Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Donate your vehicle during the month of April or May and you'll be entered into a $500 Visa gift card drawing!

Grover's iconic Sesame Street children's book turns 50

ERIC JACOBSON: (As Grover) This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I am lovable, furry old pal, Grover.


I'm A Martinez.


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Our co-host there is a Muppet from "Sesame Street." He's here because both Grover and NPR are celebrating anniversaries. NPR is 50 years old this year.

JACOBSON: (As Grover) Oh, my goodness. Well, happy birthday to NPR.

INSKEEP: (Laughter).

MARTÍNEZ: Well, thank you, Grover.

NPR went on the air in 1971. That same year, Grover starred in a children's book called "The Monster At The End Of This Book."

JACOBSON: (As Grover) Oh, no. We are not talking about that book, are we? Just thinking about it gives me the shivers.

MALLORY LOEHR: So I was actually one of those lucky kids who got to experience this book as a kid.

INSKEEP: Mallory Loehr is a children's book publisher at Random House. She says "The Monster At The End Of This Book" was incredibly influential because it was the first time a character in the story talked directly to the children reading the book.

LOEHR: Grover's aware that he's in the book. And Grover is talking to the child as if they're an adult. And Grover is so afraid of this monster.

INSKEEP: Grover begs the children not to turn the page because each page brings him closer to the monster at the end.

JACOBSON: (As Grover) I tried building a heavy brick wall to keep people from turning the pages. I implored. I pleaded. I got down on my knees. But nothing would stop them from turning the pages.

MARTÍNEZ: Kids love it. The book was written by Jon Stone. And Loehr says it inspired a new genre of books whose characters reach beyond the pages to speak to the reader.

LOEHR: If you think of "Don't Let The Pigeon Drive The Bus," giving a child responsibility of not letting the pigeon drive the bus, a book from the U.K. called "There's A Monster In Your Book," which actually asks the kid to shake the monster out of the book - so I feel like this book's success is so exponential beyond the book itself.

INSKEEP: At the end of the story, Grover realizes that he is the monster in the book, and he's no longer scared.

JACOBSON: (As Grover) Well, first of all, spoiler alert - but second of all, after talking about this book, I am feeling brave myself. Maybe I will pick up my very first Stephen King novel.

MARTÍNEZ: Good luck, Grover. Be brave. Turn those pages.


You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.