About Me

My photo
I'm a writer and library worker who wears many hats. I believe a good book and a good piece of chocolate are the keys to a happy life.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Before You Leap by Kermit the Frog

Okay. This has got to be one of the most fun “self-help” books I’ve ever read. Do you remember watching the Muppet Show growing up? It was one of my favorite things. Of course I wasn’t allowed to watch much television so I may have been very disillusioned as to what was great entertainment. I doubt it though. It was definitely more fun than most things that pass as comedy and family fun these days. Any way you look at it Kermit and the gang had something special. (I say had because I like the old Sesame Street etc. better than the newer more politically correct version. But that’s just me.)

If you’re a big fan of Kermit, or the Muppets in general, this book is a must read. Before You Leap: A Frog's Eye View of Life's Greatest Lessons by Kermit the Frog is a fun book that tickles the edges of life with humor and a little bit of actual advice thrown in.

Kermit separates his book into sections: one acts as a memoir of his life, the other goes through most of the common problems and concerns of anyone trying find their way through this world without losing their sanity. Well, then again . . . Anyway, Kermit uses his own life, and the experiences of all his Muppet friends, to give you some pointers on life, love, money, friends, health, you name it. A lot of it is written in true Muppet form. Meaning it makes you giggle more than it makes you think. But even with its light take on things, it carries some great messages.

I loved the chapter entitled “The Seven Dreams of Highly Effective Amphibians”. Kermit shares his philosophy on setting goals and allowing yourself to dream even when others around you can’t or won’t share those dreams. Interestingly enough, what do you think the first dream step is? Answering the basic questions of Who Am I? Where Am I? and How Did I Get Here? Sound familiar? He looks at this from both a literal and dreamy point of view. Both are worthwhile as you move forward to become a highly effective amphibian. This includes the following quote: “When you decide what your Big Dream is, you’ll be bursting with enthusiasm and want to share it with everybody. Most everybody will give you one of those ‘Okay, that’s nice, now please pass the ketchup’ looks. Some will scoff, suggesting that whatever your Big Dream is, it’s too big for you. And a select few will whisper words of encouragement.

My Advice is this: Pass the ketchup. Ignore the scoffers. And remember those words of encouragement ‘cause they’re the only ones that matter.”

Ah, yes. Kermit is a very wise frog. Some of my favorite advice from different characters also included:

Ms. Piggy- If you don’t fit in with the in crowd, form your own in crowd. (Of course she suggested that it be an in crowd of one. . . )

Ms. Piggy also said- Success is believing in yourself, then convincing everyone else you’re right.

Kermit- Be good to yourself, believe in yourself, and you’ll always be beautiful. (Even if you’re not a frog.)

Dr. Honeydew- Bad things often happen by accident, but even bad things can have good outcomes. (Just ask Beaker—who, incidentally I was convinced looked exactly like a certain director or the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, but that’s another story.)

Swedish Chef- Taste the smorgasboord oof life! You betcha! (I just love his accent ;)

Got a son or daughter about to leave the lily pad? This would make a great gift. It lets them know you care without preaching—that’s always a good thing. Before You Leap was great fun for me and a wonderful trip down memory lane. I recommend it for any Muppet’s fan young or old.

Return to the Neighborhood.

And while you're there, subscribe to our fantastic newsletter. In addition to being able to shop in the new virtual neighborhood, our newsletter brings you articles, products, services, resources and interviews from around the world—all with an LDS focus. Look for issues delivered to your email inbox every week on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.

Neighborhood Newsletter Subscriptions are FREE, and joining is easy.


Rebecca Talley said...

I enjoy your book reviews. Thanks. I have kids who have left the lily pad and then come back. Any books for that? :).

Alison Palmer said...

Thanks, Rebecca. It's always good to hear somebody actually reads/likes these things. As for your poor lily pad, I did read a book about that once. It suggested walking through the house naked and acting as if the returned frog didn't exist, but I suspect that would be a little traumatizing on the remaining tadpoles. Sigh. Good luck with that. :)

Tristi Pinkston said...

This sounds like such a fun book! We're big Kermit fans around here.