Today, March 2, is the birthday of Theodor Geisel, more commonly known as Dr. Seuss.
I asked around the Good Education Group office for favourite quotes or any thoughts about Dr. Seuss and frankly, the response was pitiful. You'll find the meagre offerings at the end of this blog post.
Instead, I will present five reasons why Green Eggs and Ham might be the best book ever written
It only has 50 words.
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.
Dr. Seuss wanted to win a bet with his editor and through repetition and clever rhyme, managed to create an entire world with just these, almost exclusively single syllable, words.
It's easy to read but not boring
It has all the hallmarks of a book that actively helps children learn to read. A small vocabulary, back and forth question and answer rhyming, and a sing-song rhythm. This makes it easy to follow for young readers and fun for parents to read aloud. The illustrations are bright and colourful, with the right balance of wackiness and familiarity to keep children engaged. Just the title itself is an example of how Dr. Seuss, throughout his career, would take something mundane and add a twist that transforms it into something memorable.
Not only is it good for building reading skills, it encourages children to think laterally about the situation and ask questions. Why doesn't the narrator want to try the green eggs and ham? Why is Sam-I-Am so insistent? Would the narrator eat them if it was anyone but Sam-I-Am offering? Is it right or wrong to dislike something you've never tried? Is it ok to change your mind when you have?
It has life lessons
Be curious. Be optimistic. Sam-I-Am doesn't let the curmudgeonly narrator's reluctance get him down or discouraged and he keeps trying different things until he succeeds. At the same time, the narrator keeps an open mind and eventually relents, tries the green eggs and ham and changes his opinion.
It's going to be 58 this year
First published 12 August 1960, Green Eggs and Ham has seen it all. The Kennedy assassinations (both John and Bobby), the moon landings, the rise and fall of the Berlin Wall, grunge, Brangelina, Crazy Frog, chatter rings, fidget spinners and whatever the kids are into these days. It has been translated into at least a dozen languages and is pushing 10 million copies sold internationally.
"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you."
Chosen by Chris
"You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you
know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go..."
Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Chosen by Elysia, who also included this picture.
"A person's a person, no matter how small"
Horton Hears a
Chosen by Amy
"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Chosen by Patrick and Elysia
"You're off to Great Places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!"
Oh, The Places You'll Go!
Chosen by Dominika