Sunday, September 25, 2011

The 10 Best Books Written by Muppets

Jim Henson’s birthday was yesterday, which turned anyone with a soul’s thoughts all Muppety. While most Muppet achievements were confined to television sets and movie screens, the cast of characters also made an impact on the book world.

A gaggle of Muppet characters have ostensibly put paw, flipper or hoof to keyboard with publishing success. (Did the Muppets really write these books themselves? Well, if I’m supposed to believe that Pamela Anderson wrote a novel and Bristol Palin had no help with her memoir, then I say: Yes, absolutely.)

This list includes books by both Muppet Show Muppets and Sesame Street characters, and it was a tad tough to narrow down. The Amazing Mumford’s foray into science with his book on bones, Bert’s Hall of Great Inventions and Elmo’s unabashedly-titled Balls! weren’t easily eliminated, mind you.




The 10 Best Books Written by Muppets





#10 One Frog Can Make a Difference: Kermit’s Guide to Life in the ‘90s by Kermit the Frog

Though the title is dated, don’t discount the wisdom of a frog who received an honorary doctorate of Amphibious Letters from Southampton College in 1996. He even dispenses advice for writers: "It's all kinds of simple: Just don't take yourself too seriously and don't listen to experts (including pigs), and you've pretty much got it." 



#9 The Muppet Picnic Cookbook by Jim Henson’s Muppets

This rare and elusive cookbook was only briefly published by Hallmark, so if you can find a copy, guard it like your Mamaw’s stew-stained recipe cards. Featuring recipes from Muppet Show cast members (Animal’s Zesty Baked Beans, Kermit’s Swamp Salad), it also contains what might well be the only printed copy of a Swedish Chef recipe. His Barbecued Filet of Sole calls for two sneakers, but allows for the substitution of broiler chickens.





#8 Miss Piggy’s Treasury of Art Masterpieces from the Kermitage Collection by Miss Piggy (Edited by Henry Beard)

Miss Piggy has two entries on this list for good reason: she has more books than any other character. The Suzanne Somers of Muppet celebrity publishing, Miss Piggy goes well beyond Somers’ moody poetry and menopause musings. A case in point is this brilliantly curated art collection, containing Botticelli’s The Birth of You Know Who (pictured), Whistler’s Weirdo and Rembrandt’s Arisfroggle contemplating the bust of a Twerp.



#7 Miss Piggy’s Guide to Life, Miss Piggy's Rules or The Diva Code by Miss Piggy



Miss Piggy's Guide to Life is out-of-print, but her other self-help books The Diva Code and The Rules spoof Miss Piggy’s Rules contain similar advice in a glamorously self-indulgent style previously matched only by Miss Eartha Kitt. If you need to know when a karate chop is better than a kiss or which furs to pack, this one’s for you.



#6 Fozzie Bear’s Big Book of Side Splitting Jokes by Fozzie Bear

File this one next to Henny Youngman’s Giant Book of Jokes. The vaudevillian is the master behind lines like “I don’t approve of belly dancers. Why can’t they dance on the floor like everyone else?” Can’t find a copy? Follow Fozzie on Facebook.





#5 Oscar the Grouch’s Alphabet of Trash by Oscar the Grouch

The number of ABC books out there could probably fill a billion empty Borders stores, but from Anne Geddes’ babies-in-bumblebee-outfits to Richard Scarry’s bunnies-acting-like-people, alphabet books have always been a bit precious. Not so with Oscar’s ABC, where D is for dust and E is for eggshells. Full of crummy stuff for those who love crummy stuff.




#4 It’s Hard Out Here for a Shrimp by Pepe the King Prawn

In the vein (Get it? Vein?) of fellow cast members guides to life, the Malaga, Spain-born prawn dishes advice on “the womens.” Tip: the whole thing is better if you read it in Pepe’s voice. (Example: “Never ask out the woman who just finished talking to your ex-girlfriend, okay?”)



#3 Before You Leap: A Frog’s Eye View of Life’s Greatest Lessons by Kermit the Frog



When you tire of Lao Tzu or Emerson, it would serve you well to seek the wisdom of one of entertainment’s greatest thinkers. Seriously. The first of his family to leave the swamp, Kermit overcame his humble beginnings to become a hard-working reporter (and the best-looking one before we had Anderson Cooper) and ultimately a star. 



#2 How to Be a Grouch by Oscar the Grouch

Oscar’s alphabet was just a warm-up. All the good stuff is in here, with Oscar dispensing secrets for becoming a grouch yourself. One of my favorite tips is the advice to sleep with rocks in your bed, with your head hanging over onto the floor, so you’ll wake up good and grouchy. Oscar also clues us in on what grouches eat: pickle splits, chunky fish ice cream or hot beef stew with chocolate gravy in a melon, for example.





#1 The Monster at the End of This Book by Grover

The book may be credited to Jon Stone, but the entire thing is in first person, so this is clearly an as-told-to credit. If you were lucky enough to grow up with this book, congratulate yourself, because that means you were probably also lucky enough to have a parent who read it to you in Grover’s voice. Grover’s pleas for you to stop turning the pages are among the most melodramatic in all literature, and most people’s first experience with the breaking of the fourth wall --or whatever the literary equivalent is. (Lesser known is Lovable, Furry Old Grover’s Resting Places --also an interactive piece worth a look for young ‘uns.)

Easton Press needs to get on this one. I’d shell out for a leatherbound in a heartbeat.

There are a few titles I'd like to see from the Muppets: a full Swedish Chef cookbook, for example, a tell-all bio from Janice of the Electric Mayhem and a manifesto from Sam the Eagle. What would you like to see?

3 comments:

  1. It seems like I recall my kids having The Monster at the End of this Book when they were little. I never would have thunk it that there were so many Muppet books but it makes sense since they have been popular for so long.
    Unique and fun post.


    Lee
    Tossing It Out

    ReplyDelete
  2. Seen this? FavoriteWords.com - Totally genius!

    ReplyDelete
  3. At last my happiness and joy has been restored as my husband who left me for another girl has finally come back good and still lovely to me , i want to use this time to give thanks to Dr Blessing who has use his love spell and prayers to bring back my ex lover and also share little about my rough story between me and my husband and the other girls , i got married to the man i loved Sanchez June 23 2013 and we have been together ever since and we have leaved happily we both have a daughter , but this year 2017 when has traveled to new York on a business things changed even when he was away he never called to say hi to me and my daughter and this was unlikely of him because he loves our daughter to sky , so i began to suspect something wasn't right, but i waited for he to return to me in Canada so i know what the problems was, only for Sanchez to come back asking for divorce at first i thought he was joking , but with time i saw he was so serious on this , i tried to plead with he but nothing changed , i called my mom telling her about the situation and she said to pray about it , i was depressed and devastated on this issues and was praying and looking for help to stop the divorce and save my marriage, i seek help with many persons non could help , i continue with the search of help because i knew and have the feelings my man was not on his right senses because i know the man i married can never ask me for a divorce, so i kept on looking for solutions i spent almost all my savings seeking solution , until the Juliana a working told me about Dr blessing of blessingspiritualtemple@gmail.com, i never wanted to email him because many has taken money from me without giving any good result, but when he gave her words about Dr Blessing i decided to give it a trial , contacted him and told him about myself , he told me that he will have me to make my husband stop the divorce and reunite us again , that he gave me three days after which everything will be back to it normal place for good , i did some few things he said i should do as instructed , and let he do his work i was at work on the 15th of July about 10 AM when i received letter from my husband that my husband has cancelled the divorce case and same day at about 12 noon my husband wrote me a sweet text , and this was how me and my husband came back and today we are better as one family , so i want to use this means to tell to you all here contact Dr Blessing to for any kind of relationship or married problems and i let he solve it for you just as he has done for me , his contacts
    Email; blessingspiritualtemple@gmail.com
    blessingspiritualtemple@yahoo.com
    Whats,App. +1(951) 409 0694

    ReplyDelete