Link to "The Cat in the Hat & Don't Forget the Oatmeal" at bottom
Theodor Seuss Geisel, (Dr. Seuss) wrote over 60 books. He bet his publisher that he could write a book with only 50 words and the results of that bet became, Green Eggs and Ham. It was published in 1960 and by 2016 it had sold 8 million copies.
The books were funny, but Seuss said of his own writing, that he did not want to write stories about modeling good behavior, and even called himself, "subversive as hell". In his books, if you were an obstacle to children overcoming fear and standing up to authority, you were considered a Grinch.
Green Eggs and Ham encourages trying something new. The story begins with Sam declaring, "I am Sam, Sam I am". Sam's mission is to get Joey to try a new dish, green eggs and ham. Joey wants nothing to do with them and says: "I don't like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-am." Sam asks him to try them in eight different places. A house, box, car, tree, train,dark,rain and boat and then with a mouse, a fox and a goat.
Joey gives in and tries the green eggs and ham, and he does like them saying: "I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you. Thank you, Sam-I-am.
The message was one that China's Cultural Revolution considered to be bad and counter to the goals of their goals of eliminating Western Influence and capitalism in China. It was the 4th best selling English language children's book so that may have added some symbolism for the Chinese to ban this book in China shortly after it was published. The book was taken off the banned list after Dr. Seuss died in 1991.
Thoughts about "I Am"
Exodus 3:14 God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM. The phrase "I Am" is often uses to refer to God. I am Sam, Sam I am. is the start of this book. Did Dr. Seuss intend to add divine direction? Is Sam short for Samuel another biblical reference, maybe? Is this just so much over analysis? Did Seuss just want kids to try something new?
Dr Seuss Quotes