This guest book review is by my Granddaughter, Alathea. We read this book together some months ago, but I’ve misplaced the picture of us reading together, so you’ll just have to be contented with a picture of Alathea.
Alathea says The Lorax is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian, first-person narrative. She feels it is illustrative of an underappreciated tenet of the Dr. Seuss’ canon, specifically that his tales, ostensibly childish whimsy, often portend social commentary of global significance. She cites The Great Butter Battle, Sneetches, Green Eggs and Ham, and of course, How the Grinch Stole Christmas as other examples.
As for The Lorax, Alathea acknowledges a plurality of possible meanings, but most come down to one of two major themes: an environmental warning or an indictment of conspicuous consumption.
Alathea feels the debate over which, is rather superfluous as the two are by no means mutually exclusive. Alathea feels the preponderance of evidence suggests an environmental message – the Lorax after all – speaks for the trees, truffula trees to be precise, but the tale also addresses the egregious mismanagement of natural resources all in the greed induced making of thneeds, indistinct articles of dubious utility.
Alathea opines that THNEED is a euphemism for items we THink we NEED, and likens them to the current fidget spinner craze.
Besides the moral admonishment, Alathea feels the Lorax represents something of a personal passion for Dr. Seuss. She refers to a legal battle the good doctor fought, and thankfully won, to save beloved eucalyptus trees in view of his office, that were threatened by real estate developers in San Diego county. Alathea feels Dr. Seuss is The Lorax and vice versa, and points out that Seuss is actually an anagram of Lorax. (Obviously, Alathea is mistaken on this point – she cannot spell yet, and I did not have the heart to correct her.)
Alathea points out the story ends with a strong magical realism element, as the Lorax utters the admonishment “Unless” and then lifts himself, hence the aptronym: The Lifted Lorax, and floats away into oblivion. Alathea is relieved that the tale ends with a hopeful message when erstwhile villain, the Onceler, produces a single remaining truffula seed.
Alathea gives The Lorax 5 Stars
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