The Muppets Character Encyclopedia by Craig Shemin

In brief: All you wanted to know about your favourite and more obscure Muppets from Animal to Zoot.

The good: There’s a lot of the more obscure Muppets, for example from the original Muppet Show.

The not-so-good: Some younger readers may not be familiar with the original Muppet Show (it’s even older than I am).

Why I chose it: I love Muppets!

Year: 2013

Pages: 200

Publisher: Dorling Kindersley Ltd

My rating: 9 out of 10

It’s no secret that I am a giant fan of the Muppets in any way, shape or form. I love Sesame Street; I love the Muppets both old and new. I was thrilled to see the release of this book (timed for release with Muppets Most Wanted). It’s more suitable for children than adults, as it doesn’t tell you anything about how Muppets are constructed or who the puppeteers are. Still, it’s a fun book that will make you chuckle.

The book is certainly an extensive list of various Muppets. Younger children who haven’t seen the original Muppet Show may not know some of the characters (Mildred Huxtetter, anyone?) but it’s still interesting to read about them anyway. Major Muppets like Miss Piggy (naturally I had to put her first) and Kermit have more than one page devoted to them. The book also gets my tick of approval because it contains one of my favourite under-the-radar Muppets, Splurge. Splurge, although seen in the Muppet Movie, only has a major role in Hey Cinderella! (1965). He’s a big blue monster with a thing for radishes (you can get him to pull a pumpkin shaped coach by dangling a radish in front of him). Splurge is nearly impossible to find pictures of on the internet, so I’m pleased he’s here (I often use obscure Muppets for light relief in my lectures).

This book would be suitable for children who are new fans of the Muppets (probably 8 years and up could read it to themselves, otherwise parents reading to their children may need to have a limit of a number of Muppets per night!) or us older fans who thought we knew it all. The book demonstrates that there’s a lot of Muppets with smaller roles in some of the older/less popular productions. Note that this book doesn’t contain any of the Muppets from Sesame Street.


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