Sesame Street
Maria builds Elmo a bookshelf
Air date February 19, 1993
Season Season 24 (1992-1993)
Written by David Korr
Directed by Jon Stone
Sponsors E, I, 1


Picture Segment Description
SCENE 1 At the Fix-It Shop, Elmo approaches Maria because he needs a place to store his books (at present, he only has two). Maria agrees to build him a bookshelf, and Elmo thinks she'll do it in a flash, but Maria explains that building something involves a lot of planning. Elmo helps her out by answering some questions about the specifics, and they decide to build a red shelf that can hold 40 (big and little) books. Elmo runs off to play, saying he'll come back for his bookshelf later -- a few seconds later, that is.
Letter E.jpg
Animation E / e (elephant / jazzy trumpet)
(First: Episode 2222)
Song "Playground Map Song"
(First: Episode 2680)
Muppets Harvey Kneeslapper asks, "Would ya like one?"
(First: Episode 0408)
Animation The word TELEPHONE is displayed, followed by a ringing telephone.
(First: Episode 3048)
SCENE 2 Elmo comes back to the Fix-it Shop, wanting to help Maria build the bookshelf. Maria shows him how she measures the wood to determine the dimensions of the bookshelf, and Elmo thinks it'll be done in a flash, but Maria tells him to come back later.
Song "My New Computer"
(First: Episode 2857)
Muppets Sesame Street News Flash
The Big Bad Wolf plays a game of "Three of These Things" with Kermit and The Three Little Pigs. Since Kermit doesn't belong with the pigs, the wolf blows him out of the picture.
(First: Episode 2329)
Cartoon A boy and a dog fight over a letter "I."
(First: Episode 0143)
SCENE 3 After Maria finishes sawing the wood, Elmo comes back, thinking the bookshelf is ready, but only sees the wood pieces.
Animation Draw a circle around the bus. Cross out the telephone.
(First: Episode 2093)
Film A girl draws a picture of her friend Amelia.
(First: Episode 2784)
Muppets Two flowers, a bird, and two bunnies sing "That's How I Got Here".
(First: Episode 2983)
Animation Planting Letters: E
(First: Episode 3009)
SCENE 4 Roxie Marie starts petting Oscar's dog, Preposterous. Oscar tells her that Preposterous is a Grouch dog, a Grouchier spaniel, but Roxie points out the similarities between Preposterous and other animals. She leaves, and Oscar chides Preposterous for making him lose an argument, which made him grouchy -- then he remembers he likes being grouchy.
Cartoon Babies and doggies pattern: What comes next?
Artist: Keith Haring
(First: Episode 3039)
Muppets / Celebrity Cookie Monster and Annette Bening demonstrate here and there.
Cartoon E for Elephant & Elk, the nominees for best E animal.
(First: Episode 0486)

Film A boy narrates a film of what happens when it changes from fall to winter.
(First: Episode 2459)
SCENE 5 As Maria drills, Elmo comes back, but immediately knows the bookshelf will be ready later.
Film Two girls walk on an island together, and a map of the island is shown.
(First: Episode 2650)
Animation Fred the fish needs water to swim in, and Betty the bird needs air to fly in. Vanessa the vacuum cleaner sucks up all the air and water, but can't hold it all in. (new narration by Jim Thurman)
(First: Episode 2564)
GuyAudience.jpg Muppets Guy Smiley takes his 39-member studio audience to a restaurant, but there is no place for him to sit.
(First: Episode 2646)
Cartoon "I in the Sky"
(First: Episode 0368)

SCENE 6 Big Bird encounters the Amazing Mumford about to do a magic trick with his new wand. Big Bird notices the instructions for it, and is confused when he realizes that Mumford has not read them yet -- according to Mumford, "Instructions are for beginners!" Mumford intends to make 5 rabbits appear out of his hat, and Big Bird tells Gordon about it, but Gordon has to get home with his groceries.

Mumford waves his wand and says the magic words, and in a puff of smoke, his hat disappears. Big Bird then notices Gordon walking to Hooper's, backwards instead of forwards, giving back his groceries in exchange for money. Mumford, who didn't read the instructions, notices that he was holding his wand backwards, which the booklet says will result in everything happening in reverse. Big Bird spots Luis taking garbage out of a trash can and putting it back on the ground, and tells Mumford to act quickly, but Mumford has to read the instructions first. Big Bird asks for a film to be shown while he reads.
Film A boy and his dad build a bookshelf out of wood.
(First: Episode 1029)
Big Bird notices that this film is being projected in reverse, and asks for it to stop.

Big Bird goes into Hooper's, and sees Mr. Handford un-making a sandwich for Luis. He looks outside, and sees Gordon putting a pebble into his shoe, then walking backwards.

Mumford thinks he knows what to do to solve the backwards problem. Big Bird suggests that he try the spell on the film they tried to play earlier. He does, and the "bookshelf" film plays forward this time.
Cartoon "Do the Continental" - two kids jump into Africa.
(First: Episode 2733)

SCENE 7 Mumford tries the spell again on Luis and Gordon, and it works. Big Bird still doesn't know where Mumford's hat is, but once Mumford leaves, a rabbit shows up, hopping backwards, wearing 5 hats!
Muppets The Two-Headed Monster finishes drinking milk, and doesn't know what to do with the cartons at first, but gets the idea to "recycle" them and play with them like a train.
(First: Episode 2726)
Film Some Navajo kids narrate a film about how their blankets are weaved, and how they make paper blankets in school.
(First: Episode 2990)
Muppets Grover sings "I Stand Up Straight and Tall" while using some fast cutting camera trickery.
(First: Episode 0916)
Superguy beaters.jpg
Animation Teeny Little Super Guy finds his friend Jane giving up on learning to ride the egg beater. He tells her that it takes time and practice to learn things, and gives Jane some training beaters to help her keep her balance.
Artist: Paul Fierlinger
(First: Episode 1972)
Animation In stop-motion, sandwich ingredients square-dance in a ring and arrange themselves into a sandwich, which gets a bite taken out of it in a refrigerator.

SCENE 8 Elmo comes back, and sees that the bookshelf is finally finished! Maria even gives him a third book to go in his shelf, and starts reading it to Elmo. Mumford announces the sponsors, and vows to read instructions from now on. The credits follow.

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