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Dr. Seuss wrote one of his most famous books on a dare.

Dr. Seuss wrote one of his most famous books on a dare.

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

The wildly imaginative rhyming books of Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, are the most endearing and enduring of childhood. Horton Hears a Who, If I Ran the Zoo, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, and other stories of “ludicrous situations pursued with relentless logic” were the cornerstone of every kid’s library. In 1957, Seuss wrote The Cat in the Hat using only words that appeared on a first grader’s vocabulary list; and in subsequent books he used even smaller vocabulary lists.

The book that started his trend of writing with a small vocabulary is perhaps Seuss’ best known work, Green Eggs and Ham. But the way he came to this trend was not an inspiration of his own. Seuss’ editor, the legendary Bennett Cerf, gave him a challenge: write a book with no more than 50 different words. Seuss took the challenge and created a book most people can still recite from memory. He even came in under goal - the total number of different words: 43.