Tuesday, 9 August 2011

The Lorax

Misses Z and A love books, which makes me very pleased because I love books.  Miss A is a bit of an obsessive little possum and has always had a favourite book, one which I am forced to read to her over and over (and over and over) again.  Sometimes the favourite will last for a week, sometimes longer.  I have at times been kept awake at night with stanzas out of her favourite at the time circulating in my mind quite unrelentlessly. 

There has been The Midnight Gang (by Margaret Wild and Ann James), Sleepy Pendoodle (Malachy Doyle and Julie Vivas) and Puppies and Piggies (Cynthia Ryland and Ivan Bates).  Last week she decided that her favourite was The Lorax by Dr Seuss.

We have quite a Dr Seuss collection kicking about our house and I must confess that I am, largely, indifferent to his books.  The illustrations are slightly too cartoonish and the words over the top for my liking.  However, The Lorax is an exception for me.  I love it.  The lilting language in it makes it a delight to read aloud and the environmental message is beautifully accessible for little people.  However, having said all that, I am surprised that Miss A enjoys it so much.  Afterall, it is a long book and its message probably slightly advanced for a two year old.

Given that I have read it so many times (particularly in the past week!), I am able to read it to Miss A at the moment somewhat on auto pilot and let my thoughts wander.  During this morning's first reading, it struck me how similar the Lorax's predicament is to the current logging in Tasmania and if those so hell bent on old growth logging could manage to take a message from this children's story.

For those who haven't read The Lorax, it tells the story of the Once-ler who cuts down Truffula Trees to make Thneeds.  The Lorax is a sort of hairy man who represents the trees and those who are dependent on them.  Despite his vocal protests and appeals, the Once-ler continues to cut down the trees in order to bigger his business. It's not until all of the Truffula Trees have been chopped down and his business ceased that the Once-ler feels any sense of regret.  Let's just hope that the newly signed Forestry Agreement means that we don't ever have to get to the stage where the last of our trees have been chopped down and that we can appreciate what we have before it is all gone.

I wonder what Miss A's book of choice next week will teach us?