“Green Eggs and Ham” by Dr. Seuss was a very important picture book for me, because it was actually the first book I ever read. While the language and tone of writing was very important to the story, the pictures included spoke just as much in the book. The illustrator was able to tell a story by using just pictures. This was accomplished by the way she drew the characters in different situations. One significant part of the pictures that stood out to me was that in almost every picture Sam I am is always smiling.
This gives him the innocent and kind personality, setting him as the main protagonist of the story without using any words to do so. The way that she draws the unnamed antagonist is a complete contrast with Sam I am. Firstly, the unnamed antagonist seems to wear a permanent frown. Also, while Sam I am is a vivid and light yellow color, the unnamed antagonist is a boring and pale tan.
The contrasts between them when they are talking is so obvious, that the kids reading the book have a fun time loving Sam I am, and hating the antagonists’ boring and bland personality. This goes further when the antagonists continue to reject Sam I am. His body language is rude and demeaning as he turns his nose up at him and puts his hand on his hip, while Sam I am exhibits a sad and disappointed face that leaves the kids feeling bad for Sam and hating the antagonist.
Without any words the illustrator could tell a story of a small and cute protagonists being rejected by a taller and ruder looking antagonist, that leaves the audience rooting for the protagonists, and hoping the antagonist will finally give in to the Sam’s wishes. I feel like the biggest picture placed in this book was when the antagonist finally tries the green eggs and ham, and his entire expression changed.
Suddenly he doesn’t seem like the mean grumpy character that the readers would dislike. He has a smile on his face and his long floppy ears are curved up, as if to show that his entire body is smiling. Also for the first-time Sam and the antagonist are smiling together. The contrast between the two is minimal, and it shows the readers that there is now two protagonists that the readers both love.
When I read this book as I child, I always started off hating the antagonist, but when he finally tried the green eggs and ham, he turned into a new person that I enjoyed. The greatest thing was that the illustrator did such a masterful job, I was able to see all of this by just the pictures, and it was definitely something that I enjoyed.