Green Eggs and Ham: the Features of Good Children’s Book

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As a kid, we had many books read to us throughout our childhood whether it was at school or home, but only a select handful of those children’s books stuck with us to this day. We can still recall these books today because they stood out compared to the other ones. One book that stood out for me in particular as a child would be, Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr. Seuss. This book depicts the character, Sam-I-am, relentlessly attempting to persuade the protagonist to eat green eggs and ham. He does this throughout the story offering the meal in various locations with various characters all resulting in refusal. In the end, the protagonist eventually tries the dish and ends up loving it. A good children’s book should also have some sort of moral to it or message toward the end that the reader (child) can absorb in and learn from. In the book, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’, we see evidence of this being an effective children’s book which also delivers informative morals to the audience.

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Green eggs and ham is one of the most notorious children’s books of all time and can be considered an effective children’s book for many reasons. One of the reasons why it is effective is because of the simple tone it has to it, and the rhyming. These two go together because once we realize that Dr. Seuss only used 50 words to write this story, paired with the continuous rhyming of every line, gives the story a very easy, fun time for the audience. “I do not like them in a house. I do not like them with a mouse. I do not like them here or there. I do not like them anywhere.” This is a short example of how the story is fun and simple by constantly rhyming the words, and the fact that the same words pops up very often which makes the dialogue more suitable/understandable for toddlers. Another reason that could make this book effective would be the fact that it is visually engaging for the audience. Dr. Seuss provides us with detailed, vivid illustrations that makes the text feel more alive.

Dr. Seuss incorporates a deeper meaning within the book towards the end. At the end of the book, the protagonist agrees upon trying the green eggs and ham only for Sam-I-am to leave him alone once and for all. After he tries it, he comes to the conclusion that it does indeed taste good to him. “Say! I like green eggs and ham! I do! I like them, Sam-I-am! And I would eat them in a boat. And I would eat them with a goat!” The moral we receive at the end of this book is the message of keeping an open mind in life leading to better things. Throughout the story he seems grumpy and is in constant refusal towards Sam-I-am when offered green eggs and ham. After he eats the dish, we see him being shown on the last page and he is smiling, which is implying that he in fact does enjoy green eggs and ham. this is also the only part in the book where he shows a smile on his face. This is an effective moral because the child can apply this moral to the real world to living a better, more open life.

Thousands of children’s books are produced every year but only a handful of them are genuinely great pieces of writing that we can take something from and apply to the real world. Most children’s books will contain your typical visually engaging illustrations for children along with simple dialogue, but the ones that we still know today are the ones that truly left an impact on us and taught us something worthy and important. A good children’s book is one that can teach the youth morally important lessons while entertaining them and being a good children’s book all in one. Children need more of these books in their life, books that help children not only by comprehending and learning the words, but by helping children learn in the real world by taking these stories as examples of what not to do and what to do in life. 

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