Life would be so incredibly dull if we never tried anything new. What would we learn? What experiences would we miss out on? It may seem obvious to you and I that new things can profoundly enrich our lives, but what about young children, happy and content in their familiar ways? You won’t grow unless you are willing to stretch, but sometimes it can be exceptionally difficult to step out of your comfort zone. Enter Dr. Seuss, master of the imagination, inventor of wicked rhyme schemes, and creator of fantastical illustrations.
There are few authors who can reach children in the way that Dr. Seuss can, so… if you find your child hesitant to try something new, offer them Green Eggs & Ham. Nothing says “take a leap of faith” or “Try it and you’ll love it” like discolored food.
What’s Green Eggs and Ham About?
On the offhand chance you have not read this book (or you have but you’ve forgotten) it involves two main characters, Sam I Am and his companion, an unnamed Seuss character. Sam I Am begins to pester said companion (let’s call him Jon) about green eggs and ham. Does he like them? Will he try them? Jon, who is obviously irritated by Sam I Am in general, says no he will not try them. Does that deter Sam? Heck no. “You may like them” he says “You will see/You may like them/in a tree!”
Ok what? Random. Well Jon insists he will not like them in a tree, and when Sam I Am goes onto insist he may like in a house, of in a car, or on a boat, or with a fox, or with a mouse, Jon yells back all of his offers “I will not like them in a house, I will not like them with a mouse” and so on and so forth. This carries on for a while, getting more and more outlandish, until finally Jon cracks. If Sam promises to leave him alone, he will try green eggs and ham.
Just Say No!
The obvious message here is to try something new you don’t want to…but another thing to keep in mind while reading it is that kids love to say “no.” It’s a power they don’t often have. When they’re told to get dressed, go to school, do their homework, eat their vegetables, they can’t really protest (or if they try is usually unsuccessful.) In Green Eggs & Ham, if reading along, they can say no. They can say no in so many different ways they won’t even know what to do. And then in the end, it turns out that saying yes can also result in a good thing. Of course they won’t think much of that, but as parents we can appreciate it.
Should You Read It?
Yes, it’s fun, its classic, and it’s adored by almost all children who read it on some level or another. If none of those reasons convince you, read it for the sole fact that you’ll be out of a major loop if you don’t. There once was a restaurant I used to go to growing up that offered green eggs and ham, and if I hadn’t read this book, I think I would have been very upset to see that. Any person who didn’t understand why there was green colored meat and eggs would be. Don’t be that person.