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The Wisdom of Big Bird- Review...

Discussion in 'Henson People' started by Super Scooter, May 21, 2003.

  1. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Well, I noticed it was too late to post this on the site, so, I figured I'd post it here...

    Before I give my actual review, I'd like to tell a story about getting the book...
    This afternoon, I took the book out of a local library. I was just itching to read it, and, couldn't wait to buy it. When I picked it up (it was interloaned from another library, and since I couldn't make it up the stairs wiht my ankle being broken, my sister wne tin and got it), it was ordered under my mother's name. Her maiden name is "Spinney", and she uses the hyphenation, Spinny-. So, my sister ran in to pick it up- but, before I tell you the rest, I'd like to remind you of the Caroll Spinney interview where Wayne Brady refered to him as "Spinie."- the librarian had to find it, so, she looked it up in the computer. Since it was ordered under my mother's name, she proceeded to say, "The Wisdom of Big Bird for Mrs. AnnaMarie "SPINIE"-..." When I heard this, I laughed my head off because of what Wayne Brady had said just a few days ago.

    Anyway...

    "Show me your true colors. Mine is yellow" - Big Bird.

    I have to be completely honest with you. So many times during the book, I was fighting back tears. The book was everything and more than I expected it to be, covering so many aspects of Mr. Spinney's life. Oddly, though, it was a dissapointment for me personally. No, not the book itself, the fact that I had it finished in 2 and a half hours!!! Not that the book was short, neither did I want the book to get over with. It's just that good. I had the hardest time trying to put the thing down. With my broken ankle, I had hoped it'd last at least 2 days, seeing as how I'm pretty much confined to the couch for a few weeks. Oh, well. This gives me the opportunity to read it a few more times before returning it to the library.

    From parts of his childhood, to present-day, the book covers so many things. The book is written in a way that it almost seems like you're experiencing memories, rather than just reading them. I've read some boring biographies in my time, but, this is most deffenitely not one of them.

    Caroll Spinney, Jim Henson- all the Muppets and Muppeteers have had a big effect on my life. Caroll Spinney's book shows a little into Caroll, and Jim's, personalities a bit, which has been, dare I say, inspiring. He talks of his experiences during his Bozo's Big Top days, right up to being tempted into leaving the Muppets at one time.

    As big of an effect as Big Bird and Caroll Spinney have had on so many lives, you can tell (and he even says it) that Big Bird has had an effect on him as well (and he on Big Bird). As has Oscar, which he has relate this to show that he isn't evil, just misunderstood...
    You know what I can't stand? I hate it when people do things that make me happy. Give me a present of some trash, and I'm happy. But I don't like being happy... so that makes me miserable. But I like being miserable... so that makes me happy... but I'm a Grouch, and I don't like being happy. I like being miserable! But being miserable makes me happy, which makes me miserable, and I like that, which makes me happy, which makes me unhappy... I'm a mess!

    It shows an event that took place which inspired Caroll Spinney to make the Bird more compassionate. And went into how Jim Henson's death had affected them all (at which point, I couldn't help but cry).

    From one chapter, it seems he's among those of us who like Elmo, although can't help but feel a bit jealous. It's also explained that Elmo's the reason why Big Bird has seemed to mature over the years.

    The humorous stories, his experience in China and picking out the Chinese Big Bird, and Bob Hope's obivous affection for him (and his wife), are merely a handful of the Wisdom of Big Bird (and the Dark Genius of Oscar the Grouch).

    I give the book :) :) :) :) :) Kermit heads. Simply because we can't post any more than that...

    Now, scram!!!
  2. Phillip

    Phillip Administrator Staff Member

    Super Scooter,

    You can still e-mail the review to me if you want it archived on the main site.
  3. sarah_yzma

    sarah_yzma Active Member

    wow...I think I might be inspired to learn how to read.....

    hmm I'll check out our libraries inter change system thingy...cause ours doesn't have it.....sounds awesome and I can't wait to read it!

    Sarah
  4. doctort13

    doctort13 Member

    I purchased the book on the day of it's release and flew through it. Caroll Spinney has been my hero since I met him at a puppet festival in Boston in the early 70's. I would have liked more behind-the-Bird/Grouch stories, but that may not appeal to the general public.

    I will be donating a copy of the book to our library.

    I give it :grouchy: :grouchy: :grouchy: :grouchy:
  5. Super Scooter

    Super Scooter New Member

    Okay. Thanks.

    If I do that, I'll probably add a little more to it. I'm not completely happy with this one, but, thanks.

    The book was amazing, and the story of Caroll Spinney was wonderful!
  6. Buck-Beaver

    Buck-Beaver Well-Known Member

    I bought it the day it came out too (I was trading in a bunch of old books and used store credit to buy it) and zipped through it on the subway ride home. It's a great book and a must for any serious Muppet/Sesame fan.

    The only thing I was left wondering was why the book was presented as a "Self-Help" book and written in that format. There's some wonderful life lessons in the book, I'm just curious who made the decision to go that route and why.

    Interestingly enough, another similar book "Blue's Clues To Success" (about the creation of the preschool show "Blue's Clues") was written in a similar fashion.
  7. Whatever

    Whatever Active Member

    I love this book. It's a keeper fer sure.
  8. AlaskaMuppetFan

    AlaskaMuppetFan New Member

    I don't know that I bought it the day it came out(come to think of it i don't remember when it came out!) I do own it though and read it in 2 hours and loved it to bits! i have also just read jim henson the works which was fun! :excited:
  9. Ernie101

    Ernie101 Active Member

    Nice review.. I heard about this book a while back and have really been wanting to read it.


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