The Lorax

The Lorax Study Guide

The Lorax is a 1971 children’s fiction book written by Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel). Though it was first published in 1971 by Random House, several newer versions have been edited and re-published, including the most sold 1999 edition. The original language of the book is English, and it holds a total of 64 pages. The book is a part of a series of books written by Dr. Seuss, and though all the books are written as stand-alones, they share a common fictional “world.”

The seed for The Lorax was planted in 1970, when Theodor Geisel was trying to fight a suburban development project that was threatening the Eucalyptus trees around his home in La Jolla, California. He wanted to write a book about conservation and environmentalism for children, but struggled to find a way to do it that wasn't overly preachy. It wasn't until a vacation in Kenya with his wife—a safari—did Geisel begin writing The Lorax.

In the 1980s, The Lorax came under the crosshairs of a cultural clash between the timber logging industry and environmentalists. In 1989, logging families in Laytonville, a rural town in North California, filed a complaint with the school district against the mandatory teaching of The Lorax to the district's children. This conflict was emblematic of the struggles inspired by the burgeoning environmental movement across the United States at the time. The Lorax was such an effective tool of the environmentalist message that the logging industry actually published a rebuttal book, titled The Truax, meant to teach children about the importance of logging trees.

The book was adapted to an animation in 1972, and a musical movie by Universal Pictures in 2012.