Goodness lives within each of us. That's an idea that should never get old.
With I am Jim Henson, you'll see the first hero in the I AM series that was truly Brad's hero growing up. This volume focuses on the creator of the Muppets and Sesame Street.
Henson was a born performer with a terrific sense of humor. Through his Muppets, he showed the world that there’s nothing more beautiful than imagination, especially when it’s accompanied by laughter and kindness.
But here's Brad's recent Q&A, so you can really see how Brad feels:
Q: What’s your earliest memory of Jim Henson’s talent? Was it Sesame Street? How did his work affect you in your youth as opposed to today, as you now have children of your own?
Brad: I grew up on Sesame Street. And since I lived in Brooklyn, Sesame Street looked like my actual street. I thought it was around the corner from me, somewhere. But what I remember first, more than anything, was Ernie. Ernie was my guy. When my mom used to laugh, she sounded like Ernie. So that Mom/Ernie connection just brought happiness to me. As I got older, of course, it shifted to the Muppets. I remember watching TheMuppet Show, just DYING to know who the guest star would be. Dying when we saw that episode with Star Wars characters on there. And wondering, until recently, just how they got Kermit to ride a bike AND talk in The Muppet Movie. And let’s not even get into Yoda.
Q: Give us an overview of I Am Jim Henson. How does this book relate to young readers the legacy of a man whose life ended too soon?
Of all the hero books we’ve done, this is the very first where the person was truly MY hero growing up. For me, it was always Jim Henson and Mr. Rogers. Those were the ones who changed my life. They taught me there’s good in all of us.
Sure, we’re all different. Some of us have beards, or no hair, or blue fur, or green flippers. But goodness lives within each of us. And best of all, you can use your creativity to share it with others.
Q: What kind of communication did you and Chris Eliopoulos have about the visuals chosen for this book?
Chris is as big of a Muppet nerd as I am. So for each spread, we needed everything just right. For the final pages, I wanted EVERYONE: I wanted Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Sam the Eagle, Dr. Teeth. I wanted Ernie, Bert, Grover, Big Bird, Oscar, Cookie. I wanted Fraggle Rock. I wanted Doozers. I wanted Dark Crystal. I wanted Emmet Otter’s Jug Band. I wanted everyone. It is the nerdiest and best page we’ve ever done. And most of all, throughout the book, we wanted to show how it’s done. You see the puppeteers. To me, that was the most magical part. That this wasn’t fantasy. There were people making it happen.
Q: If you could summarize what you want this book to do for kids reading it, what would you say?
Let me steal right from the final page of the book: It starts when we’re kids. That’s when we learn some of the best things in life. Laughing. Sharing. Imagining. Dreaming. Creating. We should never stop doing them. And never stop being kind. There’s nothing wrong with being a do-gooder. And if we do nothing else, I want kids to learn that. It’s the best lesson I learned from comics. Never stop being a do-gooder.