Meltzer holds up the great Muppeteer as a role model.
As in previous profiles in his Ordinary People Change the World series, the author crafts a first-person narrative that is light on biographical details and heavy on message. After pointing to significant early influences, from Edgar Bergen to Kukla, Fran and Ollie, the fictive Henson carries his career through Sesame Street, leads a chorus of Muppets singing “Rainbow Connection,” and concludes with a homiletic lecture: “Believe in the good of the world. Create something new. Share what you love….And never stop being kind. There’s nothing wrong with being a do-gooder.” Per series formula, Eliopoulos depicts his subject in cartoon illustrations as a bobblehead doll who remains child-sized throughout despite sporting a heavy beard from early youth. Recognizably drawn Muppets and co-workers are introduced by name, and a late scene extends the Henson story to its sadly premature end with a multiethnic group of children viewing a museum exhibit of selected monsters and movie posters.
Nearly every child will know his work already: here’s at least a superficial glimpse of his character. (photos, timeline, bibliography) (Picture book/biography. 3-6)