The Lorax is a popular children’s book written by Dr. Seuss that raises critical environmental issues. The Lorax character “speaks for the trees” and the book’s plot details him confronting the Once-ler who is a personification of corporate greed and industries, to stand up against environmental degradations. This fable has been used to teach children worldwide about human-man and resource issues and has been adapted into a animated movie.
The keyword “picture book” stood out to me because they are such a critical part of one’s childhood. According to the Keywords essay,“The role of the picture book – be they psychotheraputic, sedative, role modeling (gender), mathematical skill building, or as memory books for geography cultural heritage, or history – are to echo Barbara Bader – limitless”. The Lorax takes this interpretation to heart, creating a timeless, meaningful and impactful story that has been used as an educational tool for generations. Interestingly, according to the keyword “The picture book may be seen as a descendant of the European propaganda war”. In a way, the Lorax also is acting as a sort of propaganda for the anti industrial movement. Perhaps this is how picture books transitioned from more propaganda like topics to fables and moral tales that aim to convince readers of a certain theme. Picture books are a malleable cultural medium that serve didactic purposes for children; their message is strengthened by the inclusion of pictures. As you may remember from the Lorax, the stories message would not be as strong if not for the inclusion of the illustrations which depict the damage of the Once-ler on the environment. Creating the images of the bright truffula trees allows the reader to be empathetic and make a connection with the environment that the Lorax is fighting for.