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DR. SEUSS' THE LORAX

Before The Production
His Favorite Book: Dr. Seuss and "The Lorax"

"' The Lorax' doesn't say lumbering is immoral. I live in a house made of wood and write books printed on paper.

It's a book about going easy on what we've got. It's anti-pollution and anti-greed." -Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel

One of the best-selling children's book authors of all time, Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel created beloved books that have been published in 95 countries and in 17 different languages. An American icon who achieved global success, he has managed the rarified accomplishment of having more than half a billion books sold worldwide.

The author did not begin his career as the children's writer known as Dr. Seuss. Early on, he served as an advertising artist and political cartoonist. Dr. Seuss explained the importance he later found in writing for young audiences (in an essay published in 1960): "Children's reading and children's thinking are the rockbottom base upon which this country will rise. Or not rise. In these days of tension and confusion, writers are beginning to realize that books for children have a greater potential for good or evil than any other form of literature on Earth."

In September 1970, hoping to alleviate her husband's writers block and channel his frustration at the overconsumption he found in his community, Audrey Geisel suggested that they take a trip to East Africa. It was on this trip, after watching a herd of elephants walk across the African mountains of the Serengeti, that he found the inspiration to write "The Lorax." Seuss wrote 90 percent of the book that afternoon on the only piece of paper he had within reach, a laundry list.

Seuss' writing is inextricably linked to his artwork, and the trees of the Serengeti inspired the book's silktufted Truffula Trees. For the first time in his books, Seuss shifted the color palette in "The Lorax" from primary colors to a look that was mauve, plum, purple and even sage green. Seuss attributed this change in color to encouragement from his wife, and as a tribute to her inspiration, he dedicated "The Lorax" to Audrey and her two daughters, Lark and Lea.

When it was published in the fall of 1971, "The Lorax" was ahead of its time. When the environmental movement exploded a decade later, the popularity of "The Lorax" took off with it. Readers young and old were now seeing themselves in the story of a boy searching for answers to what happened to the trees.

Audrey Geisel, the film's executive producer, reflects: "'The Lorax' is one of the most important books that Ted wrote, and it is one of my favorites. This film celebrates the book in such a beautiful and inspiring way. I think Ted would be quite proud."

"The Lorax" has become a story-time staple, teaching and empowering children to create change in their own lives. Notably, "The Lorax" is included on the "Educator's All Time Top 20 List of Children's Books." Of the more than 40 works he penned before he passed away in 1991, Dr. Seuss pronounced that "The Lorax" was his favorite creation.

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