Of all the works by Dr. Seuss, Green Eggs and Ham may be the most famous. Like most of the children’s books by Dr. Seuss, the story is simple enough, but it is beautifully told and has resonated with children and adults alike for six decades. The combination of words and Dr. Seuss art make this an instant classic that still resonates just as strongly today.
On August 12, 1960, Green Eggs and Ham was first published. The purpose of the book was to help teach vocabulary to those who are just beginning to read. In fact, the book itself consists of only 50 words, which is considerably less compared to the 236 words used for another Dr. Seuss classic, The Cat in the Hat. The reason for only 50 words came from a bet between Dr. Seuss and publisher Bennet Cerf, who told Dr. Seuss that he could not complete a proper book with fewer than 236 words. Dr. Seuss easily won that bet.
Story of Green Eggs and Ham
The book itself covers the story of Sam-I-Am, who wants his friend Guy-I-Am to eat the plate of green eggs and ham. Guy-I-Am will not eat the food and declares that he will not like them here or there or anywhere. Guy-I-Am lists all the locations he will not eat them along the animals present where he will not eat them with either. Sam-I-Am keeps pushing while Guy-I-Am keeps refusing until they finally fall into the ocean.
At that point, Guy-I-Am relents and declares that if Sam-I-Am leaves him alone, he will try them. Upon the first taste, Guy-I-Am is pleased. He announces that he will eat the green eggs and ham anywhere and with anyone, repeating the locations and animals that he refused to eat the meal with before. He thanks Sam-I-Am for pushing him into eating the green eggs and ham.
Today, Green Eggs and Ham has sold over 8 million copies in hardback reaching fourth on the best-selling children’s books in English for all time. The reach and impact of the book is still growing with both children and teachers ranking it as one of the most popular books of its type. It’s also been the subject of animated specials along with numerous references in movies and TV shows.
Dr. Seuss Art
The cultural impact has also been considerable as passages from the book have been used in many modern works. The Dr. Seuss art has also been impactful as well, becoming instantly recognizable to children and adults around the world. From being read in the halls of Congress to inspiring the name of musician will.i.am of the Black Eyed Peas, the book continues to be a source of inspiration and delight.
For the young and young at heart, Green Eggs and Ham is still a marvellous, wonderful adventure into the world of Dr. Seuss. From reading the book to enjoying the Dr. Seuss art, all of the children’s books have a special place in the hearts of those who read them as children and continue to do so today.
Please contact Camphor Cottage if you wish to acquire a piece of this art or would like to discuss the collection further.