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Green Eggs and Ham
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this classically silly story shows characters doing a few dangerous things -- like driving a car into the treetops and, later, on top of a moving train. But since the tone is overtly comical, most kids will know that they shouldn't try these things at home. The narrator takes part in the exhausting back-and-forth of offer and refusal - a situation many readers can relate to.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Dr. Seuss created this book by transposing ham and eggs, coloring them green, and using the word \"not\" eighty-two times. The unquenchable Sam-I-am drags poor Mr. Negativity over hill, dale, and precarious aerial train track (with a cheerful mouse, fox, and goat in tow) until the hapless green-eggs-and-ham-hater consents to try the despised green breakfast.
Is it any good?
In this oddball story, Dr. Seuss brought Sam-I-Am's disgusted opponent to life with many funny poses signifying refusal. In one, the snooty grump has one hand on hip, the other palm held up flat in a "Thanks, but no thanks!" gesture. Another is an eyes-closed, head-thrown-back howl of protest. Another features infuriated finger shaking: "You let me be!" (Once he's won over, the character becomes a lot less interesting.)
Just ask a 2-year-old: it's invigorating to say the word "No!" 30 or 40 times in succession (or variations such as "I won't eat it, I don't like it"). One five-year-old was able to use her rudimentary phonics skills, memory, and a flair for saying "No!" to read this entire book with perfect expression. She also pointed out that the book should be re-titled "Green Yolks and Green Ham," and understood its moral: "You should try new things."
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the benefits of trying new things -- from exotic foods to books with big words to challenging physical tasks. (Who knows? You just might like them.)
Do you think the unnamed character who claims to dislike green eggs and ham likes them in their normal state (ie. not green)?
Would you eat them?
Have you ever had a strong opinion about something that you were convinced you hated and later discovered you liked?
Did it take a lot of courage to try something new?
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