|Written by||Kermit the Frog (Jim Lewis)|
Before You Leap: A Frog's-Eye View of Life's Greatest Lessons is a 224-page hardcover book written by Kermit the Frog. Muppet writer Jim Lewis ghosted the book (although he prefers to think of it as "channelling the frog").
As Kermit explains in the introduction, the book is split into two parts: "First, it's a book about my life. Second, it's a book about your life."
The first third of the book, "A Frog's Life", tells the story of the Muppets, from Kermit's point of view. He leaves the swamp, and heads to Washington, D.C., where he meets Jim Henson and stars in Sam and Friends. The Muppet gang moves to New York City, where Rowlf becomes the first Muppet star on The Jimmy Dean Show. Kermit moves on to Sesame Street, then The Muppet Show, and then on to the big screen. As the story progresses, Kermit describes his relationships with his friends, including Fozzie, Gonzo and, of course, Miss Piggy.
In the second part of the book, "Lessons for Your Life", Kermit puts his own amphibian spin on a number of popular self-improvement fads. The chapter titles spoofing self-help hits include "The Seven Dreams of Highly Effective Amphibians", "When Bad Things Happen to Good Frogs", "Don't Sweat the Small Bugs (And They're All Small Bugs)", "Moving Your Own Cheese" and "Fridays with Fozzie". In these chapters, Kermit offers advice on how to live one's life, filtered through his own experiences.
Kermit's friends make appearances skattered throughout the book aiding with Kermit's examples of life lessons, or just occasionally interrupting the text to speak for themselves. The book is illustrated with approximately 100 color photos of Kermit and the Muppets.
A new, updated edition of the book, published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, was released on November 6, 2012. The new hardcover version includes "new tips from Kermit," as well as new photos, and cover art. Some of the book's original content is either abridged or removed.
- In early December 2006, Kermit appeared on several programs to promote and talk about the new book; appearances included Good Morning America, MTV News, The 9, The Early Show and The Live Desk.
- The book's dedication reads "For Jim Henson, who first held me up for the world to see. And for the lovers, the dreamers, and you."
- A working title for the book was A Frog's Life: Where I've Been and the Lessons I've Learned. An early cover image was released to retailers using that name, identical to the final one apart from the lettering.
- A Sesame Street sketch from the early 1980s featuring Kermit at home, begins with Kermit at the typewriter thinking out loud about what to call the book he appears to be writing. One possibility he comes up with is "It's a Frog's Life, by K the F," part of which was the original working title for this book.
- Before You Leap was not the first book authored by Kermit the Frog. Other books written by Kermit include Kermit's Garden of Verses (1982), For Every Child, A Better World (1993) and One Frog Can Make a Difference: Kermit's Guide to Life in the Nineties (1993).
- A Milton Bradley Puzzle appears in the book, specifically, the one where Kermit's bike is crushed by Piggy's motorcycle. The photo was slightly altered, replacing two posters on the left side of the screen.
- Thanks From The Frog (pg. 3)
- Contents (pg. 4-5)
- Introduction (pg. 6-7)
Part 1: A Frog's Life
- Chapter 1: The Green & Wet Behind the Ears Years (pg. 9-24)
- Chapter 2: Discovering the Magic Store (pg. 25-40)
- Chapter 3: Finding the Rainbow Connection (pg. 40-64)
- Chapter 4: It's Not That Easy Staying Green (pg. 65-73)
Part 2: A Frog's Life
- Chapter 5: The Seven Dreams of Highly Effective Amphibians (pg. 74-84)
- Chapter 6: Take A Flying Leap! (pg. 85-95)
- Chapter 7: The Wealth of Amphibians (pg. 96-103)
- Chapter 8: When Bad Things Happen to Good Frogs (pg. 104-113)
- Chapter 9: Don't Sweat the Small Bugs (And They're All Small Bugs) (pg. 114-123)
- Chapter 10: It's Not That Easy Eating Greens (pg. 124-137)
- Chapter 11: Finding Your Inner Tadpole (pg. 138-147)
- Chapter 12: Love Amphibian Style (pg. 148-161)
- Chapter 13: How to Win Friends & Meet Influential People (pg. 162-175)
- Chapter 14: How to Succeed at Success Without Being Too Trying (pg. 176-187)
- Chapter 15: Knee-Deep in the Good Life (pg. 188-203)
- Chapter 16: Moving Your Own Cheese (pg. 204-211)
- Chapter 17: Fridays with Fozzie (pg. 212-219)
- Chapter 18: Life's Like A Movie; Write Your Own Ending (pg. 220-223)