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Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street Hardcover – October 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers; Har/DVD edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579126383
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579126384
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 1.1 x 12.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,041 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Louise Gikow is an Emmy Award–winning author/composer of more than 150 scripts, books, and songs for kids and adults, including scripts for Sesame Workshop. She was editorial director and creative consultant at Jim Henson Productions for eleven years. She also created and ran a publishing and multimedia division at Nickelodeon. She lives in New York City.

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Customer Reviews

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A must for all fans.
L. Marrott
I love Sesame Street, and have watched it since the day it started (and I didn't even have children yet)!
TsReallyMe
Every page is chock-full of interesting details and amazing photographs.
Catherine Crow

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Steven Swain on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This is the most comprehensive overview of the iconic PBS TV series Sesame Street on the market, and by being the newest (prepared in honor of the 40th anniversary of the series), it's the most current. Still, those looking for the ultimate history of Sesame Street will be a little disappointed. It appears that the writer (and Sesame Workshop) made a conscious marketing decision to chase a wider audience with Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street.

By trying to cover everything Sesame, a lot of the historical depth of previous books like Sesame Street Unpaved: Scripts, Stories, Secrets, and Songs (1998) and the recently published Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street is eschewed in favor of a "coffee table book" approach. To that end, this book is bigger and more colorful than any other book on the subject, and it appears to be by design. Whereas Unpaved was overdesigned and a little light on a lot of Sesame folklore, and Street Gang was remarkably deep but a bit boring to read, Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street is highly accessible, reads easily and covers so enough information that all but the most ardent Sesame Street fans will enjoy it immensely.

If you buy Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street, an extensive bibliography is included that covers all the things it missed, as well as a DVD of the first Sesame Street episode with a bonus montage of highlights from each of its forty seasons.

I was somewhat disappointed with the book's lack of technical detail, as I am one of the ardent Sesame Street fans, but I personally encourage you to buy this book, because I still really enjoyed this book.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Luanne Ollivier TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 15, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I use Google as my main search engine. All last week they featured characters from Sesame Street on the homepage. The first day it wasn't even a whole character - just some banded orange legs. I bet there are very few people who didn't identify them as Big Bird's appendages!

At forty years, Sesame Street is the longest running children's television show. It's now seen in 120 countries. I was already in school when it first aired, but remember sitting with my little sister and watching it with her when I got home. And then twenty years later, watching it with my children. The theme song is still easily recalled: " Sunny days, sweepin' the clouds away...."

The show is iconic and the book is amazing. It's a wonderfully heavy coffee table book. Glossy stock and over 1500 colour photographs. But it's the stories within that make it such a keeper. Founder Joan Ganz Cooney realized that television could be educational as well as entertaining and broke new ground in broadcasting that has both matched the test of time and stayed two steps ahead, always finding new ways to teach and reach children.

I loved the behind the scenes stuff - how and who is behind and in and under those Muppets? The set itself and the changes it's undergone. Scripts are reproduced, songs, anecdotes, art and oh, so much more. The 'real' folks that appeared are featured as well, as are the celebrities who did guest appearances.

I had such fun, enjoying every page - and it's not a book to be rushed through - there is so much to take in and relish.

And if that wasn't enough, there's a bonus DVD included, featuring clips and moments from the show. I remembered so many of them!! I was singing along to "Who are the people in your neighbourhood?
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By L. Marrott VINE VOICE on November 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What an amazing book! It's HUGE though. Not a snuggle up to read kind of book. But well, well worth the price. Great pictures, tons of information all about Sesame Street and the Muppets. A must for all fans.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By E. T. Dexter VINE VOICE on February 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Back when Sesame Street celebrated it's 40th anniversary I made a comment that it is probably the most culturally significant thing to come out of television...ever. After reading this book, I can say with no shred of doubt that my statement is 100% true.

I'd always been aware that the Street had made its way into other countries but I had no idea to the extent and what the Workshop has done for countries across the globe, not to mention the children in those countries.

In addition to the mind blowing section about the world impact, there's sections on the people in front of, behind and in some cases, below, the cameras. Also talked about are the animated bits that will probably jog more than a few fond memories. There are also sections about the losses of Will Lee (Mr Hooper) and Jim Henson which are very touching.

I imagine the book will read different, depending on what generation the reader grew up with. Being of the first generation of toddlers to see the show, it was like catching up with old friends and meeting lots of new ones. Younger readers may find it interesting seeing the original cast and how things evolved up to the characters they know. There's a lot jammed in here so it's not extremely detailed in any one area but gives a broad overview of all aspects of the show.

If you're remotely on the fence about this book, you should absolutely get it. I think even casual fans will find a lot to like in here...and I haven't even watched the DVD that comes with it yet.

And I almost forgot to mention the amazing photos packed into the book. I can all but promise after reading this book, you'll look at Sesame Street with an even greater appreciation.
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