Sesame Street Library

When I was a little kid, about six-years-old, my parents bought me the entire Sesame Street Library. Originally published by Funk & Wagnalls in 1978 and 1979, I can remember reading through this 15-volume set of books for years and years, long after I had outgrown the ideal “target age demographic” for Sesame Street.

Like many things, I outgrew the books and had long forgotten about them. About a year ago I walked into a local antique mall and found the entire 15-volume set for sale for $2/book. $30 later, I (once again) owned the entire Sesame Street Library.

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The books, printed in color, contain wonderful pictures, illustrations, stories, and “how-to” articles. One article I specifically remembered was how to make masks out of paper grocery bags. I remember the article so well because I used it to make a mask! I was delighted while flipping through the books to find the article again and rekindle that old memory.

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The greatest thing about finds like these is sharing them with your friends and family. Over the years I have purchased lots of “display only” things that have gone straight to shelves, but not these. No, this copy of the Sesame Street Library went right to the kids’ bookshelf in the living room, where my six-year-old can read through them and, hopefully, enjoy them as much as I used to.

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Mr. Hooper Is Dead

When Will Lee, the actor who played kindly old shopkeeper Mr. Hooper on Sesame Street died in 1983, producers of the show thought it could be a crucial teaching moment about death for young viewers. So Mr. Hooper died, too. And here’s a clip. I know last week was the 40th anniversary of Sesame Street, but it took me awhile to steel myself against recalling the childhood trauma experienced by watching the incredibly sad sequence of Big Bird coming to understand the shock and finality of the death of a loved one. It’s also fairly agonizing when Bob chokes back tears. Landmark TV here.