- Books, Literature, and Writing
Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham
When I was in junior high school, we lived in Pennsylvania. I clearly remember the house we lived in, and how sometimes I would look out on the snow-covered field behind our house. When it snowed, it sure was cold! One time, it snowed so much it caused the electric lines to fall and the power was shut off. We had to use our gas oven to heat the house. The pastor and his family were not so lucky. They only had an electric stove. So they brought their sleeping bags over to our house, and slept on the floor downstairs where they could get the heat from our oven. Another time, the ice was so slippery people couldn't drive up the road in front of our house, which was up a steep hill. Some teenage boys spent the day helping people get their cars up the hill. Where do you find teenagers like that these days? DernedifIknow.
I am sitting in a chair looking out on that field. My mother is doing a permanent on my hair. She did this about every six months as I was growing up. She would cut my hair, and then she would wind what was left around rollers. She had to douse each strand of hair with a nasty-smelling chemical that I am sure was toxic as heck. She had to roll lots of strands, and this took a couple of hours. Then I had to sit with all this goop on my head and wait for the nasty chemical to soften my hair, and then she would take all the rollers out, and douse my head with another chemical, and then rinse, and then she would set my hair as usual. I hated every doggone minute of this process.
On this occasion, I am looking out on the field, enduring my mother doing this to me, and I just happened to have a copy of Green Eggs and Ham. I don't have the slightest recollection of where I got it. But I had it, and I had never read it, nor had I ever read anything by the author, so I had no idea what to expect. But I started to read it out loud. It was so doggone funny we both sat there laughing our fool heads off as I read each page. I am amazed that my hair didn't turn out with weird kinks in it, and I am even more amazed that my hair didn't turn green!
This book is about a couple of fictional characters, one of whom is known as Sam-I-Am. I don't remember the name of the other one. I'm not sure he even had a name. But I thought the name Sam-I-Am was downright silly. Sam-I-Am wants to persuade his victim that he likes green eggs and ham. And the silly drawings, done by the author, are half the fun. As you will see in the photo below (used under the Fair Use Doctrine), the egg yolks are green (what a yolk!) and so is the ham. Maybe they have mold on them. Who knows? After all, mold is good for you! It's what they make penicillin from. But if you are allergic to penicillin, you better not eat green eggs and ham!
I won't spoil the plot, but suffice it to say that I followed the advice in the book. And my mother offered me green things to eat, and I didn't want to taste them. One thing she offered me was spinach. To this day, I like spinach, cooked or raw. And she offered me fried okra. That's green. And I sure didn't want to try it. And she kept telling me I had to try it. It was the Rule. So I did. And I liked it so much I ended up eating everything that was left in the bowl after people had taken their helpings! See what a good book can do for your child's life?
You may think I just wrote a yarn, but the fact is, every single fact in this story is absolutely true! Life is amazing, isn't it?
Your kids will enjoy this book. And it will help make parenting a little easier. And if that isn't enough, it's a very good book for a beginning reader who has been taught phonics. So if you are looking for a good book for your kids for Christmas, this is a good choice. And since I was almost a teenager when I read it, you don't have to worry about them being too old to enjoy it.
Oh, and by the way, there really ARE green eggs! They are laid by a breed of chicken known as Araucanas. We used to have Araucanas, and aside from the fact that they are pretty chickens, I loved their green eggs. The other picture shows a green Araucana egg, and the photo is in the public domain.
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