It’s a well-known and much made fun of fact amongst my friends that I am a very picky eater. Although I have expanded my menu somewhat since childhood (I no longer order chicken fingers in every restaurant situation), I am still notably and, I’ll admit it, sometimes slightly irrationally picky. I don’t like berries. Or 90% of vegetables. Or fish, except for salmon teriyaki.
So I’ve always had a special affinity for characters that take an emphatic stance about certain foods. I read BREAD AND JAM FOR FRANCES by Russell & Lillian Hoban, and I think “yes, when you’ve got a good thing, you stick with it!” Likewise, I’ve always cheered for Sam in Dr. Seuss’ GREEN EGGS AND HAM.
My only complaint towards the genre is that in the end the character always tries whatever it is and discovers that they like it. Whereas in my experience, I’m generally quite happy just not eating it if I don’t want to. And when I’ve been pressured, coerced, or otherwise made to try something I didn’t want to try, I usually don’t like it. Besides which, if you take a stand like Sam’s, and go to the trouble of listing all those places where you will not eat the green eggs and ham, you stick with it! What kind of lesson does it teach our children about standing firm and sticking to your principles when he just suddenly caves right in? Talk about a flip-flopper. Let’s have a children’s book where the moral of the story is “if you don’t like it, or if no, you’ve never tried it so on some theoretical level perhaps you do not know and might like it, but frankly it just sounds yucky, (like, say green eggs)…well then don’t eat it.”