'Green Eggs and Ham' is Published

Sam-I-Am is a relentless crusader who simply wants people to enjoy green eggs and ham and is willing to go to any lengths to get the unbelievers to at least give them a try.

The original master of rhyme, Sam-I-Am asks everyone to consider the possibilities of eating green eggs and ham “in a house” or “with a mouse.” Sam-I-Am opens the readers mind to endless imagination that is only possible when someone is willing to try.

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 fifty different words, of which 49 are monosyllabic (the one exception being "anywhere"). It averages 5.7 words per sentence and 1.02 syllables per word, giving it an exceptionally low Flesch-Kincaid grade level of -1.3.

Bennett Cerf, Dr. Seuss's publisher, wagered $50 that Seuss could not write a book using only fifty different words. The bet came after Seuss completed The Cat in the Hat, which used 225 words.

The fifty words used 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

Forty-six of the 50 words (all but car, Sam, train, and try) are of Germanic origin.

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

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

The meter of Green Eggs and Ham is a combination of trochaic and iambic tetrameter; for details, see Dr. Seuss's meters.