Back when I was in nursery, our little school library had a single copy of an extremely hard-to-find book called Sesame Street Presents Bert and Ernie (The Jim Henson Muppets) in The Perils of Penelope (1973). An adventure story and one of my all-time favourites, the book shows Ernie placing a hapless Bert in multiple life threatening situations with the noble intention of rescuing him—each time with only seconds to spare.
Much to Bert’s dismay, Ernie’s “rescue” could only take place if he was properly dressed for the occasion. Which, say in 1979, would make Ernie the very first cosplayer that I became aware of. But I digress, Ernie seemed to lug around a huge chest during each of these two-page life-or-death scenarios with the aim of rummaging through them in order to piece together the appropriate attire for the aforementioned rescue (e.g., Ernie would have to physically look like a crane operator before he could actually get behind the controls of the crane and use it to liberate Bert).
It has been a number of years since I’ve read The Perils of Penelope so I am still in the process of recalling how the story ended. But I am pretty sure it involved Bert somehow convincing Ernie that his actions could likely land him in an institution–if you get my meaning.
Then again, looking beyond the obvious need to further the story…why didn’t Bert ever put up a fight or get himself out of those nasty predicaments?
Such is the dilemma when looking at a children’s story though the lens of a child and that of an adult.
If you have read this book, what did you think about it? Kindly comment below.