By: Joan Holub
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Publication Date: July 2010
Reviewed by: Deb Fowler
Review Date: July 2010
Jim Henson was a shy boy who came from a very loving family, just like the type he would one day create with his future wife, Jane Nebel. When he was young, his creativity was appreciated and encouraged by his grandmother. “Dear,” as she was known, loved to look at his drawings of “imaginary creatures,” creatures who would eventually evolve into the beloved Muppets known around the world. His first break actually happened in high school when “WTOP needed puppeteers for a Saturday children’s program called ‘The Junior Morning Show.’”
Realistically, a job that lasted only a few weeks wasn’t going to provide anyone enough money to live on so he went to college in the hope of becoming a commercial artist, but amazingly enough yet another television station gave “him his own puppet show.” Kermit was born from his mother’s green cast off coat and the Muppets, a cross between a “marionette” and a “puppet,” started coming to life. In this book you will learn about Jim’s family, his creative partnerships, the increasing fame of the Muppets, the famous call from "Sesame Street," you’ll learn about the creation of the movies, and much more! Do you know how long it takes to be good enough to work a Muppet? Do you know what Whatnots are? If not, you’ll just have to read this book!
This is an excellent introductory biography of the great Jim Henson and the fabulous, fantastic crew of Muppets. Most families have cherished memories of them and, when prompted, can tell you a “Muppet story” that occurred in their family or can easily name their child’s favorite character. This biography has just the right amount of information and has additional relative pages that include information on the likes of Charlie McCarthy, Walt Disney, Kukla, Fran and Ollie, and other great influences in Henson’s life. The numerous pen and ink drawings add a nice spark to the book. The reading level of this book is 3.2, the age at which biographical information is of high interest.
Quill says: If your youngster was a Muppet lover, this is one sharp biography you’ll need to add to your list!