Every week we are adding new titles to our reading list and creating favourites. Our current favourite is Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. It is a part of Beginner books to help young ones start reading by themselves.
An year ago, we got a set of 5 Dr Seuss books namely Hop on Pop, The Cat in the Hat, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Fox in Socks and Green Eggs and Ham. We started by reading the simplest of these Hop on Pop followed by The Cat in the Hat. While Hop on Pop worked at the age of 3, The Cat in the Hat has still not aroused much liking for being too long.
Green Eggs and Ham works on account of many points.
- The storyline –
A character known as ‘Sam-I-Am’ pesters an unnamed character to try a dish of green eggs and ham. The unnamed character refuses, responding, “I do not like green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.” He continues to repeat this as Sam follows him, encouraging him to eat them in several locations (house, box, car, tree, train, dark, rain and boat) and with several animals (mouse, fox, goat) all to which the unnamed character refuses. Finally, the unnamed character gives into Sam’s pestering and tries the green eggs and ham, which he finds that he does like after all in the end and happily responds, “I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you. Thank you, Sam-I-Am.”
- The personal connection with the storyline –
While Mummy acts like the ‘Sam-I-am’ following Dhruv pleading, requesting (and threatening too) to try different foods. And Dhruv acting like the unnamed character adamantly refusing everything everytime.
- The simple vocabulary and rhyming words –
Green Eggs and Ham is written in a very simple vocabulary for beginning readers.The vocabulary of the text consists of just fifty different words like a, am, and, anywhere, are, be, boat, box, car, could, dark, do, eat, eggs, fox, goat, good, green, ham, here, house, I, if, in, let, like, may, me, mouse, not, on, or, rain, Sam, say, see, so, thank, that, the, them, there, they, train, tree, try, will, with, would, you.
Rhyming words like house and mouse, fox and box, train and rain, tree and see, boat and goat, ham and sam, car and are add to the amusement.
- The flow of words –
Would you like them in a house?
Would you like them with a mouse?
I do not like them in a house
I do not like them with a mouse
I do not like them here or there
I do not like them anywhere
I do not like green eggs and ham
I do not like them, Sam-I-am
Our home, these days, echoes with the sentences framed prefixed with would you, could you and answered with I would not, I could not and even with a thank you, thank you.
Nothing much to write on this point. Any book with pictures of a car and a train is surely a hit with little boys.
On one of the pages in the book, the train enters a dark tunnel and Sam-I-am says would you, could you in the dark?
Taking a cue, one night, we switched off the lights of our room and made up a tent out of the blanket to create a dark tunnel. Then we read this book inside our dark tunnel in the light of an emergency light. It was a lot of fun.
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