In anticipation of the premiere of Jim’s television special, The Frog Prince, on May 12th, Kermit was asked by The New York Times to review a group of frog-related children’s books. The Sunday book review editor sent Jim eleven books to read, and Jim provided capsule reviews of each to be printed under Kermit’s byline. Jim, as Kermit, described his qualifications to the readers: “Now it so happens that I myself am personally an A-number-one, bonafide, guarantee-your-money-back FROG, and thus, for all you frog fanciers in the audience, I have a frog’s opinion of the froggy books – straight from the frog’s mouth – so to speak.” In amphibian character, Jim wrote from a frog’s point of view, but also from his own a bit. While he enjoyed many of the books, it’s not surprising that he didn’t love Lisl Weil’s book, The Wiggler. Kermit explained that the message of this story was, “it’s better to conform…than to be a dreamer.” For a frog who sang, “Write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending…” it would be hard to give this a favorable notice. Kermit also had trouble getting excited about books where the frog was incidental to the story – or, really a toad!
In June 1965, 28-year-old Jim Henson started a written log of his activities in what became known as “The Red Book.” He noted down what had happened up until that point (deemed “Ancient History”) and then recorded anything that he felt was worth recording as single line journal entries until the end of 1988.
Selected curated entries courtesy of The Jim Henson Company Archives.