Green Eggs and Ham is a children’s book by Dr. Seuss, first published on August 12, 1960. As of 2016, the book has sold 8 million copies worldwide. The story has appeared in several adaptations starting with 1973’s Dr. Seuss on the Loose starring Paul Winchell as the voice of both Sam-I-Am and the first-person narrator.
A character named “Sam-I-am” pesters an unnamed character to try a plate 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 persistently follows him. Finally, the unnamed character puts an end to Sam’s pestering and tries the green eggs and ham, which he does like after all and happily responds, “I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you. Thank you, Sam-I-am.”
Green Eggs and Ham is one of Seuss’s “Beginner Books“, written in a very simple vocabulary for beginning readers. The vocabulary of the text consists of just 50 different words and was the result of a bet between Seuss and Bennett Cerf, Dr. Seuss’s publisher. that Seuss (after completing The Cat in the Hat using 236 words) could not complete an entire book without exceeding that limit. The 50 words are: 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.