Tag: The Lorax

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5 Books to Teach Your Kids About the Environment

It’s Earth Day! Whether you’re looking to educate your children about the environment in a fun and informative way, or simply want to take a trip down memory lane, here are five children’s books about the environment, in honor of the holiday.

1. ‘Seekers’ by Erin hunter

Seekers Book 1

image via amazon

If you have a young middle-schooler at home (or were once a Warrior Cats fan obsessed with anything Erin Hunter, like me) you may have heard of this middle-grade animal series featuring four main characters—all of which are bears. The series isn’t wholly centered on environmental issues, but the state of nature, and its impact on animals and their homes, plays a large role in the series. 

From the start, Toklo, Kallik, and Lusa struggle to find their place in a world dominated by man. Toklo comes from the wild, but his family struggles as their resources and food supply dwindle. Meanwhile, Kallik is a polar bear grappling with the melting ice caps and warmer temperatures. Lusa is the only bear living in captivity, though she longs to break free from her zoo and enter the wild. 

As these bears—and their companion Ujurak, a grizzly bear with a unique ability—cross paths, they go in search of a place to call home, hoping to escape to a place untouched by man, where resources and food are plentiful. Throughout their journey, the gang meets others struggling in the wake of a polluted Earth. This series is action-packed, but with a focus on the effects of our actions on the animals of the world.

 

2. ‘The Lorax’ by dr. Seuss

The Lorax

image via amazon

This widely-popular Dr. Seuss book is probably the most well-known children’s book about the environment, complete with a recent movie adaptation. The story follows the Lorax, who speaks for the trees as they are cut down by the Once-ler. 

The fictional world of The Lorax is a fairly obvious parallel to our own world, commentating on industrialization and the environmental issues surrounding it. With beautiful illustrations and a powerful message, The Lorax is the perfect Earth Day read!

3. ‘Greta and the Giants’ by zoe tucker

Greta and the Giants

image via amazon

As a mere teenager, Greta Thunberg made it her life’s mission to speak out against the ever-growing climate crisis, sparking a movement of protests and change. Her message isn’t just for adults, but children too, and her story is now more accessible than ever.

Set in a world where “Giants” are cutting down a forest to build their homes, Greta is a young girl living within the trees. As the Giants’ towns grow into cities, Greta’s home in the forest shrinks. Greta comes up with a plan to stop them, not just to save her home, but to protect the animals living within it.

The book even comes with a guide for how YOU can help Greta in her fight. It is also printed sustainably on 100% recycled paper. If you’re looking to do your part this Earth Day, and in the days thereafter, following Greta’s example is a great start!

 

4. ‘Judy Moody Saves the World’ by Megan McDonald

Judy Moody saves the world

image via amazon

The beloved Judy Moody is back again, but this time with her sights set on saving the world! After losing a comic strip competition with her slogan, “Heal the World,” Judy decides to move on to bigger and better things: saving the environment. As Judy learns more and more about the state of the world—its destroyed rainforests, endangered species, and poor recycling habits—she decides to take matters into her own hands.

Funny and relatable, Judy Moody has always been a favorite of mine. This book is not only educational but also shows that even a young girl like Judy can take action against the climate crisis. Judy will inspire your kids, and maybe even you too!

5. ‘Just a Dream’ by Chris van Allsburg

Just a Dream

image via Amazon

Just a Dream begins with a young kid, Walter, going about his everyday life. However, when he goes to sleep at night, he wakes up to find himself in a polluted dream world. Seeing this opens Walter’s eyes and prompts him to change his lifestyle. 

It’s easy to forget the damage we can wreak with simple things like littering or wasting water. Just a Dream reminds us that the little things matter and that taking small steps towards sustainability can still make a difference.

Featured images via amazon

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116 Years of Dr. Seuss

Whether you learned about environmentalism for the first time with The Lorax or enjoyed a day in with The Cat in the Hat, Dr. Seuss has impacted children for generations. From the publication of his first children’s book And To Think That I Saw It On Mulberry Street in 1937, it was clear that Dr. Seuss was going to be a mainstay in children’s literature. Seuss’ birthday is one of the biggest birthday celebrations in schools and libraries across the country. For those who are out of school, these lesser-known Dr. Seuss facts are not likely to be celebrated at the kids section of your local library.

 

Why Seuss Added the Doctor

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image via all that’s interesting

By now, most people know that Dr. Seuss was a pen name for Theodore Seuss Giesel. Giesel began using the name Seuss while he was in college, but didn’t add the doctor until later. His father had always wanted him to be a medical doctor, but Seuss clearly knew that wouldn’t happen. Rather than let his father down completely, Dr. Seuss became one of the most famous doctors of the past hundred years, whether or not he practiced medicine.

Dr. Seuss’ Dad might be even more interesting

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image via HarperCollins uk

Even though Giesel’s father wanted him to become a man of medicine, he had his own unique career path. Giesel’s father was a professional beer brewmaster and was also a competitive marksman. Because of Prohibition, Seuss’ father had to change career paths pretty quickly. Maybe this is why he wanted his son to be in a more steady profession.

 

Political Statements in Doctor Seuss (or not)

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image via Ez learning

Lots of Dr. Seuss books are clearly political, from the environmental messages in The Lorax to the anti-fascist antics of Yertle the Turtle.  The famous line “a person’s a person, no matter how small” from Horton Hears a Who! has been used to support some controversial political causes.  Although this line was originally intended to help young readers understand that all people are important, the quote was used by a variety of pro-life groups to support their views. Dr. Seuss never made any statements about his stance of pro-life vs pro-choice, but he did threaten to sue one anti-abortion group for using the phrase on their letterhead. Seuss and his wife Audrey have both expressed that they don’t appreciate when famous Seuss quotes are taken out of context to support causes that they were never intended to support.

Seuss is Not the Only Pseudonym

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image via blogspot

In addition to publishing more than sixty books under the name Dr. Seuss, Giesel also published a number of books under the name Theo LeSieg. His famous book Ten Apples Up On Top was not originally a Dr. Seuss book because it was published under a Theo LeSieg, even though now the book bares the name Dr. Seuss. In 1975, Giesel even wrote a book called Because a Little Bug Went Ka-Choo! under the name Rosetta Stone.

 

Even Dr. Seuss Had His Fun!

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image via blogspot

While attending Dartmouth, Seuss was editor-in-chief of their humor magazine Jack-O-Lantern. Not unlike many other rowdy college students, Seuss and his friends were caught drinking in their dorm room one night, which got him kicked off the publication. Now, that might seem like a harsh punishment for a few beers, but Prohibition was still in effect when Seuss was in college. Giesel got his the best of them as he kept contributing to the publication under the name Seuss.

Work during World War II

image via brain pickings

Even if Giesel was too old to be drafted for the second world war, he certainly was working hard. In the early 1940s, he started as a cartoonist for PM, a magazine produced in New York. Giesel made over 400 cartoons for the newspaper, most of them propaganda. In 1942, he began working for the US Army in their documentary film division. One of the films he wrote, Your Job in Germany, was even directed by Frank Capra (the same guy who directed It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington).

 

Seuss’ More Salacious Side

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Image via random house

Dr. Seuss, ever the pessimist about the publishing industry, wanted to make sure that his editors were paying attention. Apparently, Seuss used to slip in dirty images or swear words into his first drafts to keep everyone on their toes. Giesel even published a book called The Seven Lady Godivas: The True Facts of America’s Barest Family, which featured many nude drawings to illustrate the text. After its initial failure, as Seuss’ fame grew it was republished in 1987.

Featured image via Crushing Krisis

 

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7 Cli-Fi Books to Celebrate Earth Day and Every Day

April 22nd is Earth Day, and while you’re all busy reducing, reusing, and recycling, we’ve made a list of cli-fi books for you to read and share. Cli-Fi has become a new genre of fiction, focusing on the most drastic effects of climate change that we face by taking no actions to stop it. They’re eerie, they’re surprisingly accurate, and they’re a lot of fun.

 

1. Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

 

Ready Player One Book Cover
IMAGE VIA THE CROWN PUBLISHING GROUP

The many 80’s references and killer virtual reality video game detract from the fact that Ready Player One paints a disturbing picture of the future. The plot develops due to the fact that the environment has literally deteriorated. The book takes place in the year 2045, which is really not too far into the future. We’ve even recently been warned that we can start to see similar effects by the time we do get to the 2040’s. The earth is destitute, and people are living in stacks of trailers. Because there is little to no agriculture due to climate change, there is little to no income. Kids are using computers to attend school in a virtual reality setting, and virtual currencies are worth significantly more than national currencies. The book highlights just how much of a threat is posed if we allow the environment to crumble like we currently are. The economy will crumble right behind it, leaving us to rely on a billionaire to develop a game like Oasis where we can win his entire estate. This is what gamers have been preparing for their whole lives, but it would just be easier if we planted some trees.

2. The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

 

The Lorax Serves the Trees
IMAGE VIA EARLY MOMENTS

I bet you had no idea that long before saving the bees and trees became a global concern, Dr. Seuss was warning the world about the threat dangerous progress posed to the earth’s natural beauty through The Lorax. We’ve destroyed whole forests to build cities, and allowed gas guzzling cars to take over as a main source of transportation because it was most convenient. We never even tried to understand what these things would do until it was too late. While the book is aimed towards children, adults still have a lot to learn from Dr. Seuss.

 

3. The MaddAddam Series by Margaret Atwood

 

maddaddam trilogy
IMAGE VIA VARIETY

Margaret Atwood has been eerily accurate in her dystopian novels, and this is no exception. Atwood holds up a mirror to show us what we are facing by doing nothing about the pending dooms of climate change in these three books: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood, and MaddAddam. After a man-made plague wipes out a good percentage of the world’s population, a bio-engineered species is created to replace humans. You were worried about robots taking your jobs, well this is even scarier. The books track several characters as they face rising sea levels and quite literally the end of the world as we know it. Should we be scared? Definitely, as it seems life does seem to be headed the way Atwood predicts in her other dystopias, and even after being warned we need to take action we remain unsurprisingly inactive.

4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy

 

The Road by Cormac McCarthy book cover
IMAGE VIA BOOK DEPOSITORY

The Road takes a look at a father and son duo, who find themselves trekking across a burned up United States in search of the shore. Snow has turned grey, and the only movement is that of the ashes. A dried up and burned up earth may not seem so close to reality, but California has already experienced drought and wildfires that may make you think twice about that. Armed with only a pistol, the duo make their way across the country, with only love for the other to save themselves. Hope has gone out the window, there is a lingering fear of others who they may come across. The only food they have is what they brought with them. There is no livestock, no crops, not even a bush of berries to sustain them. In a world that has been destroyed by climate changes, it is clear there is nothing left but fear and hopelessness.

 

5. New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson

 

New York 2140 by Kim Stanley Robinson book cover
IMAGE VIA HACHETTE BOOK GROUP

Taking place just over a century in the future, it is clear through New York 2140 that climate change is seriously in effect. The water has risen, submerging all of New York City. Every street has become a waterway, and every skyscraper an island. Though the story is told with a humorous tone, it is clear these are not funny circumstances. Subway gone, historic monuments gone, the New York Public Library gone. Robinson tells the story through the eyes of several characters all observing the new New York from a single building. Through Robinson’s craft, it is easy to see the undesirable changes New York undergoes and, therefore, we undergo.

 

6. The Rain Never Came by Lachlan Walter

 

The Rain Never Came by Lachlan Walter book cover
IMAGE VIA GOODREADS

After a drought strikes Australia, citizens in The Rain Never Came are escorted away towards more livable environments. Some decide to remain behind, hiding in places no one would dare look. Bill Cook and Tobe Cousins are just two such people. The book clearly plays on very real fears that we face in conjunction with climate change. Like I said earlier, California is currently facing this issue. This is no longer some dystopian idea, it is real life for too many people. There is definitely a post-apocalyptic feel to this book, but that doesn’t take away from the fact that this could soon be reality.

 

7. Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

 

Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins book cover
IMAGE VIA NPR

Gold Fame Citrus takes the story of Luz and Ray, survivors of a drought-struck California. People have been ushered to government camps on the east coast, while others have been stopped from crossing the California border. Those left are surviving on rations of water and anything else they can scavenge for. Destitute land turning citizens into thieves and vigilantes is nothing new in Cli-Fi, but what makes this original is the fact that this isn’t some far-fetched idea. Again, droughts in California are happening. While we haven’t yet started rationing anything or shipping people off to encampments, what is to say we won’t if things do get worse?

featured image via alabama political reporter
Midnight Paintings

These ‘Midnight Paintings’ Were Created By Dr. Seuss in Private

The name Dr. Seuss needs no introduction. Famous for his children’s novels that blended his brilliant rhyming schemes with illogical logic, nonsense words, and surrealist worlds into popular works such as The Cat in the Hat, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!and The Lorax. Still, there was more to Dr. Seuss than just these works, despite being his most famous creations. He was also a renowned illustrator, creating artwork for magazines, political cartoons, and most interestingly of all, himself.

 

One of Dr. Seuss's Midnight Paintings, these drawings features a surreal humanoid bird holding a martini glass and looking slyly at the viewer
Image Via The Guardian

 

As discussed in this article by The Guardian, Seuss illustrated hundreds of surreal artworks in the late hours of the night, painting for himself. These paintings were kept private until Seuss’s death, after which they were released to the public in an exhibition in Vancouver in 2016, dubbed The Art of Dr. Seuss and Liss Gallery. As discussed in this article by The Star, Seuss historians believe Dr. Seuss created these artworks to fulfill his imagination, his unshackled creativity inspiring him to put his best work forward for his actual public artwork. The gallery showcased sculptures, paintings, and illustrations released by his Estate, showcasing the private mind of Dr. Seuss.

Below are some of the ‘Midnight Paintings’, allowing us a glimpse into the mind of the author whose works we grew up with.

 

A deer drinks from a twisted water spout while surrounded by a strange, surreal world of light and shadow in this painting by Dr. Seuss
Image Via The Guardian
A painting featuring surreal images of animals prancing across a starlit grassland, with fish jumping happily in a nearby pond
Image Via The Guardian

 

A bird-like creature gazes into a mirror sadly while surrounded by a splendor of color
Image Via The Huffington Post
A fish-like creatures swims through a surreal underwater landscape, surrounded by weird plants and coral
Image Via The Milwaukee Independent

The paintings were collected into a book called The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss. Featuring sixty-five color illustrations, the book allows one to see Dr. Seuss in a whole new light. Pick up a copy today and bask for yourself in the beautiful illustrations of Dr. Seuss’s private world.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via The Milwaukee Independent