Green Eggs and Ham

 
A childhood favorite for good reason.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This story is all about trying new things. The saying "You'll never know until you try" is especially true throughout this short plot as the narrator finds that he does indeed like green eggs and ham, but only after he has refused it multiple times. He decides to take a chance and does not seem to regret his choice at the end.

Positive role models
Not applicable
Violence & scariness

Of a benign, cartoonish sort: A car drives up a tree and onto a train, the train crashes onto a boat, and everyone ends up in the water - all while Sam continues to coax the narrator into trying the questionable dish. One illustration even shows the narrator raising his fist above Sam in frustration.

Language
Not applicable

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.

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?

QUALITY
 

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."

Families can talk 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?

Book details

Author:Dr. Seuss
Illustrator:Dr. Seuss
Genre:For Beginning Readers
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Random House
Publication date:August 12, 1960
Number of pages:62
Publisher's recommended age(s):4 - 7

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Quality

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Kid, 9 years old March 26, 2009
age 13+
 

awe man!

Dr. Seuss says he hates GREEN (a puke color) eggs and ham
Teen, 14 years old Written bylove5 February 17, 2009
Kid, 7 years old March 3, 2011
age 6+
 

interesting

would like to read book first before reviewing it.
What other families should know
Great messages

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