Whatever you thought about Muppets Most Wanted, it’s a great thing that the movie means more Muppet stuff. Like this attractive reference.
The Muppets Character Encyclopedia is chock-full of profiles of muppets both well-known and obscure. I thought I was a big fan, but I learned a bunch, while also having plenty of moments of “oh, yeah, I remember that!” with Angus McGonagle, the gargling gargolyle, or Bill the Bubble Guy.
Some entries are more general, such as pages on Chickens (although of course Camilla gets her own entry) or Frog Scouts, but I was surprised to find out how many of the monsters had actual names. Others are characters I’ve never heard of, which stunned me. (For an all-ages book, it’s really thorough.) The text information, while brief, is in keeping with the Muppet attitude and has plenty of humor. There are also cast photos from the film sprinkled throughout and the occasional picture of a special topic, like Miss Piggy’s fashions or Muppet Food.
I liked that the book is a smaller size than the usual hardcover encyclopedia type, which makes it easier to hold, particularly for little hands. My main criticism is that I wish that it had also included a list of all the Muppet projects and shows. Each character has their debut noted, and some of them are references I’m unfamiliar with, such as “Muppet Classic Theater” or “The Great Santa Claus Switch”. Also, they don’t include Skeeter, who isn’t even mentioned on Scooter’s page. Perhaps that’s because she was never a traditional puppet, but I always liked her. (The publisher provided a review copy.)
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