Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Book Cover of the Week: I Speak For The Trees – by Louise Tripp

 Maybe you recycle, ride your bike everywhere instead of driving and carry a thermos for water or coffee rather than create more container waste. That's cool. But you're still not as “green” as Dr. Seuss. Because long before everyone started becoming more planet-conscious, Theodor Seuss Geisel wrote a nifty little kids' book called The Lorax

The book has been a huge controversy in its time as well as a starting point for activism. With its bright, whimsical cover and playful rhyme, it taught young readers about a forest of “Truffula” trees and the creatures that relied on them – one of which is the Lorax. When the selfish Once-ler comes along, chopping down trees for various “needs” it is the Lorax who warns him. This all happened “back in the days when the grass was still green/and the pond was still wet/and the clouds were still clean” - but The Lorax is told in a flashback. A boy, wondering about why the Lorax was there and why it was taken away, goes to the Once-ler for answers and the Once-ler, from his hiding place, tells the sad story. All the trees are gone; the resources have all been depleted and the Once-ler is all alone. The factories and shops where he sold the things he made with the trees all closed when the last tree was chopped down. Everything the Lorax warned him about has happened.

Yes, it's a tragedy – but Dr. Seuss would never spin so bleak a tale without a shred of hope. The Once-ler gives the curious boy a seed to plant a Truffula tree, so that perhaps the forest can someday be restored. And perhaps someday, the Lorax will come back.

Challenge: Recreate a book cover in photographs and I'll post it here next week. Or got an idea for a Book Cover of the Week?

Louise Tripp grew up in Edenton, North Carolina. She currently lives in Chicago, where she is revising her first YA novel and working in a public library. You can read her regular blog at

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