Friday, February 10, 2012

Thenadays (3)

For the sake of trying something different here at Bibliophila, Please, Thursday* now Thenadays.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

I know it may look like I am targeting children's books, but I swear it is not intentionally. The fact of the matter is - some of my favorite reads from "thenadays" are the beautifully written, imaginative works aimed at the wee people.

When I was a junior in high school, one of our books for required reading was The Lorax. Since I began reading at such a young age and mostly skipped over picture books entirely, I had never heard of it. (Do not worry, I knew about Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat in the Hat.) I figured that it would be something along the lines of The Seven Lady Godivas, which was my favorite picture book as a child. (Rest assured, if you have not read The Lorax - it is not.)

The teacher, Mr. P., was a very smart man and knew that we would probably not read it on our own. (I would have, but all copies were checked out from the library, so do not get all judgy about me. Sheesh.) When he pulled out the book in class, everyone was surprised. Me, because I figured that it must be some sort of adult book and everyone else because that man was about to read a children's picture book to a room full of teenagers. However, when he opened the gateway into the World of Seuss, we were transported to the land of the Bar-ba-Loots, Swomee Swans, Humming Fish, and Truffala trees. Mr. P. guided us through the Once-ler's destruction of this beautiful landscape, against the advice of the activist Lorax.

I will admit that I did not understand in the beginning why The Lorax was relevant to a high school classroom. However, I soon realized that the young people in the room (myself included) would be the ones making the decisions regarding the world in which we all live at some point in the future. Mr. P. used the book as a tool to show us that what we did had a direct impact on the world around us. I should also note that he never went on a soap box about big oil or the evils of industrialization or any of that. It was just a book about consequences and redemption (through hard work), and when it comes to that, sometimes teenagers need pictures.

Fast forward (not too far!) to today. It is one of my favorite books to read to my daughter. She is not old enough to give a hoot either way about the message in the story, but she loves the rhyme scheme. And we both love the pictures.

*I really did have this planned out for Thursday, but work got crazy. So here you go - "Thenadays" on Friday.

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You are going to put words in my box?! *squeezes you* Now I shall stalk YOUR blog!