by Sarene Marshall, The Nature Conservancy
We are a family of quite dedicated Dr. Seuss fans – when my husband and I got married and combined our book collections, we discovered we owned two copies of The Cat in the Hat. Our two girls (now 6 and 7 ½) have been immersed in Seuss’ writings since before birth. The first book we ever read them was Oh, Baby, the Places You’ll Go – a veritable tour through dozens of Dr. Seuss’ books, featuring Horton, Cindy-Lou Who and a range of other characters from some of his most beloved books. Oh, Baby is subtitled “A Book to be Read in Utero” and contains an interesting forward by Dr. Seuss’ widow about the late author’s interest in babies’ ability to hear sound while in the womb.
Whether it’s proof that the in-utero reading worked or not, I don’t know, but we moved on from there to many, many bedtimes accompanied by The Cat in the Hat; One Fish, Two Fish; Green Eggs and Ham; and many other Seuss and Seuss-inspired beginner books.
Although we have always owned Seuss’ more advanced stories, we had only read a few of them before other characters and genres (including lots of Fancy Nancy!) took over our nighttime reading rituals and the Seuss books got left on the shelf more often than not. And how ironic that, given I spend my days at The Nature Conservancy working to protect forests, our girls had never read Seuss’ quintessential environmental tale, The Lorax!
So, it was with great excitement that we took advantage of the release of The Lorax movie – a rare opportunity to be able to connect my profession with a time-tested, kid-friendly story. And, even better than that, we were given the chance to see the movie before it was out in theaters – courtesy of The Nature Conservancy’s partnership with Universal Pictures, which aims to engage movie-goers in a campaign to bring Earth’s current equivalent of a Truffula forest back to life. In preparation for our field trip to the theater, we dusted off our copy of The Lorax story, and our girls excitedly produced colorful interpretations of Lorax characters and scenes.