Green Eggs and Ham…revisited!

greenLooking back on some of our more popular posts, it surprises us to see Green Eggs and Ham on the list. While it was actually a really interesting look into how Theodore Geisel’s editor challenged him (Dr. Seuss) to write a book using only 50 words, the post continues to be one people search for most. Are people looking for information on this challenge because they want to try it themselves? Or are they simply interested in green eggs and ham? Your guess is as good as mine. Until the Great Google tells us why someone searches, we’ll never know.

However, if you are looking for recipes for Green Eggs and Ham, Food Network star Paula Deen has a fun recipe that involves a few drops of food colouring, and some fancy cookie cutters to use on the toast. But there are also plenty of fantastic–and creative–green eggs and ham recipes to be found on Pinterest….not all of which are actually eggs, or ham.

What if Geisel’s editor had chosen the 50 words for him instead of letting him choose which words to use? Would that have made it more difficult? Or would our Dr. Seuss memories be about something even more off the wall, like purple potatoes and blue milkshakes? This could be a fun writing challenge, and one I’m considering for our Young Writer’s group a little further into the new year. Maybe you should give it a try, and see what you come up with!

Regardless, GREEN EGGS AND HAM continues to be a popular book for children many generations down the line. I bet you could stop almost anyone in the street and ask them to recite at least one line from the book, and they could do it. Can you say the same about many other popular children’s books?

I do not think so. I say no.

 

Green Eggs and Ham…on Netflix?

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It sounds like a joke, but the people at Netflix have announced they are adapting the classic GREEN EGGS AND HAM into a 13-part animated series. Executive producer Ellen DeGeneres and the people at Netflix released this official media report:

Issued from Netflix headquarters.
Delivered straight to all reporters.

We’d love to share some happy news
based on the rhymes of Dr. Seuss.
Green Eggs and Ham will become a show
and you’re among the first to know.

In this richly animated production,
a 13-episode introduction,
standoffish inventor (Guy, by name)
and Sam-I-Am of worldwide fame,
embark on a cross-country trip
that tests the limits of their friendship.
As they learn to try new things,
they find out what adventure brings.
Of course they also get to eat
that famous green and tasty treat!

You can hear more about it from Ellen right here:

http://ellentube.com/videos/0_gk5rb51d

It sounds like it will be a lot of fun, and will probably be a BIG hit with the younger set.

You can stream it on a phone,

You can stream it on your own………

Where Have You Been?

150122114524-01-dr-seuss-0122-super-169Last week marked the 25th anniversary of OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO by Dr. Seuss. Not only is this a popular children’s book, but it has become a standard gift for recent graduates. Not only does the book have a message of encouragement, but it tells the truth–that times won’t always be easy, and that not all things will go your way.  You might think that’s harsh information for children, but it’s something that rings true no matter what your age.

Written by Theodor Geisel (better known as Dr. Seuss) during the last months of his life, it is thought that he was reflecting upon his own life and career, and wanted to pass on the lessons he learned. It is believed that this is the last book he worked on from start to finish, with several more books being released after this death, those of which were either completed by someone else, or the editing took place afterward.

Geisel always said he never wrote for children. “I write for people,” and this book demonstrates the huge crossover appeal that will probably continue for many years to come. The book is also being released in various formats, this year for babies (OH, BABY, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO), so you might want to pick one of those up for the new parents in your life.

What a lovely way to finish off a career! Thank you, Dr. Seuss.

It Was Dr. Seuss Day!

Once again, we had a very successful drop in day at the library. Children of all ages came by for our fun Dr. Seuss-themed day and boy, did they have fun!  There were games, crafts and even a wacky photo booth! You can see more of the fun photos on our Facebook page!

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We had lots of books on hand for reading.

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And a sign on the front door so NO one could miss it!

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Thing One and Thing Two were there…

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….so was The Cat in the Hat…..

IMG_4791…and even the Lorax.

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Oooh….the Grinch made an appearance!

IMG_4795Lucky for all of us, Thing 1 & Thing 2 were on hand to keep things organized.

Happy Dr. Seuss Day!

Fun on Dr. Seuss Day!

Of course yesterday wasn’t the official Dr. Seuss Day, but we decided to have a special day celebrating the green eggs and ham, sneetches and red and white hats all made famous in the books by Dr. Seuss.  This was the March Break event for our little ones and everyone wore green stars on their bellies in celebration!  Although my voice was spotty at best, we still had fun with a story read by Janet, our wonderful head librarian!

Janet reading The Sneetches

After our story, we played a fun game of pin the green eggs on the ham, and as you can see, our little blindfolded kids did a pretty good job of hitting the plate….for the most part!

We made our own tall hats, munched on crazy green and blue cookies and took home some puzzle pages to work on.  All in all, it was a fun morning, even if Dr Seuss didn’t show up.  And today….we’re expecting 150+ kids at the Town Hall Auditorium for a visit from Little Ray’s Reptiles!  It’ll be creepy for some, exciting for others, but we expect it to be a great afternoon. Check back tomorrow for pictures of the event!

Crazy cookies

Children’s books through the generations

My husband and I were just talking the other day about children’s books and what makes a good book.  Is it just the story or are the illustrations important as well?  And just how do children’s books become well known and loved?  There is probably much debate about what makes a book “good”, but there are a few essentials that have to be there in order for the book to live on past its first few weeks of publication.

First of all, the story has to appeal to the audience, namely, the children.  I can tell you from hours of reading to oodles of children during storytime at the library, if the story doesn’t have something to catch them right away, I might as well just throw the book over my shoulder and move on because there will be no eyes focused on the book at all.  Reading an article by Todd Leopold on the CNN website this week, the author seems to think that all of the best stories are about home, being away from home and getting back to the home, but this really is just a gross generalization and certainly not all of the great books out there share that theme.  Often, children’s books really just have a lesson to learn, such as being afraid, or being grumpy.  Regardless, the story is one of the main elements that will keep a child listening (or reading) and if the story is strong, then the readers will be there.

What about the pictures? More and more, I notice that illustrations in children’s books are becoming creative and bright and engaging.  We all have classic books that were read to us as children that probably didn’t include such intriguing artwork, but these days, children are sophisticated and they respond to the bright and creative artwork that you see so often in books, such as Scaredy Squirrel and Grumpy Bird.grumpyscaredy

The pictures go a long way to telling more about the story than text ever could and are used to push the story along.

Leopold has an interesting idea in his article that might go toward the explanation of a book having longevity.  He believes that books that we have enjoyed as children will be become the books that we will introduce to our own children, and thus, a book lasts for generations.  This is correct in many ways, thinking about all of the children’s literary classics such as Where the Wild Things Are, any Dr. Seuss and so on.  But what about books that we loved that are not in libraries anymore? My husband talked about the Golden Books that he read as a child, for instance, and yet our library doesn’t purchase those books anymore as they seem outdated and old-fashioned.  We’d rather spend our money on books that are really well bound and full of great characters and illustrations.  So what happens to these books?  I guess they will eventually disappear from our story “radar” and may be lost from one generation to the next.

Does that mean most books are going to be forgotten once they have disappeared from the source of our books (libraries, bookstores, our own bookshelves)?  Maybe so, aside from a few lucky ones that might linger.  As long as authors keep writing great stories, I’m fine with a turn-around.  I’d much rather have something fresh to talk about with children, anyway.  We’ll have a new generation of books to pass along and the really, really good ones will continue to be read for years to come. Children’s books are not always read like adult books….we don’t follow an author, anticipating his or her next book.  Maybe that should be incentive for authors of children’s books (primarily picture books) to write better stories.

If you write great books, we will read them.