Green Eggs and Ham: The book that was the result of a bet. In 1960, Bennett Cerf, Seuss’ editor, bet him that he couldn’t write a book using only 50 words. The resulting story, Green Eggs and Ham, uses exactly 50 words. Appearing in this order, they are: I am Sam; that; do not like; you green eggs and ham; them; would here or there; anywhere; in a house with mouse; eat box fox; car they; could; may will see tree; let me be; train on; say the dark; rain; goat; boat; so try may; if; good; thank. We could not say that five times fast. Would not, could not.
Stage fright: Something Dr. Seuss had a bad case of. Affirming the loyalties of his German-American family during World War I, 14-year-old Seuss was one of Springfield’s top sellers of war bonds. Before an audience of thousands, he was to be the last of 10 Boy Scouts to receive a personal award for his efforts from former president, Theodore Roosevelt. The president, however, was only given nine medals, and when he reached Seuss, Roosevelt gruffly bellowed “What’s this little boy doing here?” Honor quickly turned to humiliation as the flustered scoutmaster whisked Seuss off the stage. This event scarred him so much that he dreaded public appearances for the rest of his life.
Danny DeVito: He voiced the Lorax in Spanish, Italian, Russian, and German. DeVito wanted to get the pronunciation and the comedic timing right for each version. He said, “So, the way I did it was, I had two expert translators who knew the language and all the inflections and proper way to say the words. And then, I had another person from the country in the booth.”
Children: Something Seuss did not have. He was not particularly fond of spending time with them. His widow, Audrey, said in a recent interview that he was slightly afraid of them. She said he was always thinking, “What might they do next? What might they ask next?” She added, “He couldn’t just sit down on the floor and play with them.”
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