|Cover artist||Dr. Seuss|
|August 12, 1960|
|Preceded by||One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish|
|Followed by||The Sneetches and Other Stories|
Green Eggs and Ham is a children's book by Dr. Seuss, first published on August 12, 1960. As of 2019, the book has sold 8 million copies worldwide. The story has appeared in several adaptations, starting with 1973's Dr. Seuss on the Loose starring Paul Winchell as the voice of both characters, and more recently an animated TV series of the same name on Netflix (which also gave the originally unnamed character Sam pesters the name "Guy-Am-I").
Green Eggs and Ham was also used in the Beginner Book Video Series along with The Tooth Book and Ten Apples Up On Top!.
Sam-I-Am offers a man a plate of green eggs and ham. However, he tells Sam that he hates this food. Throughout the story, Sam further asks him to eat this food in various locations (house, box, car, tree, train, dark, rain, boat) and with various animals (mouse, fox, goat), but is still rebuffed. Finally, Sam-I-Am offers the man to try them, and he tastes the colorful delicacy in hopes Sam-I-Am will leave him alone. When the man tries the dish, he happily declares that the dish is quite tasty.
Green Eggs and Ham is one of Seuss's "Beginner Books", written with very simple vocabulary for beginning readers. The vocabulary of the text consists of just 50 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 236 words) could not complete an entire book without exceeding that limit. The 50 words 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, and you. Anywhere is the only word used that has more than one syllable.
Reception and cultural impact
Green Eggs and Ham was published on August 12, 1960. By 2001, it had become the fourth-best selling English-language children's hardcover book yet written. As of 2014,[update] the book has sold 8 million copies. In 1999, the National Education Association (NEA) conducted an online survey of children and teachers, seeking the 100 most popular children's books. The children ranked Green Eggs and Ham third, just above another Dr. Seuss book, The Cat in the Hat. The teachers ranked it fourth. Teachers ranked it fourth again in a 2007 NEA poll. Scholastic Parent & Child magazine placed it #7 among the "100 Greatest Books for Kids" in 2012. That same year, it was ranked number 12 among the "Top 100 Picture Books" in a survey published by School Library Journal – the first of five Dr. Seuss books on the list.
The book teaches young children a valuable lesson about not automatically refusing something new or unfamiliar without trying it out first to actually see if they will like it or not. It has become sufficiently ingrained in the cultural consciousness that U.S. District Court Judge James Muirhead referenced Green Eggs and Ham in his September 21, 2007, court ruling after receiving an egg in the mail from prisoner Charles Jay Wolff, who was protesting against the prison diet. Muirhead ordered the egg destroyed and rendered his judgment in the style of Seuss. Senator Ted Cruz read the book on the floor of the United States Senate during his filibuster over the funding of the Affordable Care Act. Musician will.i.am has stated that his moniker is inspired by the story.
TV, film, and stage
In 1973, Green Eggs and Ham became the third of the three Theodor Geisel stories, joining The Sneetches and The Zax, to be adapted into the television special Dr. Seuss on the Loose, which featured a connecting narration by The Cat In The Hat. The cartoon was voiced by Paul Winchell. The book was also released as a Beginner Book Video on VHS which included The Cat In The Hat in 1994, and rereleased with The Tooth Book and Ten Apples Up on Top in 1997.
The story was featured as one of the segments brought to life in stage-play fashion in the 1994 TV-film In Search of Dr. Seuss.
Sam-I-Am appeared as a recurring character in season two of The Wubbulous World of Dr. Seuss, performed here by John Kennedy. In one episode of the show, Sam assists the Cat in the Hat and his Little Cats with their indoor picnic by preparing his special jumbo green ham and cheese sandwich.
In the 2008 American computer animated adventure comedy film Horton Hears a Who!, the food Green eggs and Ham are seen and eaten by Mayor McDodd (voiced by Steve Carell), Sally (voiced by Amy Poehler) and their 99 daughters and their son JoJo (voiced by Jesse McCartney).
A 2D hand-drawn animated television series based on the book, Green Eggs and Ham premiered on Netflix in November 2019. It was produced by Warner Bros. Animation and A Very Good Production and distributed by Warner Bros. Television. The cast features Michael Douglas as Guy-Am-I (the unnamed character in the original book) and Adam DeVine as Sam-I-Am, with Ellen DeGeneres serving as executive producer. The fox (named Michael and voiced by Tracy Morgan), mouse (nicknamed Squeaky by Sam and voiced by Daveed Diggs), and goat (simply named The Goat and voiced by John Turturro) appear as secondary recurring characters. Each episode is narrated by Keegan-Michael Key.
The Animaniacs episode "The Warners and The Beanstalk" parodies both Green Eggs and Ham and Jack and The Beanstalk. After Ralph T. Guard in the role of a giant captures Yakko, Wakko, and Dot, the Warners try to get him to eat 'gold eggs and meat', but the giant refuses each time, saying, "I does not like gold eggs and meat. It's you who I would like to eat". The opening lines are spoofed by Ernest Hemingway as "I am sad. Sad, I am. I would not eat blue figs and lamb" in "Papers for Papa".
The Johnny Bravo episode "Cookie Crisis" has Little Suzy as a Buttercup Scout trying to get Johnny to buy her cookies. Johnny is on a strict diet and attempts to avoid her, but she keeps following him at every turn.
Upstate New York Hazardous Materials Warning incident
The quote "Would you. Could you. On a train?" was unexpectedly used on a misinformed Emergency Alert System activation targeting viewers in Upstate New York shortly before the train crash in Hoboken, New Jersey on September 27, 2016. The quote was used on a Hazardous Materials Warning message that was accidentally activated on Utica's NBC television station WKTV during an evening newscast.
At Universal's Islands of Adventure, in Seuss Landing, there is a restaurant called Green Eggs and Ham Cafe that originally served green eggs and ham sandwiches, cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches, chicken fingers, and fries. As of 2019, the restaurant now serves tater tot-based meals, including green eggs and ham tots.
Dr. Seuss: Green Eggs and Ham is a single-player video game for Game Boy Advance based on the 1960 book of the same name, and was published by NewKidCo and released in November 2003. The book was also made into a Living Books adaptation for the PC in 1996, and there were similar differences to reflect the new media such as Sam-I-Am sings his opening lines.
- Huevos verdes con jamón (1960, Spanish, ISBN 1880507013)
- Groene eieren met ham (1960s, Dutch, ISBN 9024002966)
- לֹא רָעֵב וְלֹא אוֹהֵב (Lo rá'év wlo owhév, 1982, Hebrew ISBN 9789652294661)
- 火腿加綠蛋 (Huǒ tuǐ jiā lǜ dàn, 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 œufs verts au jambon (2009, French, ISBN 9781569756881)
- Grünes Ei mit Speck (2011, German, ISBN 9783596854417)
- Ovos Verdes e Presunto (2016, Portuguese, ISBN 9789898831989)
- Grønne egg og Skinke (March 2021, Norwegian)
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- Branimaniacs/The Warners and the Beanstalk/Frontier Slappy at IMDb
- Papers for Papa/Amazing Gladiators/Pinky and the Ralph at IMDb
- Date with an Antelope/Did You See a Bull Run by Here?/Cookie Crisis at IMDb
- Pam I Am at IMDb
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