It makes sense that Theodor Geisel — or as we know him, Dr. Seuss — was born during the dawn of spring. His colorful characters, singsong anapestic tetrameter, and bright imagination complement the season perfectly. Tomorrow the world will celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday in the form of Read Across America Day, when people (big and small) will be digging into their favorite Seuss stories. (Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax also opens in theaters.) Although they’re primarily written for children, the author’s tales were smarter than most and often contained hidden meanings with satirical, political messages and profound humanistic meaning. His characters are the devices that bring it all to life, so we’ve chosen to spotlight a few favorites in order from best to worst. Tell us who you love below.
The tiny, orange Lorax has an Al Gore and Henry David Thoreau heart, with a stache like Walt Whitman. When he speaks for the trees — that are in danger of being chopped down by the greedy corporate Once-ler (who remains an invisible, looming identity throughout the story) — we listen. If you need a lesson in industrialized society and environmental issues, talk to The Lorax.