Green Eggs and Ham
|Green Eggs and Ham|
|Cover artist||Dr. Seuss|
|Publication date||August 12, 1960 (renewed 1988)|
|Media type||Print (hardcover and paperback)|
|Preceded by||Happy Birthday to You!|
|Followed by||The Sneetches and Other Stories|
Green Eggs and Ham is a best-selling and critically acclaimed book by Dr. Seuss (a pen-name of Theodor Seuss Geisel), first published on August 12, 1960. As of 2001, according to Publishers Weekly, it was the fourth best-selling English-language children's book of all time. The story has appeared in several animated videos starting with 1973's Dr. Seuss on the Loose: The Sneetches, The Zax; Green Eggs and Ham starring Paul Winchell as the voice of both Sam-I-Am and the first-person narrating man.
One morning, a character known as "Sam-I-Am" pesters an unnamed man, who serves as the narrator in the book, to taste his very own breakfast that he made: green eggs and ham. The man declines, claiming to dislike his green eggs and ham. However, the persistent Sam-I-Am will not cease following the man around and trying to encourage him to try the green eggs and ham, asking him if he will sample the dish if he does it in various locations (boat, dark, train, rain, tree, car, box, house, wherever here, wherever there, anywhere) and with an assortment of animals (goat, fox, mouse). At the end, the man gives in to Sam-I-Am's pestering and takes a bite of his green eggs and ham, which he finds he does indeed like.
Green Eggs and Ham is one of Seuss's "Beginner Books", written in a very simple vocabulary for beginning readers.
The vocabulary of the text consists of just fifty different words and was the result of a bet between Seuss and Bennett Cerf (Dr. Seuss's publisher) that Seuss (after completing The Cat in the Hat using 225 words) could not complete an entire book using so few words.
The fifty are: a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.
Green Eggs and Ham was first published on August 12, 1960, and became the fourth-best selling English-language children's hardcover book of all time. In 1999, the National Education Association (NEA) conducted an online survey of children and teachers, seeking the 100 most popular children's books. On the children's list, Green Eggs and Ham was ranked third, just above another Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat; teachers ranked it fourth. It ranked fourth again among teachers in a 2007 NEA poll. It was one of the "Top 100 Picture Books" of all time in a 2012 poll by School Library Journal. Scholastic Parent & Child magazine placed it #7 on its list of "100 Greatest Books for Kids" in 2012.
Adaptations and tributes 
Green Eggs and Ham is the third of the three Geisel stories that were adapted into the television special Dr. Seuss on the Loose, which featured a connecting narration by The Cat In The Hat, in 1973. (The Sneetches and The Zax were the other two.)
On September 21, 2007, U.S. District Court Judge James Muirhead referenced Green Eggs and Ham in his court ruling after receiving an egg in the mail from prisoner Charles Jay Wolff who was protesting the prison diet. Muirhead ordered the egg destroyed as he stated in his judgment:
- I do not like eggs in the file.
- I do not like them in any style.
- I will not take them fried or boiled.
- I will not take them poached or broiled.
- I will not take them soft or scrambled,
- Despite an argument well-rambled.
- No fan I am of the egg at hand.
- Destroy that egg! Today! Today!
- Today I say!
- Without delay!
In a Mormon journal, clearly parodying arguments for the Book of Mormon, it has been jokingly suggested that, within Green Eggs and Ham, "the rich presence of complex chiasmi, multiple Hebraicisms, Israelite cultural references, and Old Testament themes supports the theory that Green Eggs and Ham is, in fact, an ancient text of Semitic origin. Theodor Geisel... clearly is not the author of the book... No doubt, inspired scholars will soon research and discover the answers to these and many other questions as this complicated but vital narrative finally receives the serious academic scrutiny it so richly merits."
Selected translations 
- Lo ra`ev ve-lo ohev (1960, Hebrew)
- Huevos verdes con jamón (1960, Spanish, ISBN 1880507013)
- Groene eieren met ham (1960s, Dutch, ISBN 9024002966)
- Huo tui jia lu dan (1992, Chinese, ISBN 9573211254)
- Prosciutto e uova verdi (2002, Italian, ISBN 880902446X)
- Virent ova! Viret perna!! (2003, Latin, ISBN 0865165556)
- Kto zje zielone jajka sadzone? (2004, Polish, ISBN 8372781249)
- Les oeufs verts au jambon (2009, French, ISBN 9781569756881)
- Grünes Ei mit Speck das Allerbeste (2011, German, ISBN 9783596854417)
- "All-Time Bestselling Children's Books, 17 December 2001, Publishers Weekly.". Archived from the original on December 25, 2005.
- "10 stories behind Dr. Seuss stories". CNN. January 23, 2009. Retrieved 2009-01-26.
- "Green Eggs and Ham". snopes.com. 2012 [last update]. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- A 50 -year feast in 50 words, Marketplace. Accessed on 12 August 2010.
- "Happy Birthday Sam-I-Am! 50 Years of Green Eggs and Ham". Gnews. 2012 [last update]. Retrieved May 4, 2012.
- Menand, Louis. "A Critic at Large: Cat People: What Dr. Seuss Really Taught Us." The New Yorker, 23 December 2002.
- Kids' top 100 books NEA: National Education Association. Accessed on 26 November 2006.
- Teachers' Top 100 Books NEA: National Education Association. Accessed on 26 November 2006.
- National Education Association (2007). "Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children". Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- Bird, Elizabeth (July 6, 2012). "Top 100 Picture Books Poll Results". School Library Journal "A Fuse #8 Production" blog. Retrieved August 19, 2012.
- "Parent & Child 100 Greatest Books for Kids". Scholastic Corporation. 2012. Retrieved March 25, 2013.
- "Judge makes 'Green Eggs and Ham' ruling". MSNBC.
- "ORDER the egg filed by the plaintiff is to be destroyed re: 55 Motion for Contempt,injunction", Wolff v. NH Department of Corrections et al (Case 1:2006cv00321), September 18, 2007, Filing 56
- A Marvellous Work and a Possession: Book of Mormon. History as Postcolónialism, R John Williams. Dialogue: a journal of Mormon thought. Volume 38, no. 4, pages 37-55.
- "Hebraicisms, Chiasmus, and Other internal evidence for ancient authorship in Green Eggs and Ham", Robert Patterson. Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought. Volume 33, no. 4, winter 2000, pages 163-168. Accessed 19th August 2011.