Green Eggs and Ham – 50th Anniversary Review

green_eggs_and_ham_50th anniversary cover I remember when I was young.  My mom and dad subscribed me to a book club where I would receive a Dr. Seuss book in the mail every month.  They were those thin, matte hardcovers that everyone had, and I loved them.  I still have them packed away somewhere, I think.

I loved them so much that whenever I had the opportunity, I would get my parents to rent Dr. Seuss cartoons from the video store and record them so I could keep them at home and watch them over and over again.  I’ll never forget sitting in front of the TV watching Seusstoons while following along in the book version.

I loved the stories about Starbellied Sneeches and hopping on Pop.  I adored One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, and I still remember all the wonderful places I went.  But above all of them, I loved Green Eggs and Ham.

So when Random House contacted me about giving me a review copy of Green Eggs and Ham to promote its 50th Anniversary Edition and their related contests, I jumped at the chance.

First Thing’s First: Housekeeping

First of all, I’d like to give you all an opportunity.  When you finish reading this review, leave a comment on this post.  Anyone who does will be entered into a contest to win a free hardcover copy of Green Eggs and Ham’s 50th Anniversary Edition.  I’ll put the range of numbers from the comments section into a random number generator on November 5th and send the winner an email requesting shipping information.  You can thank the kind folks at Random House for providing the book to be given away (and the one for me to review).

On top of the awesome Professor Beej book giveaway, Random House is also running a contest called HAM It Up! that runs from September 21 to November 3rd.   So if you’re a creative type who likes to make videos and win free Dr. Seuss merchandise (including original art from his estate), then head over and check out the contest.  It’s good stuff.

Now to the best stuff: the book!

Thanks to all who entered.  The contest is now over.  But you can still enjoy my awesome review of this Seuss classic below!

Judging a Book by Its Cover

I know I shouldn’t, but it’s so pretty.  Seriously.

When I opened the package that came in the mail, I was taken aback by the shininess that I unwrapped.  When I was younger, all Dr. Seuss books were the same matte texture.  They felt almost rough to the touch, and while they were colorful and fun to read, you could tell they were made to last a dozen little buggers reading them all the time.

And not to say that the 50th anniversary edition won’t.  But with it’s shiny foil cover, it looks a bit fancier than the one I read over and over as a kid.

Apart from that, the inside is almost identical to what I remember.  The paper is the same weight, and even the art on the front is the same.  There’s a button on it marking it as a 50th anniversary edition and a new blurb on the back, but when reading through it, it’s the same old Green Eggs and Ham.

But I have to admit it: I like the shiny.

I Would Read It In A Chair.  I Would Read It Anywhere.

It’s just fun to read.  There’s just something about Dr. Seuss that makes me smile. This summer, my wife and I were in Orlando at Islands of Adventure, and we rode as many rides as we could in Seuss Landing.  And every time we got off of one, we had big, stupid grins on our faces because the experience was just like being in one of the books.

I’ve found that re-reading Green Eggs and Ham after so many years of not having done so leaves me in the same state.  I close the book and smile a big, stupid grin because that’s the only reaction that Dr. Seuss’ words can elicit.

I’m particularly fond of the section about eating the green eggs and ham in a box, eating green eggs and ham with a fox.  For some reason, I can’t read that section without chuckling a little at the artwork.  Sam-I-Am is standing there with such a goofy look on his face, and the fox seems so proud of itself…for some reason.  It’s just one of those moments in the book that’s so absurd and fantastic I just can’t love it.

50 Years is Worth a Re-Read

If you haven’t read any Seuss lately, take this opportunity to do so.  With it being the 50th anniversary of Green Eggs and Ham, there has never been a better time to reflect just how much Theodore Geisel impacted children’s literature (and in turn, us).

So if you have a copy of Green Eggs and Ham lying around, go give it a quick re-read and look at how well it stands up 50 years later.  If you don’t, well the shiny new edition did just come out.  Head to your local bookstore or library and rifle through a copy (or even better—buy a copy, read it, then donate it to your local library!).

At a time during the semester where my reading load is at its heaviest, it’s nice to be able to take a few minutes and reflect on the kind of book that started me out on this path.  Here’s hoping the book’s next 50 will be just as inspiring as its first.

Don’t forget to leave a comment to enter for your chance to win a free hardcover, 50th Anniversary Edition of Green Eggs and Ham! It’s that easy—just leave a comment, and you’re entered.

Comments

  1. David Collantes

    This is a comment for the almighty random. I bow to you, random.org, may I fall into grace! 🙂

  2. Beverly Wood

    Green Eggs and Ham has always been my favorite as well. I’ll have to ger Shae signed up for that book club soo, too.
    We already love The Places You’ll Go~
    Great review, Beej!

  3. jon p.

    I love the good Dr.! My daughter’s school does a celebration on his birthday and last year I read Seuss books to over a dozen different classrooms clocking in at about 3 total hours of Seussical reading!

  4. I enjoy Green Eggs and Ham. However, I think my favorite Dr. Seuss might be One Fish, Two Fish. You know this is really random. I was teaching a class today, and someone brought up Dr. Seuss. I was praising him because of his ingenuity in helping children learn to read by using a limited vocabulary and creating words. My claim was that kids learning to read could pronounce the made up words without fear of messing up because if the word doesn’t exist there isn’t a true way to say it. Random but cool.

  5. Prenden2

    I’m not sure if this competition is open to Europeans, but I’ll toss my hat into the ring anyway (is that even a phrase?). Shipping costs are no problem: My brother and I absolutely loved the Dr Seuss books when we were growing up, and I’d love to give him a hardcover version for his upcoming birthday.

    P.S. Welcome back to blogging, Prof! I’ve missed being intellectually challenged in a blog, amidst the myriad Cataclysm documentaries!

  6. I loved doctor Seuss as a kid! I can’t believe that Green Eggs and Ham is already 50 years old. That’s pretty crazy.

  7. What a cool opportunity for you. 🙂 I loved the more ruggedly bound books as a kid, mostly because I -always- had some kind of book on me and was kind of accident prone. Just holding one brings back memories of my elementary school.

  8. I read Bartholomew and the Oobleck again last week after I found it in a random stack of books at my mother’s place. Simpler times, flights of fancy… I like children’s books, especially the Seuss books. It’s especially fun sharing them with my four-year old and two-year old. 😉

  9. Jackie Bass

    Wow. You’re cooler than what I got the impression of in class last night. I love Dr. Suess. He’s my hero. Green Eggs and Ham is the best book ever written. We should read it for class. 🙂

  10. B.J. Keeton

    Haha! I am awesome, thanks. The real thing is that last night was the first night, and we had to get a lot of the unfunny stuff out of the way–syllabus and the assignments. Soon we get to actually talk about the literature, which is great if you ask me.

  11. Aww, a classic book indeed. It was always one of my favorites, and my mom would read it with such enthusiasm with different accents. So much fun.

  12. linda toh

    theres a safeness in rhyming a perfectness and joy
    i love dr seuss green eggs and ham i memorize the first part and used to say it to my students