1,674 Pages


Green Eggs and Ham is a best-selling and critically acclaimed book by Dr. Seuss, first published in 1960. As of 2001, according to Publishers Weekly, it was the fourth-bestselling children's book of all time.[1]

The book is very, very easy to read, containing just 50 different words. A rumor, confirmed by, has it that Bennett Cerf, Dr. Seuss's publisher, wagered $50 that Seuss could not write a book using only fifty different words.[2] The bet came after Seuss completed The Cat in the Hat, which contains a total of 236 words. Despite Seuss's success, it is unclear whether Cerf ever paid the bet.

The tale is in the form of a so-called "cumulative" story, with a list of circumstances which gradually increases as the story progresses. Thus, one of Sam's friend's refusals goes:

I would not, could not, in a box.
I could not, would not, with a fox.
I will not eat them with a mouse.
I will not eat them in a house.
I will not eat them here or there.
I will not eat them anywhere.
I do not eat green eggs and ham.
I do not like them, Sam-I-am.

The story is told wholly through images and rhyming dialogue. There is no descriptive narrative or analysis.

There are two main characters: The first is unnamed, and refuses to try the green eggs and ham. The second is named Sam-I-Am, and he refuses to believe someone could not like the dish.

The plot revolves around the efforts of Sam-I-Am trying to get on the good side of his moody neighbour by offering him a dish of green eggs and ham. The neighbour refuses to taste the dish, and only wants to be left in peace. Sam-I-Am goes through an assortment of locations (house, car, tree, train, boat) and dining partners (fox, goat, mouse) trying to persuade his neighbour to eat, but he refuses to try them.

Reader's Reviews


This story is cool,but sometimes it sounds weird. Sam I Am is a weird character. I used 2 hear an audiobook sample of Green Eggs And Ham.

Parental Guidance

  • Reading Age: 5+
  • Reading Aloud Age: 3+


If you like this you might like

  • More Dr. Seuss books.


This book adapted into a cartoon as part of complication Dr. Seuss on the Loose.

External Links

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  1. All-Time Bestselling Children's Books, Accesed 16 December 2008, Publishers Weekly.
  2. Urban Legends Reference Pages: Language (Green Eggs and Ham) and Snopes. Accessed on 16 December 2008.
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