The Lorax is probably the first book that comes to mind when people talk about children’s books which touch on environmentalism and preserving nature for future generations. And I have no complaint with that. Doctor Seuss (aka Theodor Geisel) wrote a powerful story, which connected with kids quite well.
But for me, I also remember The Wump World. I couldn’t have been much past first grade when I first read the tale of these gentle creatures and how their world was overrun. I can’t be certain, but this was likely also one of my first introductions to the science fiction genre as the Pollutians came to the Wump World in what were clearly spaceships.
Out of the blue, a friend recently asked if I’d ever heard of the wumps and after checking that we were talking about the same thing, I felt compelled to revisit the Wump World.
Although the book is 44 pages long, it’s worth noting that every page is also illustrated with a color, pencil-drawing. It’s a fast read for an adult and given that it’s stuck with me for more years than I wish to recount, it seems a reasonable kid-length.
The story tells of the Wumps and how their idyllic existence is one day interrupted by the arrival of “The Pollutians” (to an adult, the name is hardly subtle, but as a child, I scarcely noticed it). It’s a dismal life for the Wumps, but much as with The Lorax, there’s a hopeful ending.
So yes, get the kids hooked on The Lorax, but don’t forget to visit The Wump World too.