The Art of the Muppets (1980)
Published 1980 by Bantam Books with the Muppet Press. Prepared by the Staff of Henson Associates. Editorial Director: Michael K. Frith. Photos. Paperback, 44 pages.
In 1980, Henson launched a traveling museum exhibit called "The Art of the Muppets". This book is the exhibit companion. It follows highlights of Henson's career from Sam and Friends to Sesame Street, Saturday Night Live, Emmet Otter, the Muppet Show, and the Muppet Movie. The book is light on text but heavy on color photos, many of which have never been published in any other book. Another must have for the collection.
Muppet Magic (1980)
Published 1980 by Creative Education, Inc. Written by Patricia Dendtler Frevert. Hardback, 32 pages.
This book is part of a series called "TV and Movie Tie-ins" to help educate children (and adults) about the behind the scenes world of the TV and film industry. In this book, Dendtler discusses the Muppets, their show, their creator Jim Henson, "The Muppet Movie," and some of the technology involved with the Muppets.
This book features some rare black and white pictures and some nice quotes and behind the scenes information, especially concerning the television special "The Muppets Go Hollywood".
Published 1980 by Random House, Inc. with the Muppet Press. Designed by Bruce McNally, Les Skinner, and John Stevenson. Photo and cartoon illustrations. Paperback, 64 pages.
This is an American publication of the 1979 British Muppet annual, and chock-full of the usual annual fare, including cartoon stories, puzzles, games, random jokes, and photos. Highlights include: a cartoon story of "Kermirella," poems about Pigs in Space and the Swedish Chef, and a disco-themed cartoon in which Bunsen and Beaker use a potion to turn Kermit into "Disco Frog."
Robin Hood (1980)
Published by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Jocelyn Stevenson. Designed and illustrated by Bruce McNally. Hardback, 38 pages.
This is a high spirited tale of Robin Hood as depicted by the Muppet characters. Nearly the entire cast can be found in this book. Kermit as Robin Hood, Miss Piggy as Maid Marian, Lew Zealand as Friar Tuck, Floyd as Will Scarlet, and many others.
Jim Henson's Muppets Annual (1980, UK)
Published 1980 by Grandreams Limited. Hardcover, 58 pages.
The fourth of the Muppet annuals, drops "The Muppet Show" label from it's title and simple goes with "Jim Henson's Muppets". Notable features include "The Mild Bunch" comic strip, the story "The Mystery of the Long Black Hair", and "Animal's Guide to Arts and Crafts."
In this book is the first precurser of what would eventually become "The Kermitage Collection". There are two pictures of "The Laughing Frog" and "Mona Piggy".
Miss Piggy Autograph Book (1981)
Published 1981 by Hallmark. Hardcover, 54 pages.
"Autographs: Stars in my eyes". This small autograph book has a photo of Miss Piggy on the cover displaying a day dreaming type pose. Inside are numerous pink pages for you to collect all of your Muppet autographs.
Muppet Picnic Cookbook (1981)
Hallmark produced this great 12 page leaflet that was a promotional item for Hallmark in 1981. This mini cookbook features recipes from each of the following Muppets: Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, The Swedish Chef, and Animal.
What makes this cookbook so great is that there are actual photos of the characters "fixing" their dish and all of the recipes are legitimate. Well, except for Gonzo's Barbecued Ice Cream, which just doesn't quite work.
Fozzie's Big Book of Sidesplitting Jokes (1981)
Published by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Tim Kirk. Illustrated by Tim Kirk. Storybook. Paperback, 32 pages.
A hilarious days worth of jokes and gags with the Muppets' favorite standup comic, Fozzie Bear.
The Great Muppet Caper (1981)
Published by Random House with the Muppet Press. Storybook adaptation by Jocelyn Stevenson. Based on the film by Tom Patchett and Jay Tarses, Jerry Juhl and Jake Rose. Photos. Hardcover, 62 pages.
A good storybook adaptation of the movie, with lots of color stills.
The Great Muppet Caper: The Making of the Masterpiece (1981)
Published by Bantam Books with the Muppet Press. Written by Ellis Weiner. Designed by J.C. Suares. Photos. Paperback, 96 pages.
This is a tongue-in-cheek parody of "making of" books which documents the filming of "The Great Muppet Caper", which is described as "great arty art, the kind that makes you swoon and gasp and fall down." This book is probably one huge in-joke that is tough to get. But there's lots of great photos and song lyrics with scores throughout.
Kermit and Cleopigtra (1981)
Published 1981 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Gregory Williams. Illustrated by Sue Venning. Storybook. Hardcover, 44 pages.
Bunsen and Beaker leave their time machine in the Muppet Theater broom closet, and soon Kermit and Bo take an unplanned trip back to ancient Egypt. There, they meet some very familiar friends, including Cleopigtra, the Queen of the Nile, who immediately falls in love with Kermit.
Miss Piggy's Guide to Life (1981)
Published 1981 by Alfred A. Knopf with the Muppet Press. Written by Miss Piggy as told to Henry Beard. Photos. Hardcover, 114 pages.
"Miss Piggy's Guide to Life" is the ultimate expression of Piggy's personality. She discusses topics such as beauty, diet, entertaining, finance and manners, peppering everything with funny jokes and mangled French. There's also more than a hundred photos of Piggy, many are black and white but a few are in color. This is a book written for every Miss Piggy fan.
Muppet Manners (Or the Night Gonzo Gave a Party) (1981)
Published 1981 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Pat Relf. Illustrated by Tom Leigh. Storybook. Paperback, 32 pages.
This is a funny guide from Gonzo on to how to give a party. The book follows Gonzo's dinner party for his friends, leading to disastrous consequences.
The Muppets Go Camping (1981)
Published 1981 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Jocelyn Stevenson. Illustrated by Bruce McNally. Storybook. Paperback, 32 pages.
When Robin goes camping in the woods, Kermit and the gang worry that he'll get in trouble, so they try to rescue him.
Published 1981 by Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. with the Muppet Press. Written by Christopher Finch. Photos. Hardcover, 180 pages.
This is the ultimate highlight for Muppet book collectors. This huge book on the behind-the scenes world of "The Muppet Show", was released during taping of the fifth and final season.
It includes chapters on the history of the show, character development, puppeteers, and the guest star. The second half of the book takes you through "A Week Behind the Scenes". It's a step-by-step look at the taping of the Linda Ronstadt episode.
Originally this book was priced for $27.50, but now it often sells for five to ten times the original price on auction sites such as eBay and through used book sellers.
The Whale Tale (1981)
Published 1981 by Random House with Muppet Press. Written and illustrated by John Stevenson. Paperback, 30 pages.
Kermit and Robin find themselves in an underwater adventure to help save a couple of whale friends.
Jim Henson's Muppets Annual (1981, UK)
Published 1981 by Grandreams Limited. Hardcover, 58 pages.
The fifth Muppet annual continues the plethora of Muppet books that were published during this time. Story and comics include, "A Night to Remember", "Beauregard Lends a Hand", and "In the Days when there were Knights." Special character sections include information on Lew Zealand, Beauregard, Bobby Bunsen, and Marvin Suggs.
The Case of the Missing Hat (1982)
Published 1982 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Gregory Williams. Illustrated by Rosekrans Hoffman. Paperback, 32 pages.
Fozzie's family is visiting the Muppet Theater, but he's scared to go on because he's lost his favorite hat. Robin helps him find it.
Bo Saves the Show (1982)
Published 1982 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Jocelyn Stevenson. Illustrated by Richard Walz. Storybook. Paperback, 32 pages.
Disaster strikes at the Muppet Theater when J.P. Grosse comes to visit. The monsters in the final number get locked in the cellar and acts collide on stage. Only Beauregard's slow thinking saves the day.
Gonzo and the Giant Chicken (1982)
Published by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Sheila B Bruce. Illustrated by Richard Walz. Storybook. Paperback, 32 pages.
Bunson creates some chicken feed that makes Camilla grow very large, which obviously makes Gonzo very happy. But then her size is too much for the Muppet Theater to handle. Bunsen then has to create a chicken feed that will make her grow back to her original size.
Jim Henson's Muppet Show Bill (1982)
Published 1982 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Illustrated by Sue Venning. Painted illustrations. Hardback.
This is not really a book, but it was published by Random House along with their other books, so this is probably the best place for this collectible.
It's a little cardboard "show bill" that comes folded up into a little book, but folds out into a long strip of pictures. Each "page" of the strip is a painted illustration of one of the Muppet Show cast, including pages for "Vet's Hospital" and "Pigs in Space." It all came in a little cardboard box. It is hard-to-find, but worth the search.
Two For the Show (1982)
Published 1982 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Horace B. T. Calhoun. Illustrated by Sue Venning. Storybook. Paperback, 32 pages.
Robin's too small to be on the show, and Sweetums is too big. So the two friends help out and do odd jobs around the theater instead, until they get their big break.
Published by Random House with the Muppet Press. By Jack Prelutsky. Illustrated by Bruce McNally, 56 pages.
This wonderful, hard-to-find book features lots of poems for "The Muppet Show" characters. What's neat is that they fit the characters' personalities perfectly while all in professional prose.
There are poems for Kermit, Fozzie, Piggy, Gonzo, Animal, Sam the Eagle, Lew Zealand, Robin, Kermit's grandmother, Beauregard, Pops, the Muppet Monsters, Rowlf, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, Beaker, and many more.
Jim Henson's Muppets Annual (1982, UK)
Published 1982 by Grandreams Limited. Hardcover, 58 pages.
Stories included in this British book are "Punfight at the K. O. Corral", "Kermit's Christmas Diary", and "The Muppets Holiday Haunt". "Punfight" even includes some Henson performers like Jim Henson, Frank Oz, and Jerry Nelson in the comic strip.
The Case of the Missing Mother (1983)
Published 1983 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by James Howe. Illustrated by William Cleaver. Storybook. Paperback, 32 pages.
Animal runs away from the Muppet Theater to find his mother. The rest of the gang help him on his quest to discover his roots. Included are Piggy, Fozzie and Animal's mothers.
The Muppets on the Road (1983)
Published by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Ellen Weiss. Illustrated by Tom Cooke. Softcover, 48 pages.
Adventures follow and precede the Muppets as they plunge headlong into a circus, air show, and finally a talent hour. This book also contained 8 postcards and are very hard to find now.
Pigs in Space (1983)
Published by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Ellen Weiss. Illustrated by Alastair Graham. Paperback, 30 pages.
This book features the "Pigs in Space" crew as they travel to the planet of Gazoob. There are lots of nice illustrations.
You are the Star of a Muppet Adventure (1983)
Published by Random House with the Muppet Press. Written by Ellen Weiss. Illustrated by Benjamin Alexander. Paperback, 58 pages.
Kermit and the rest of the Muppets try to catch their runaway chickens. The reader participates in the story and controls the action by selecting specific pages to turn to as the plot develops.
Jim Henson's Muppets Annual (1983, UK)
Published 1983 by Grandreams Limited. Hardcover, 58 pages.
Published 1984 by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. Archivist and Editor: Henry Beard. Curator of the Collection: Michael K. Frith. Photographer of the Exhibits: John E. Barrett. Photos. Hardcover, 44 pages.
This book is the beginning of the "Kermitage Collection". The art parodies include Kermit as "Green Boy," Gonzo as "Whistler's Weirdo," and Kermit and Piggy in "American Gothique." There are color pictures of each of the parodies as well as close- up shots of some of the details.
The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)
Published 1984 by Random House with the Muppet Press. Storybook adaptation by Danny Abelson. Based on the screenplay by Frank Oz and Tom Patchett and Jay Tarses. Photos. Hardcover, 64 pages.
The storybook adaptation of the movie with color photos.
The Muppet Guide to Magnificent Manners (1984)
Published 1984 by Random House with the Muppet Press. By James Howe. Illustrated by Peter Elwell. Illustrations. Paperback, 64 pages.
This is a guide to manners as written by Kermit. Chapters on introductions, table manners, telephone manners and thank-you notes are included.
Jim Henson's Muppets Annual (1984, UK)
Published 1984 by Grandreams Limited, 68 pages.
The eighth and final Muppet annual is pretty much a compilation of previous releases. Stories include "Kermit's Christmas Diary," "The Mystery of the Long Black Hair," and "A Night to Remember." The only new content is a five-page feature introducing the Muppet Babies, with photos of the puppet versions of the baby characters.
The cover is a wraparound photo with Kermit and Piggy as a couple, welcoming their friends to a Christmas celebration in their Christmas-decorated dressing room. Gonzo, Fozzie, and Animal are on the back cover, busting through the door to come to the party.
Of the eight annuals, this is the hardest one to track down.
Jim Henson's Muppet Show Pop-Up Book (1984)
Written by Manhar Chauhan. Illustrated by Manhar Chaucan and Sue Vernon. Hardback, 10 pages.
There is no particular storyline to this book, just lots of pop-ups. Each pop-up features a different scene with the Muppets and occupies a full two pages.
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