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The now remorseful Once-ler, our faceless, bodiless narrator, tells the story himself. Long ago this enterprising villain chances upon a place filled with wondrous Truffula Trees, Swomee-Swans, Brown Bar-ba- loots, and Humming-Fishes. Bewitched by the beauty of the Truffula Tree tufts, he greedily chops them down to produce and mass-market Thneeds. ("It's a shirt. It's a sock. It's a glove. It's a hat.") As the trees swiftly disappear and the denizens leave for greener pastures, the fuzzy yellow Lorax (who speaks for the trees "for the trees have no tongues") repeatedly warns the Once-ler, but his words of wisdom are for naught. Finally the Lorax extricates himself from the scorched earth (by the seat of his own furry pants), leaving only a rock engraved "UNLESS." Thus, with his own colorful version of a compelling morality play, Dr. Seuss teaches readers not to fool with Mother Nature. But as you might expect from Seuss, all hope is not lost. The Once-ler has saved a single Truffula Tree seed! Our fate now rests in the hands of a caring child, who becomes our last chance for a clean, green future
This book could be used as a way to begin conversations and reflections around the sustainability issues presented. It also provides an opportunity for students to clarify their own values relating to sustainability as well as an introduction to analyzing ones one ecological footprint and developing an appreciation for the natural world.
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