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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