Sesame Street is an American educational children's television series for preschoolers and is a pioneer of the contemporary educational television standard, combining both education and entertainment. Sesame Street is well known for its Muppet characters created by Jim Henson. As of 2007, 4,160 episodes of the show have been produced over 38 seasons. Sesame Street is one of the longest-running U.S. television shows in history.

Sesame Street joined the Little Golden Books shows in the early 70s, beginning with The Together Book (1971), The Monster at the End of This Book (1971) and Bert's Hall of Great Inventions (1972). The Monster at the End of This Book was an instant bestseller -- in its first year of publication, the book sold two million copies. According to a 1973 Children's Television Workshop newsletter, "this figure, according to publishing sources, is an all-time one-year sales record for a single book." [1]

The Sesame Street line continued through the 1970s with Oscar's Book (1975), Big Bird's Red Book (1977), Cookie Monster and the Cookie Tree (1977), and Grover's Own Alphabet (1978). The four 1979 titles -- Ernie's Work of Art, The Four Seasons, The Many Faces of Ernie and The Amazing Mumford Forgets the Magic Words! -- are essentially comic books, with all of the text appearing in word balloons.

In his autobiography The Wisdom of Big Bird, Caroll Spinney recalled looking at a Little Golden Book: "Surrounding a list of other Little Golden Books titles was a border fashioned from a curving musical staff. Dancing along with the musical notes were Minnie and Goofy, Donald and Daisy Duck, Foghorn Leghorn, Dopey, Bugs Bunny and Yosemite Sam -- and Big Bird and Oscar. These were my characters, perfectly cartooned, dancing with my favorite cartoon characters from childhood... 'My God.' I said. 'I've gotten up there with Bugs Bunny and Mickey Mouse!'" [2]

Sesame Street Little Golden Books were published continuously though the 1980s and 1990s, with at least one new title (and often two or three) published almost every year. Titles included I Think That It Is Wonderful (1984), The Day Snuffy Had the Sniffles (1988), Big Bird Visits Navajo Country (1992), From Trash to Treasure (1993), and Another Monster at the End of This Book (a sequel to the 1971 book, including Grover and Elmo) (1996).

When the Tickle Me Elmo doll became the surprise hit of Christmas 1996, the Little Golden Books cashed in the following year with a batch of Elmo titles -- Tickle Me: My Name is Elmo, Elmo Loves You and The Bunny Hop -- as well as Big Bird's Ticklish Christmas. In another 1997 book, Golden Books combined two of their publishing powerhouses in The Poky Little Puppy Comes to Sesame Street.

The last Sesame Street Little Golden Books -- Big Bird's Baby Book, Elmo's New Puppy, Elmo's Tricky Tongue Twisters and First Steps -- were published in 1998.

Many of the Sesame Little Golden Books have remained in print in various forms. Random House reprinted several titles under the "Jellybean Books" imprint in 1999, and Dalmatian Press has reprinted some as board books and paperbacks. One popular title, 1997's Elmo Loves You, was reprinted by Random House in 2000 as a Jellybean Book, and in 2002 as a board book, then by Dalmatian as a shaped board book in 2005 and a paperback in 2008.

In 2001, to celebrate the upcoming 60th anniversary of the first Little Golden Books, Random House began publishing a line of Little Golden Books Classics, beginning with reprints of six books. The Monster at the End of This Book was reissued as a Big Little Golden Book in 2004, and Another Monster at the End of This Book joined the Little Golden Books Classics line in August 2009.




  1. Children's Television Workshop Newsletter. Number 27, February 1, 1973.
  2. The Wisdom of Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, Hyperion Books, 2003.

Works citedEdit

  • Borgenicht, David (1998). Sesame Street Unpaved. New York: Hyperion Publishing. ISBN 0-7868-6460-5
  • Clash, Kevin, Gary Brozek, and Louis Henry Mitchell (2006). My Life as a Furry Red Monster: What Being Elmo has Taught Me About Life, Love and Laughing Out Loud. New York: Random House. ISBN 0-7679-2375-8
  • Davis, Michael (2008). Street Gang: The Complete History of Sesame Street. New York: Viking Penguin. ISBN 978-0-670-01996-0
  • Finch, Christopher (1993). Jim Henson: The Works: the Art, the Magic, the Imagination. New York: Random House. ISBN 9780679412038
  • Fisch, Shalom M. and Rosemarie T. Truglio, Eds. (2001). "G" is for Growing: Thirty Years of Research on Children and Sesame Street. Mahweh, New Jersey: Lawrence Erlbaum Publishers. ISBN 0-8058-3395-1
    • Cooney, Joan Ganz, "Foreword", pp. xi–xiv.
    • Palmer, Edward and Shalom M. Fisch, "The Beginnings of Sesame Street Research", pp. 3–24.
    • Fisch, Shalom M. and Lewis Bernstein, "Formative Research Revealed: Methodological and Process Issues in Formative Research", pp. 39–60.
    • Mielke, Keith W., "A Review of Research on the Educational and Social Impact of Sesame Street", pp. 83–97.
    • Cole, Charlotte F., Beth A. Richman, and Susan A. McCann Brown, "The World of Sesame Street Research", pp. 147–180.
    • Cherow-O'Leary, Renee, "Carrying Sesame Street Into Print: Sesame Street Magazine, Sesame Street Parents, and Sesame Street Books" pp. 197–214.
  • Gikow, Louise A. (2009). Sesame Street: A Celebration— Forty Years of Life on the Street. New York: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers. ISBN 978-1-57912-638-4.
  • Gladwell, Malcolm (2000). The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. New York: Little, Brown, and Company. ISBN 0-316-31696-2
  • Lesser, Gerald S. (1974). Children and Television: Lessons From Sesame Street. New York: Vintage Books. ISBN 0-394-71448-2
  • Morrow, Robert W. (2006). Sesame Street and the Reform of Children's Television. Baltimore, Maryland: Johns Hopkins University Press. ISBN 0-8018-8230-3
  • O'Dell, Cary (1997). Women Pioneers in Television: Biographies of Fifteen Industry Leaders. Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company. ISBN 0-7864-0167-2.