Book Review: Green Eggs and Ham
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss: 3 stars
My son recently discovered this story and I thought it was pretty cute. Thought. The premise is rather solid. Unnamed weird dude insists he doesn’t like green eggs and ham (really, who would?), but after much badgering from other weird dude (Sam), decides to try it out and discovers he loves it. Quite delighted by the message, I happily agreed to read it to Boo
a zillion several times at his request. Boo could pretty much subsist on yogurt and Cheerios, so any story that promotes sampling new foods is right fine by me.
After about five readings, Jesse Jackson’s voice rang in my head. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you’re missing out on some classic American cultural literacy. Allow me: Jesse Jackson reads Green Eggs and Ham.
Back to the story. It starts like this: “That Sam I am. That Sam I am. I do not like that Sam I am.” Nice. Really nice. I wish I could blame this story for my son’s recent declaration (“I don’t like you.”), but sadly, he came up with that one on his own. Sniff. Actually, it’s kind of okay, because I wasn’t particularly liking him that day either. Also, he said it so matter-of-factly that I’m pretty sure he didn’t actually understand what he was saying. So I tell myself.
The story continues with Sam’s harassment. Try it in a box, with a fox, with a goat, on a boat, blah, blah, blah. Personally, none of these sound particularly enticing to me either. At a resort, in a fort, gettin’ a pedi, with spaghetti (we vegetarians need input, yo). As my husband pointed out — because, yes, we have real conversations about such things — this is a story about peer pressure. Weird dude, who, by the way, kind of looks like a dog (kind of), finally caves and tries the eggs and ham just to shut Sam up. For real he asks Sam if he’ll leave him alone if he tries it. Um, hello??? Does this seem odd to anyone else? He actually ends up thanking Sam. For the peer pressure. For being obnoxious. For the harassment. Try it, you’ll like it.
So yeah, I don’t know how I feel about this, but I’d be lying to say I wasn’t psyched that my son tried French fries and hot dog shortly thereafter. Yes, I’m a vegetarian, and yes, fries aren’t exactly health food, but it’s all about trying new things around here.
Great concept in theory and seems benign enough. But first it’s funky eggs and ham, then it’s beer. Before you know it, your kid is drugging and thanking that pain in the ass kid Sam.* Here’s hoping my Boo doesn’t cave to the pressure. That Sam I am. That Sam I am. I do not like that Sam I am.
*No children named Sam were harmed, offended, or suffered mildly bruised egos in the writing of this post. I’m a lover, not a hater.