Here, There be a Writer

Sunday, January 27, 2013

DePatie-Freleng Cartoons Retrospective

Fan Art of the DePatie-Freleng characters
This week we are looking at old cartoons. Ah, the good old days of animation, classic animations: Looney Tunes, Merrie Melodies, Scooby-Doo, Hanna Barbera, then later came the likes of Thundercats, He-Man, and Voltron. Cartoons that I watch when I was a kid were kind of varied. I watched a number of cartoons during the 1980’s and early 90’s, but also there were many that were from the 60’s and 70’s. I was generally not picky when it came to cartoons, but naturally I leaned a bit for to the fantastical and silly. I like Scooby-Doo for the mystery, Tom and Jerry for the random silliness (the cat and mouse version, not these guys who were from the 30’s: Tom and Jerry, circa 1930's), or The Pink Panther simply because it was awesome to watch a cartoon that used no dialogue, that just had music and sound effects.

I want to explore the latter one more. Cartoons from the golden age of animations after the founders began animating, during the era that practically everyone knows, of Bugs and Daffy. How many people know the creative minds behind the Pink Panther also created many of the Dr. Seuss specials that aired on CBC and ABC in the 70’s and 80’s, or a cartoon of the Ape Planet movies called “The Return to the Planet of the Apes” (1975-1976)?

This week I will be looking and the works of DePatie and Freleng. After Warner Brothers Studios stopped making cartoons in the early 60’s, there were two gentlemen, David DePatie and Isadore (Friz) Freleng who took the studio and transformed it into a place of animation history. They took over the Warner Brothers studio in 1963 and with the use of the Warner Brothers equipment they created a number of wonderful and entertaining cartoons. The first job the studio took was to make an animated intro to the Pink Panther movies directed by Blake Edwards. The first being “The Pink Panther”, what David DePatie and Friz Freleng didn’t realize that because of this they would go onto produce animated intros for all of Edwards’ movies except two and then create 124 cartoons shorts (from 1964 to 1980), and have countless TV shows/specials on the lanky and debonair feline. There was also a comic book too (Gold Key Comics, not related to DFE) of the Pink Panther. They even won an Oscar for a Pink Panther, “The Pink Phink” in 1964 and nominated for another is 1967, “The Pink Blueprint”.

The surprising thing for me is that when I went looking for more information on the cartoons of DePatie-Freleng, I discovered almost two dozen unique original cartoons, both theatrical and TV series, that DePatie-Freleng Enterprises (DFE) put out. Some I remember with a vivid clarity, other a vague sense that I had seen them before, and others that were totally unfamiliar.

DFE (active from 1963 to 1985) was David DePatie who had been the LAST producer with Warner Brothers before the close and Friz Freleng an animator, cartoonist, director, and producer. With the rampant success of “The Pink Panther” movie, they were asked to create a cartoon series around the profound feline, after that then a cartoon based on Inspector Clouseau, “The Inspector”. There was also “Roland and Rattfink”, “The Ant and the Aardvark”, “Tijuana Toads”, “The Blue Racer”, “Hoot Kloot”, and “The Dogfather”; these cartoons were theatrically released. DFE also produced TV series and specials that ranged from new Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons that Warner Brothers commissioned DFE to make also a few of their TV shows were “Misterjaw”, “Crazyleg Crane”, “The Super 6”, “Spider Woman” “Doctor Snuggles”, and “What’s New, Mr. Magoo”. DFE was certain not hurting for work during this time.

I am less familiar with DFE’s TV shows outside of “The Pink Panther Show” and “Doctor Snuggles”, but pleased to know that they had built a lucrative business throughout the 60’s, 70’s, and into the 80’s, which also included animation for commercials, one of the biggies being Charlie the Tuna for Starkist Tuna.

It definitely should be noted that most of the animators that worked with DePatie and Freleng were originally with Warner Brothers. This can be seen in a number of cartoons that either remind you of other characters or plots that felt recycled from Looney Tunes cartoons. The Tijuana Toads remind you of Speedy Gonzalez and characters associated with him. DFE made these new Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoons from 1964 to 1967, while producing Pink Panther and Inspector cartoons. DFE lasted until the early 80’s when they were sold to Marvel in 1981 was turned into Marvel Productions, Ltd. Maybe a precursor for things to come was when DFE produced a cartoon of Spider-Woman in 1979.

So, what are some of the things that draw me to these cartoons? Well, I was always amused that they could tell a story with no dialogue. That you could have a 6 minute story and not have the any of the character say a word, all that was there were was the music and some sound effects. It was great. Probably a reason that I love stories and quite possible a reason I got into writing, because with the written word you have no sound you have to be able to explain why something happen (Show, not Tell). You have to use your imagination. Of course one other reason is because of that snappy jazzy little tune by Henry Mancini only added to the fun. Oh and I mustn’t forget, HE WAS PANK! The Pink Panther was PANK! What little girl wouldn’t appeal to a giant pink kitty! Okay, that might be a stretch, but I did like pink a lot back in the day (we can discuss my fall out with the colour pink another time). I am not sure which was my first Pink cartoon, but there were 2 that I remember vividly: “Pickled Pink” and “Psychedelic Pink”. “Psychedelic Pink” is a mind trip to this day, but something about it just makes me happy.

Writer’s Note: Many of these cartoons use a laugh track. While I don’t condone the use of a laugh track, I do find it mildly distracting. “Psychedelic Pink" for example, it is trippy enough not to have disembodied laughter playing along side it.

I don’t really remember where I first saw these cartoons. When I was in middle/high school I used to watch the “Acme Hour” on the Cartoon Network and there were some Pink Panther cartoons along with “The Inspector” and “The Ant and the Aardvark” cartoons. Those were always favourites. There is just something about them. They are simple, classic. No long running story arks, just a simple story told for the enjoyment of telling stories that often included music.

I didn’t start watching the Pink Panther movies until I was much older. Something about, if my parents like them, I tended to not like them. Then, often years later, realizing that they really were awesome. I guess that’s a kid’s mentality though, if my parents like it, I won’t like it, because it’s boring.

Animation wise many of the DFE theatrical cartoons were simplistic. The Pink Panther backgrounds were often ordinary, with exceptions being the “Psychedelic Pink” which had an abstract look to it. “The Ant and the Aardvark” had far more colouful backgrounds (almost real world feel), “Isle of Caprice”. What made them unique was that the characters were a singular bright colour; red for the Ant and blue for the Aardvark (he calls himself an anteater; even the cartoon calls him an aardvark). And “The Inspector” is done with black outline and one or two other colours, depending on where the scene was happening, “The DeGaulle Stone Operation” had green and blue at the police head quarters, while at the hotel the background was pink and orange. I think this style is what caught my eyes; I could pay attention to the main part of the cartoon without being too distracted by the background.

The other main point about these cartoons that I liked and still like is the use of music. From the opening title credits to the music interspersed throughout, I feel that was something that caught me attention as a child. Today, I am still very much into music and sounds that I get much pleasure when I watch these cartoons again. A reaffirmation of that feeling after I had gotten a DVD set of all the Pink Panther cartoons for Christmas a few years ago. As watched these cartoons again, I felt a glorious feeling of HAPPY that comes from the part of my brain that enjoys things of this caliber.

To note, you can get DVDs of all of “The Inspector” and “The Ant and the Aardvark” cartoons. Each DVD has all 17 episodes from each of the said series. For those collectors out there that is full of AWESOME. I have yet to find “Hoot Kloot”, “Roland and Ratfink," "The Dogfather", or any of the others on DVD or VHS tape. I did find one DVD of 14 episodes of “Tijuana Toads,” but it seems to be quite a bit rarer print.

The good news, I discovered that has Tijuana Toads, Roland and Ratfink, Hoot Kloot for free (in high quality). You can also find episodes of all, these on YouTube.

Writer’s Note: Yidio is a free site. There is quite a bit available on the free part. You can link Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Instant Video, and ITunes accounts to watch other shows not included in the free shows.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Retro Vision: Old Elementary Text Books

Did you even think that you would revisit old text that you used back in 3rd and 5thgrade? I never thought that…But recently I visited 1 of 3 Salvation Army stores in my area and discovered a couple of books from my elementary school days.

Back then it was called language arts. Not even sure why it was called that. It was more like reading comprehension, spelling, and phonics. It was kind of English class before you got to Middle and High school. When I was in school, we used these books. They were filled with stories, poems, and articles about a wide range of topics that went with a corresponding workbook.


I purchased 2 books from a series called series R: Macmillan Reading circa 1983/86 for 49 cents a piece. It’s a cute little trip down nostalgic lane, which includes a short play that my 3rd grade reading class performed. I have discovered the FIRST play I was ever in! “The Mixing Stick” adapted by Eleanore Leuser is a story of a poor family that only has onions for their Christmas dinner, but a peddler proves that a ‘magical’ stick can make any food into a delicious meal with a the help of their neighbours.

After flipping through both books  I found a great many wonderful things, so of them I actually reading reading by then. I realized that I was well read in school, with reading material presented in the books. Granted maybe of the topics were written with 8 year olds in mind, but it's no wonder that I love reading, literature, mythology, and learning new stuff. Here are a few examples from the "Secrets and Surprises" book and a one or two from "Full Circle" book.

The Little Green Man - in 2 parts
A child's version of Thor's Hammer
Fun fact and colourful art

An article about Marcel Marceau

The classic story of the ducklings

A colourful story

I also found a few years ago for a 1.00 an Addison Wesley math book circa 1987 that I used when I was in 5th grade. Man, I wish I could go back and only have to worry what 9 + 4 = _____.  The answer is 13!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Poetry Time: Lady Cardinal

While I was cleaning the kitchen, I found a female cardinal munching on the seed that I had thrown into my yard to feed the feathered folk. There she was amongst the sparrows and chickadee, like a queen. I got inspired. First poem of 2013.

Lady Cardinal

How you rule
With your crown upon your head
Your subjects scatter around you
Chirping loud praise.

Oh, Master Jay!
How your suddenly appearance
Pester the Lady and make her blush.
You make the subjects fuss
And carry on so.

Within the barren cold
You too rule the plebeian sparrows
As you feast
Upon the seed in my yard.

I, who am like a God
To those feathered folk,
Lady Cardinal and Master Jay
Bearing  food in the bleak mid-winter.

With me, my guardians
Who are Cerberus to my Hades
As they watch the Lady and her subjects
On this, the Feast Day.

1:00 pm

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Top 10 Dar Williams songs

This week’s blog is a bit different. Today I will talk a bit about an artist that is not main stream, Dar Williams. Dar is far from a new artist, but I don’t think that many folks know about her body of work. This will not really be a spotlight blog. My spotlight’s are for those folks who are up are coming artists or budding entrepreneurs, the unsigned, the not quite on the map (yet) that I want to highlight and help them get exposure. Dar is a seasoned professional and has quite the fan base already. I just want to show her work off to others who may be interested in added to their collections. It’s more of a reflection a any of the musicians or writers (primarily) that I follow, to listen to, or read.

Dar Williams is a folk singer/songwriter from the Westchester County village of Mt. Kisco, NY. Some of her music was introduced by a friend in college who listened to a number of artists and bands that were just off the major musical radar. One the first tracks of hers that I heard was “The Christians and the Pagans” and the other one was “When I was a Boy.” At the time, about 1998, they were part of a mix tape given to me by the same friend. I listened to that tap a lot in and post college. It was a good tape! I didn’t take the extra time to search out more of Dar’s work and life moved on.

Time passed as it is prone to do, Time’s a busy Lady and there are things to be done and people to see. Sometimes later, 2002 or 2003 while looking through a used CD store in Dallas. At this time I had graduated from college in 2001 and I had moved south in the Spring of 2002. Anyway, I discovered the album “The Honesty Room” in that used CD store. I should note that “The Beauty of the Rain” was due out or had just been released in 2003. So, in the span of 2 ½ years I had acquired 3 albums and a sampler disc (I didn’t pick up the Beauty of the Rain album right away). These were:

1.      The Honesty Room - 1995
2.      The Green World - 2000
3.      Out There Live - 2001
4.      The Beauty of the Rain Sampler (and a free poster which had been signed. I don’t have the poster anymore).

After returning to New York State in October of 2004, I began collecting more of Dar’s music. I call it a return to the innocence (Enigma is for another time). In many ways I wanted to return to the college days when I had much less to worry about. Dar and her music seemed to bring into wanderlust of all thing college. During the years of late 2004 through June of 2006 were a rough time for me. Returning to NY and finding a job was rough and mentally I needed something to help that feeling. I didn’t realize that Dar would fill that niche, yet, so the collect sat. I acquired The Beauty of the Rain and The End of Summer and at that point I started to rediscover Dar.

I took to the Beauty album like it was a drug, and it was there that I realized what it was about Dar’s music that made her appeal to me. Her lyrics spoke of truth and a commonality that so many people can understand and sympathize with. She speaks of things that deep down we all feel and often go through some of the same things, but seldom shared are these feeling, truths, and events with those songs. In her music I was suddenly able to bring to light the feelings and thoughts that maybe I wasn’t alone.

I am going to share my top 10 Dar Williams songs with you and give you a piece of me, which you may understand and/or possibly share in. Dar’s songs range from folk, folk-rock, soft rock, to alternative rock. She is a widely varied artist whom I have come to respect deeply.

  1. What Do You Heard in These Sounds?” from “The End of Summer”
As told from the perspective of both a teenager who is in therapy and the teenager’s therapist. As someone who has been to a therapist both in college and within the last few years, I can say that there is anger and shame that comes with knowing you need to seek help. There is also something akin to relief when you can see the world through fresh eyes because someone listened to you. “…But Oh how I loved everybody else/
When I finally got to talk so much about myself…”

  1. “The World’s Not Falling Apart” from “The Beauty of the Rain”
“And the world's not falling apart, the world's not falling apart because of me…” The simplicity of these words speak louder and never have I cried so much to one song because of them. There are mistakes that we make, but the world continues as per normal. Once we see that, the world can only get better.

  1. “The Christians and the Pagans” from “Mortal City”
“So the Christians and the Pagans sat together at the table, /Finding faith and common ground the best that they were able, /And just before the meal was served, hands were held and prayers were said, /Sending hope for peace on earth to all their gods and goddesses” Sometimes when we feel that we can never reach across the huge chasm of personal differences, sometimes all it takes is burning pumpkin pies to connect people. My hope is that this song will inspire others to put aside differences and break their fast with their fellow man/woman kind. I definitely recommend this one. This is a fun little song about a woman and her pagan friend having Christmas dinner with the woman’s Christian aunt, uncle, and cousin.

  1. It’s Alright” from “Promised Land”
“I know change is a bad thing,/Breaks me down into a sorry sad thing…It's a sad and a strange thing./But it's time and I am changing...It’s Alright.” Change is always happening and yes it’s not always good, but you know what, it’s alright, because it’ll get better. It always does… This is a bouncy pop tune that first caught my ear when I got the album, “Promised Land.”

  1. “Are You Out There” from “The End of Summer”
“You always play the madmen poets/Vinyl vision grungy bands/You never know who's still awake/You never know who understands and…Calling Olson, Calling Memphis/I am calling, can you hear this?/I was out here listening all the time/And I will write this down/and then I will not be alone again yeah/I was out here listening…” Have you listened to the radio and felt connected to the DJ, just because of his/her voice. All it takes is a few truths to know that you are not alone. In that knowledge, maybe just maybe you can find your way out to the darkness of this world. I love almost all of Dar’s poppy upbeat songs. She seems to have a way that connects you to the music with lively melodies.

  1. “When I was a Boy” from “The Honesty Room”
“When I was a boy, I scared the pants off of my mom,/climbed what I could climb upon/And I don't know how I survived, /I guess I knew the tricks that all boys knew. /And you can walk me home, but I was a boy, too.” Gender roles; these are the things that still sometimes keep us from being all that we could be. It would surprise you that sometimes there are allies from the other side that face roles just as painfully and the ones we have to deal with. I swear I definitely cannot make it through this song without crying. She really believes what she is singing about. This is a tender guitar ballad. Simply performed.

  1. “Calling the Moon” from “The Green World”
“Calling the moon/'Cause I know what it's worth/To tug at the seas and illumine the earth/Oh, I am calling the moon /Oh, I am calling the moon” As a pagan myself I can understand the pull of the moon, but also, as a person of the modern world, I can understand how we forget about those sacred things, like the moon. Sometimes, though, I am unable to answer, because I have answered a call that is greater. Great Mother Night, oh Moon Goddess, Lady of the Twilight! I hear you calling….

  1. “Farewell to the Old Me” from “The Beauty of the Rain”
“So farewell to the old me /Farewell to the old me /My life is working better now /But always changing anyhow /Time and the old me /Farewell to the old me /Farewell…” When you understand that you can change, and change for the better, you will gladly say Farewell!

  1. “The Easy Way” form “Promised Land”
“So here's what I took, I kept the wine and laughter,/Until every path just grew up and ever after,/Through the peaks and twisty canyons,/I made many great companions…Yeah, I never took the easy way,/So you can take it a little easy on me now./Cause we know that easy's never easy anyhow.” Think about this, that anything worth having is never easy, right? Well, then that’s what life is about, not taking the easy way. You will still come out better for having done that.

  1. “The Babysitter’s Here” from “Honesty Room"
This is a story song, plain and simple. In the realm of Great Big Sea (for another blog) story songs, this is a heart warming and breaking song about a child and her babysitter. There have probably been a great many babysitters of her sort. It’s a simple truth that when the babysitter arrives there are good times are a plenty. But there’s also the knowledge that growing up isn’t always easy, sometimes you have to grow up too. It’s speak well of the child’s perspective and the babysitter’s as well. But even in the sadness you can’t deny the awesome power that is YOUR BABYSITTER (I know some know what this feeling is about)! “Now she's made us some popcorn, we've turned out the lights/And we're watching movies…”

I need to include a track from Dar’s current album, “In the Time of the Gods”, as an honourable mention. I know, I have my ten tracks, but there is something else to say. Upon listening to this album, while writing this blog, I happened on “The Light and The Sea”. I have known many lyricists to create musical poetry. I can certainly count Dar Williams as one of them. Here’s why; this song can read as a poem as well as a song. Also this song can be-upon closer listen and reading-attributed to a character in a series I had been reading. That also doesn’t happen often, at least not one that hit as strong as “The Light and The Sea” did to me. It’s a wistful song, something perfect for relaxing to on a lazy afternoon.

Dar Williams, I can equate to the likes of Carol King or Joan Baez, but she is also a storyteller and a therapist. Her words are healing, and yet also beautifully melodic. I would recommend checking her out: and

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Take a Little Trip with Me: The Sesame Street Library

I tried a stab at vlogging once. It was an interesting experience, not wholly bad and certainly I learned a thing or two. The big lesson I learned was that I love to research and write. On the flip side, I realized that I can’t record a decent blog to save my life. I would much rather organize my thoughts and put them to paper, or in this case, digital text. I give any vlogger/internet reviewer much consideration and praise. They have the patience to make some truly amazing. They know how present content in a video format. 

So a vlogger, I am not, but I am a writer. I love words. I love to present words to others for their entertainment, enlightenment, and enjoyment. I will say that I enjoy reciting poetry, including my own (I recorded a CD of spoken poetry with David’s help back in 2006: Naked Snow). The point is I love to write and collect words. This is why I became a blogger, because I could collect words and write them down for people to enjoy.

Today’s blog takes us down memory lane. Sesame Street was always something of a favourite with me. I couldn't get enough of Grover, Big Bird, or Oscar. Some of you may remember the “Sesame Street Dictionary” it was a dictionary for children 3 to  8ish. It had word and definition like a regualr 'grown-up' dictionary, but it was made for children, to help them learn common words they would run across in everyday life. I did a vlog on it in 2011. Here's the Vlog. This time I will be focusing on another set of Sesame Street books that come out a couple of years prior to the dictionary.

“The Sesame Street Library” I have a rather large set of nostalgic goggles. I’m not sure when these were fitting to my head, but there was a point in my early twenties, possibly just after graduated college that I re-discovered many things from my childhood. These things suddenly became so important to me. I learned of the term “Nostalgia Goggles” possibly from David and the best way I can define the term (outside of a dictionary definition) is that Nostalgia Goggles are when you suddenly see something in the now and realize that something from your past was so much better. Okay, I might need to go to the dictionary for this one. Nostalgia is define as a 'wistful desire to return in thought or in fact to a former time in one's life, to one's home or homeland, or to one's family and friends; a sentimental yearning for the happiness of a former place or time: a nostalgia for his college days' (taken from Goggles are type of head gear used to protect one’s eyes from dust, debris, water, etc. So, Nostalgia Goggles can be said to be a pair of metaphorical goggles that one puts on to return to a time in ones past when was happier, or at least a time that sparks happy thoughts (it could work for the negative emotions too, but I am not discussing the negative here). Meaning that ones sees more of the longed for happy time and not necessary to present time. Most time it refers to seeing old cartoons, TV shows, or music that will bring people into a type of revelry about what was good and/or bad about said cartoon or TV show.

Off track, ‘The Sesame Street Library” was a 15 book set that was published in 1978 and1979. The first 12 books were published in 1978, while the last three volumes were published in 1979. They all follow the same pattern; each volume features stories that use the Sesame characters, recipes/activities, and pages that feel like Sesame commercials, such as a page featuring Count Von Count counting items.

In many ways each volume felt like an episode of Sesame Street with stories, lessons, and learning (a bit o' alliteration there). I never had these growing up. I don’t even remember why. I had half of the "Big Bird’s Sesame Street Dictionary” which was a re-print of the “Sesame Street Dictionary”. They were sold in our local Tops Markets. It was one of those deals where each week there would be a new volume for 1.99 (I think). So, I am looking at this set of books with the eyes of an adult and some Nostalgia Goggles for the past in regards to all things Sesame Street.

“The Sesame Street Library” is more from David’s perspective. He remembers it was something that he received in the mail, which might explain why I didn’t have them as a kid. I receive a number of this in the mail as a kid, mostly books from Weekly Reader Children’s Book Club or Children’s Choice Book Club. I am 3 years younger than David, so maybe by the time I was old enough the books these weren't sold anymore. Well, anyway, I am going to take you through a volume of the "Sesame Street Library". I may not have read them as a child, but the characters certainly bring back a bit of Nostalgia for me.

The great thing about this series is that while the “Sesame Street Dictionary” featured one artist, Joe Mathieu and text from Linda Hayward. While the “Sesame Street Library” utilizes several writers and illustrators such as Michael K. Frith, Jon Stone, Jerry Juhl, and Carol Spinney to name a few. My adult mind finds this fascinating. I really enjoyed (and still do) the art of Joe Mathieu, but there are some other fun artists who have interesting takes on the Sesame characters.

Volume 1 takes us down the road a bit using the letters A and B and the number 1. This equation is very much in keeping with a Sesame episode that I can’t help but feel at home already. It begins with a story about the letter A and features Big Bird and uses the art of Joe Mathieu. “An A Story” is a cute little tasle about Alligators, Apples, and Arrows; I love the alliteration here and the colourful illustrations that go well with it.  

Right after the story, on the next page is one of the educational adverts (commercials) tucked between two segments, Count Von Count counting with more Joe Mathieu art.

Now we get to the interactive segments, here is a "Cookie Monster's Famous Cookie Dough"; drawn in black and blue (white background of course) by Michael Frith. Frith was a children’s book illustrator and editor first. He worked with the likes of Theodore Geisel, whom he was a close friend of also at Random House before being recruited by Jim Henson in 1975. He actually worked on several Sesame projects (The Sesame Street Storybook and Big Bird's Busy Book to name a few) for Random House prior to joining the Henson team. We went on to help create the show “Fraggle Rock” and after he left Henson Productions he started his own company, “Sirius Thinking Ltd” that developed “Between the Lions.” Anyway, artistically this segment is eye catching and instruction wise it's simple and creative, and it’s signed by Cookie himself. How many kids really believed that Cookie wrote this himself, okay maybe some still do. It’s okay; I would feel the same way.

Up next is a story that features Bert and Ernie and the number 1 “Bert’s Bath” uses the number 1 heavily through. The repetition is a good way to get the concept of what the number 1 is and you have the comedy of Ernie trying ton get everything Bert need for his bath, 1 of that is. The illustrations done by Mel Crawford gives the whole story a real Bert and Ernie feel. You almost feel that what you are reading has happened on TV.

“Ernie Presents: The Letter A”, it’s another educational advert feature Ernie and Cookie. I am not sure who drew this one, but it funny. Classic Cookie moment at the end! Spoilers!

Here is another interactive story, A Happy-Sad-Happy-Sad-Happy Story”, this time with what looks like Bob reading a story and asking the children listening to the story to hold up Happy and Sad faces (that can be made as a craft) throughout the story using Frith’s art. I can see how this one could be used by teachers or daycare providers. This also uses a black and pink colour scheme.

Another advert using random pictures of Sesame characters dressed up as different professions. Cute, well, yeah, but purpose, not sure. Maybe my grown-up mind doesn’t get it. Featuring random Sesame Muppets, this time one being Herry Monster (a lesser known monster, in the last couple of years), I am not really complaining, I just don’t get it. Harry McNaught is the artist featured here.

Herry Monster advertising Criminal Justice
Moving on to another story, this time “The Princess and the Cookie”, while this is my first time reading these, I can already tell that the stories were the high point of this series. All of the stories used in this series feature one or more of the core Sesame characters in an original story. So far I have seen only original stories used in these story segment (more on this later). It is unclear who wrote the story, Kelly Oechsli illustrated it. Best picture of Cookie ever

Another advert using Big Bird, Little Bird, and Grover with credit going to Charles Rowan, this is another case where I think they wanted to feature the Sesame characters just for the kids and no other purpose other than that.

I should point out that with the recipe segment in this volume is broken into parts. The previous segment was making the cookie dough, now we are making the shaped cookies. Frith comes back to continue Cookies’ baking endevours and the forthcoming adventures of Cookie and his baking in volume 2.

“Bert and the Beanstalk” the story to begin the second half of this volume, also done by Frith, this time the story is basically an adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk with Bert and Ernie, although it’s most Bert’s story. The artist while Frith’s work looks similar to Mathieu’s here. This doesn’t bother me at all. I like both

Advert time: a quick page of shapes and an activity involving drawing pictures with shapes. There is some classic Ernie humour here. It’s a nice touch, feels a bit out of place though, or at least needs a bit more. I realize that space was probably a factor, but in two pages you could show more shapes and have a bigger space to show examples, or space to have an activity. This was drawn by Mel Crawford.

Story: “Oscar’s Worst Day” a quick page vignette about cleaning up featuring Oscar. The first time in this volume Oscar has appeared as has the Human characters. As an Oscar fan, I can really appreciate this entry. The cartoonized versions of David, Maria, Susan, and Mr. Hooper are just fun, drawn by Frith.
Sesame Street humans in Cartoon form.

Now we have a retelling of a classic fairy tale, this time it’s “Princess and the Pea,” shortened to a single page and an illustrated page done by Michael Smollin. This is a nice touch giving kids the classic fairy tales that have been around since forever, as well as the newer stories.

Advert: a two page illustrated joke with Bert and Ernie, which looks to be the work of Frith (after a bit of searching). I always loved jokes as a kids, it’s good to see that someone else does too, even if they are cheesy.

Another craft segment called “Crafts for all Seasons” and illustrated by the multi-talented, Carol Spinney. It is only fitting that Oscar is featured in this segment as he is Oscar and also Big Bird. Carol was not just a puppeteer, but also an illustrator. It’s a great segment, because it ties into each of the season. I would have loved these crafts as a kid; flowers and pin wheels, rock! Who need all that flashy stuff when you have a pinwheel?!?! Drawn with black and yellow on white background, I think the less colours used makes it more striking.
And the teaser for the next volume, done with Bert and Ernie, as Big Bird did the teaser for the Sesame Street Dictionary by Frith.

Bert and Ernie Teaser for Volume 2

There was quite a cast list of writers and illustrators in volume 1, and while there was a rotating group that changed each volume, it’s clear that these books were a labour of love for many. You have Michael Frith who worked with and was close friends with Theodor Geisel before joining Henson Associates in 1975 as Art Director. There’s Jon Stone, the head writer and producer of Sesame Street itself, and who wrote “Monster at the End of this Book.” Another one was Jerry Juhl, who was one of the original writers and who wrote the screen adaptation of “Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas.” And Carol Spinney who operated Oscar and Big Bird, he was also an artist/painter, lending his talents to “The Sesame Street Library.” 
I think it’s safe to say that, had I had these in my collection back in the day, they would have been well loved, and probably there would have been a million pin wheels in my room.