I Like Green Eggs and Ham

My daughter turned two (where does the time go?) and she's at the age now when she picks the bedtime stories that she wants to hear, the choice is no longer up to me.  One of her favorites is the surreal Dr. Seuss classic, Green Eggs and Ham.  She calls it "Samam" after the precocious little character Sam-I-Am who pesters the dog-faced, grumpy grown-up to try the novelty cuisine green eggs and ham.  I admit I love reading it as much as she apparently loves hearing it. 

The book is basically a two person dialogue, so I enjoy using my theatrical skills to recite it.  I think, however, that my daughter will soon usurp my role as the reader -- at two years old she already seems to be mastering the tale, jumping in at key moments, interjecting her own vocalization of some of the best scenes, like:
  • "Would you like it here or there?"
  • "Would you eat them in a box?  Would you eat them with a fox?"
  • "Say!  In the dark?  Here in the dark!  Would you, could you, in the dark?"
  • "I would not, could not, with a goat!"
And of course,she loves the dramatic conclusion.  My daughter becomes giddy with anticipation when we reach the point when the grump holds the forkful of emerald edibles up for the moment of truth -- will he or won't he take a bite?  She knows how it will end, but she always seems to act like it is fresh and brand new for her.

The tale is a simple one with a minimal number of words, as is the style of Dr. Seuss in many of his children's stories, but the plot is masterfully woven and never grows old.  In my opinion, it is better than The Cat in the Hat or How the Grinch Stole Christmas (as great as they are). 

Green Eggs and Ham offers a surface-level moral -- eat the food on your plate, give it a try, even if you don't like the way it looks, because you might be surprised at how good it tastes.  Yet it also offers a more complex lesson -- don't judge things by their looks alone. It's a bold fable about being open-minded and appreciating the "examined life."

It's great to know that my little girl has such great taste at such a young age!

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