Skip to comments.Don't Read "The Lorax" to your kids
Posted on 03/26/2009 7:28:20 AM PDT by reaganaut1
I read "The Lorax" by Dr. Seuss yesterday evening to my 5-year-old. My wife had borrowed it from the library. I was expecting an amusing kid's book like "Green Eggs and Ham" (also by Seuss), but what I got was tiresome environmental, anti-business agit-prop. Ugh. Almost everyone on Amazon has given it 5 stars -- no wonder Obama is president.
I think the language in the book is dumb, too. Why invent words like "biggerer" (used repeatedly) instead of using the word "bigger".
It's too bad I need to screen children's books for political indoctrination. I wonder if there are sites where conservative parents have recommended books.
Try Robert the Rose Horse. My daughter loves it (I really ham up the “sound effects”) and the libs hate it (it has guns).
Here is an Amazon review from Jeffrey Gray explaining what is wrong with the book:
So far, the reviews for “The Lorax” seem to be from good little environmentalists, giving 5-star reviews in lockstep, and spouting their enviro-friendly platitudes.
I, however, as an unashamed pro-capitalist conservative, have a vastly different opinion. I’m going to focus on the issue of the Truffula Trees, because from them come two fundamental flaws in this book, flaws which the entire work rests upon.
“The Lorax” works off of two false premises:
1. The product made from the Truffula Trees is a Thneed, a product of infinite uses that the Once-ler claims “everybody needs.” However, Dr. Seuss is seeming to imply that we’re not supposed to listen to the Once-ler, and the Thneed is useless compared to leaving the Truffula Trees standing. The big problem here is that real trees produce something which we all *do* need: wood. Just looking around me, my door, my bed frame, my shelves, not to mention my house itself, are made out of wood. Real trees produce something that everybody does need, something without which a lot of things would be extremely different. Thus, in implying that no use comes out of cutting down the Truffula Trees, Seuss is giving the reader a wholly incorrect view of trees and logging.
2. This is the false premise which, since I came to a realization of it, has steamed me the most. At the end of the book, the last Truffula Tree is cut down, and the Once-ler’s business shuts down. Dr. Seuss views the Truffula Trees as a zero-sum resource, as though there is a limited, irreplaceable supply of them. However, especially considering that the Once-ler gives the little boy the last Truffula seed at the end, I am utterly flabbergasted at the fact that, throughout the entire ordeal, the Once-ler never thought to plant more Truffula Trees to replace the ones he cut down, or, in fact, to *add* to the amount. If the Once-ler expected to keep making Thneeds forever without planting more Truffula Trees, then he was an extremely bad businessman. In the lumber and logging industry, trees are always replanted, and many additional trees are also planted. (I’ve driven through an entire forest of 20-year-old trees in British Columbia, so don’t tell me that trees are an irreplaceable, zero-sum resource.) Planting more Truffula Trees would, of course, have also solved the problem of the brown Bar-Ba-Loots, because they’d still have shade and fruit.
By creating a world where the Thneeds made from Truffula Trees are supposedly actually useless and pointless, and where nobody thinks of the possibility of planting more Truffula Trees to replace or augment the supply, Dr. Seuss gives naive, impressionable children a wholly false view of environmental issues, effectively indoctrinating them, through preachy, mawkish, emotionally manipulative text and illustrations, to believe that: 1.) the environment is pretty and peaceful and serene and should never be touched, period; and 2.) all people who try to make money off of natural resources are “greedy” and “evil.” (Both ideas approach socialist/Marxist territory, since they involve someone, ultimately the government, forcing people not to touch the environment, and arbitrating how people can and cannot make a living.)
The character I dislike the most is, in fact, the Lorax, who whines and kvetches about how the Once-ler can’t touch his beautiful Truffula Trees, under any circumstances, and how the Once-ler cannot make a living from selling a useful product because of this. To me, he’s a wonderful embodiment of the whiny, intolerant environmentalists we have to listen to every time the environment is “threatened.”
There is a difference between responsible care of the environment, and “keep everything *exactly* the way it was, as if mankind never existed!” “The Lorax,” to me, takes the latter position. I give it two stars, only because of Seuss’ signature illustrations and invented words and names, which aren’t even at their best here.
I don’t care if what I say is politically incorrect; I’m thinking for myself, and this is what I believe.
I grew up with the stuff, but didn’t realize how I was being indoctrinated until I saw it again in my 20’s. Suess really went off the deep end towards the end. One of his last books, “The Big Butter Battle” was his most overt, leftist, relativist, anti-war, anti-Reagan piece of children’s propoganda out there.
Obama is a buggerer.
Try Thidwick the Big-Hearted Moose for a conservative view of parasites aloing for a free ride and how they can destriy an enterprise if they are not ruthlessly left on their own.
Aw c’mon, it ain’t too bad. It describes things in Red China quite well I think.
Propaganda can be useful as a learning tool. Same with TV -- watch (what's safe to watch) with them, and point out the PC absurdities, with much humor.
Make it fun!
Suess was a commie
Very, very good review.
My 21-year-old daughter has a group game she likes to play with friends. They spend about ten minutes in Barnes and Noble or some other large bookstore hunting for the most overt politically-correct book each can find and then declare a winner. She says she usually wins and her secret is she heads directly to the children’s book section.
a truffula tree in post 11!!
I recently went to an out-of-the-way library in the countryside when at grandma's house....all those great books from my childhood there there - characters with guns, mostly people (not cutsey animals), right, wrong, etc.
In our leftist library (where I've heard librarians discuss their hatred of George Bush with patrons), all the kids books are modern, moral relativist, and on and on. The movie selection similarly reflects the leftist bias.
Here's a thought for you: analyze Curious George. The books confuse an animal with a child (what moral responsibility does an animal have, versus a child?). The animal, George, constantly disobeys the Man in the Yellow Hat, causes havoc or a mess, but, because it all works out in the end, his initial outright disobedience is just fine. What kind of lesson is that? So, as long as you rebel against proper authority and get away with it, that's fine?
Oh, please! The Lorax is fine. It rails against wanton destruction of the earth’s resources, simply for personal gain. Those actions are against all notions of faithful stewardship of God’s Creation, anyway. Why not use it as a teaching tool about caring for the world God created for us, while still being able to produce goods for ourselves and others?
Geisel was a collectivist commie. As a child, I didn't care for them, preferring Curious George, or just about anything else. The Butter Battle Book was another example of his "politics as children's entertainment."
I know, it stinks.
wait a few years and there will be better books. Just don’t count on public schools and libraries to highlight them.
Our latest BOrders Bookstore game consists of turning over all the obama books we can find, then tmiing how long it takes the leftie Code pink chicks to turn them back over. WE experiemented with turning over Anne Colter books...but those never seemed to get fixed.
AND for the record...Levin’s new book can’t be bought at BOrders...They only ordered 3 copies...And those were sold in 2 minutes...and they aren’t getting another order in for a month. We asked them to order it for us online through their “Borders Book Distribution Network”...They could get us a copy shipped to our house in 3 weeks. *Snicker*