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An accurate Jim Henson biography for kids?

John Takis

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I work as a Library Assistant in a public library, and the other day I came across a book on our shelves in the children's section called "Inventors and Creators - Jim Henson" by Deanne Durrett. I was initially pleased to see it, and displayed it alongside a stuffed Kermit doll that I had donated (the kids love it!).

When I actually flipped through the book, however, I immediately began to spot unfortunate errors. For example, it repeats the old chestnut that Kermit the Frog was named after Kermit Love. In the section on Henson's passing, it describes how Frank Oz quit playing Bert, and so "Bert and Ernie became nothing but lifeless dolls" (or something like that ... the phrasing is horrible), locked away in a drawer, never to live again, only preserved in rerun segments. As far as I can tell, this book was first published in 2002, almost a decade after Steve had taken over Ernie -- and, of course, Frank did return to perform Bert from time to time. Perhaps segments of the book were written in the immediate aftermath of Henson's death? I don't know. The bottom line is, it's inaccurate and badly out of date.

With that in mind, can anyone here offer recommendations on a better Henson bio for young readers? One that can withstand scrutiny? I'd very much like to find one, order it, and replace the current one in my library.

Edit: Oh lordy, I mistyped Henson's name in the title of this thread -- how's that for irony? :embarrassed: Any way to fix this, or delete and re-post the thread?
 

Vic Romano

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The MuppetWiki notes even more errors!

While it may be a big read for young children, "Jim Henson – The Works" is a beautiful book with TONS of fantastic photos. "Street Gang", IMO offers more information on Jim then anything I have ever read, but it's not all rose colored, and certainly not for kids.
 

John Takis

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Thanks for the link, Vic -- I should've thought to check the Wiki! A whole section on Henson bios, with errata noted.

"The Works" is indeed a terrific book -- I own a copy, of course, and love it -- but it's not quite what I'm looking for. Rightly or wrongly, I'm afraid the size would put some kids off.
 

dwmckim

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(Cool to see you're still using that sig, Beau)

I don't think there's any Henson bio/major behind the scenes book - for kids or adults - that doesn't have a few errors that popped in there somewhere but even though Inventors and Creators has a few of them in there, it still is one of the better Jim biographies for younger readers...it gives a lot more detail on Jim's childhood and development that most other books (of any age group) i've come across.
 
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