Customer Reviews: Sesame Street: A Celebration of 40 Years of Life on the Street
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on November 15, 2009
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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TOP 500 REVIEWERon November 15, 2009
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?", "One of these things is not like the others..." and a few more!

As Gordon said on the very first show Nov 10, 1969:

" You've never seen a street like Sesame Street. Everything happens here. You're gonna love it."
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VINE VOICEon November 9, 2009
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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on July 23, 2013
From the beginning of the concept of the show, the missteps, and the glory days, right on up until today and the new muppeteers. It's a great book for anyone who like Muppets, Sesame Street, the creative process, trivia, or history of television. It's got plenty of facts, biographies, and of course full colour pictures... from the first orange Oscar the Grouch and the bizarre feathered Big Bird up to Murray, with the Word on the Street. It's a great solid coffee table book that you can share with your family, friends, or by yourself on a quiet Sunday afternoon. Recommended.
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on August 6, 2015
More reminiscing than you thought you'd do over a silly TV show from your childhood. This book brought back the memories, for sure. I got all choked up again even reading about the episode where Mr. Hooper died. Buy it. Read it. Watch the DVD and try to remember if you ever saw the original Gordon on TV -- then discover that there have actually been four men to play that role, not just Roscoe Orman. Any fan of the show will appreciate this book.
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VINE VOICEon February 5, 2010
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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on March 20, 2012
We had received the Sesame Street 40th anniversary DVD for a gift which my daughter loves. Came with a pamphlet with the picture of the cover of this book on it. She was fascinated by all the characters. Bought the book used and it was well worth it. She loves turning the pages and finding all her favorite characters. Interesting for adults as well especially those who grew up watching the show.
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on July 17, 2012
This is a great book - it's a huge coffee table style book that's packed with huge color photos and stories. It's also very well researched and written. Whether your memories of Sesame Street are from the 70's 80's or 90's, I think you'll enjoy the behind the scenes look at this amazing show.
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on November 20, 2009
This book is excellent! I just received it on 11/19/09 and I am very pleased with my purchase! I really have enjoyed knowing the history of this educational children's TV program and I've enjoyed watching it myself! READING about it is even better, though! That way I have a clearer idea of how this program all came about and the people who put this program together! I thank you for putting this book out for admirers of Sesame Street and I hope that whoever has read this book has enjoyed it as much as I have! Dawn E. Lowenstein
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on December 26, 2009
Excellent behind the scenes snapshot into what made Sesame Street such a wonderful experience. It provided insight into what was the motiviation for many of the actors and wonderful stories of their experience. The photos were absolutely wonderful revealing the people and mayhem behind the scenes. I would highly recommend this for any fan of Sesame Street or those who work with children's education.
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