by ever since. If I’m a good environmentalist, it’s because The Lorax made me so. Violently.
Basic plot: The Once-ler moves to town, takes advantage of all the natural resources he can get his grubby hands on (and the guy is mostly hands) and ignores the pleas of The Lorax to stop before it’s too late. Too late it becomes and The Lorax takes off for greener pastures. Hope then resides in a small boy and the single seed of a Truffula Tree that The Once-ler has saved in spite of everything.
Said School Library Journal, “The big, colorful pictures and the fun images, word plays and rhymes make this an amusing exposition of the ecology crisis.”
So the recent movie . . . I haven’t seen it myself, though I was a little perturbed that none of the commercials showed anything closely resembling pollution in them. Even more disturbing? A commercial that may well be remembered as the most ironic children’s literature/movie tie-in of all time.
I hate to say it, but give me that old creepy hand drawn version any day of the week.
And I’d show you the pretty Lorax statue but . . . well . . .
About Betsy Bird
Betsy Bird is currently the Collection Development Manager of the Evanston Public Library system and a former Materials Specialist for New York Public Library. She has served on Newbery, written for Horn Book, and has done other lovely little things that she'd love to tell you about but that she's sure you'd find more interesting to hear of in person. Her opinions are her own and do not reflect those of EPL, SLJ, or any of the other acronyms you might be able to name. Follow her on Twitter: @fuseeight.
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