Published 1991
Publisher Funk & Wagnalls
Series Jim Henson's Muppet Stories
ISBN 077731350407

Off to Storyland is volume 4 in the Jim Henson's Muppet Stories series. The series collects the various Jim Henson's Bedtime Stories short stories in hardback form.

This selection of stories focuses on good friends. Kermit's introduction talks about what makes a good friend, by being thoughtful or helpful.

Picture Title/Summary Author/Illustrator
Let me help
"Let Me Help!"
Robin runs home to The Muppet Theatre immediately after school because his Uncle Kermit promised that Robin could help get ready for the big show that night. Unable to give the little frog any work, Kermit suggests he check with Scooter to see if he can help.

When he meets up with him, he finds the gopher putting up a new curtain pulling rope, but its a dangerous job so Robin can't help. He checks with Fozzie next, who is repairing the floor boards, and the hammer is too heavy for the little frog. Finally he checks with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, who is installing computerized lighting controls with Beaker, and Robin doesn't have the training to work with the equipment.

Dejected, Robin sits on the edge of the stage when Dr. Teeth calls over. He need's Robin's little arms to reach in a hole in the stage and get one of Animal's drumsticks that he dropped, allowing the tiny frog to finally help out.

Written by Craig Shemin
Illustrated by Richard Walz
Piggy and the pink tap shoes

Pink shoes 2
"Piggy and the Pink Tap Shoes"
Miss Piggy sees a pair of pink tap shoe's in the window of Roll's Shoe Store, and she wants them to spice up her act. At only twelve dollars, Piggy rushes home to empty out every one of her pocketbooks. The day before payday, Piggy is relieved to discover she has exactly twelve dollars left, the exact amount of the shoes.

On her way to the store she comes across Gonzo with a bent wheel. He's damaged it during his act and doesn't have the money to have it fixed, and can't earn the money if he doesn't perform, and he can't perform with a broken wheel. Feeling bad for him, Piggy loans him five dollars, figuring Rollo might hold the shoes for her until tomorrow with a seven dollar down payment.

Continuing towards the store she bumps into Kermit with a stray kitten he has found. The tiny thing is hungry, but he doesn't have any money to buy it food. Broken hearted at the sight of the sweet kitty, Piggy gives Kermit two dollars to buy it some food. Before she can go much further, Fozzie flags her down at the luncheonette. He's forgotten his wallet and can't pay his bill, but Piggy hands him her last five dollars to get him out of his jam.

The next day she goes to Rollo's and discovers the shoes have been sold to an eager bunch of customers. Broken hearted she begins to cry when she is met by Gonzo, Fozzie, and Kermit. They tell her they want to pay her back, but she knows it is now to late for her shoes. She is shocked when the trio hand her a box containing the pink patent leather tap shoes.

Written by Harry Ross
Illustrated by Richard Walz
Gobo the mapmaker
"Gobo the Mapmaker"
Gobo's love of mapmaking has began to take its toll on his friends. Every time they want to play, he is too busy making maps for his project, the "Official, Totally Accurate, Never-0Before-Attempted Complete Book of Maps of Fraggle Rock." To accomplish this feat, he must explore, measure, and map every nook and cranny of Fraggle Rock.

While Gobo was working, the other Fraggles played a game of water polo, until the ball went over Wembley's head and down a tunnel. When he didn't return, Mokey got out to go in search of him. Frustrated when Mokey doesn't make it back, Red gets out to find them, leaving Boober alone to worry. Fetching Gobo for help, he tells him they were headed for the Cavern of Echoes when they got lost. Gobo tells Boober they are in luck, since he's recently completed his maps of that area, and the duo quickly discover the lost Fraggles, who gave Gobo and his maps three cheers for saving the day.

Written by Harry Ross
Illustrated by Larry DiFiori
All the way home
"All the Way Home"
Mokey and Wembley are lost, and need to find their way back home to Boober's radish stew, in this maze puzzle.
Illustrated by Larry DiFiori
Forgetful rowlf

"Forgetful Rowlf"
Rowlf sits down at his piano to practice, when he notices a string tied around his finger. Unable to remember what it is for, or even when he tied it, he begins to ask the others if they know. Kermit says its to remind Rowlf of something, and Miss Piggy thinks it is to measure his ring size. Fozzie Bear cracks a joke about it, and Scooter tells him to take it off before he starts a new fad. When he asks Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker, they want him to try out their new "finger-string detecto set," but he declines.

When he stumbles across Gonzo eating a sardine and pickle sandwich, he thanks Rowlf for letting him use his finger. While he was taking a nap the day before, Gonzo tied a string around his finger to remind Gonzo to buy a Valentine's Day gift for Camilla, as he was unable to tie one around his own finger, due to the difficult nature of the process.

Written by Craig Shemin
Illustrated by Richard Walz
The ant farm

Glow worm dance
"The Ant Farm"
Randall Ant lived on with his three relatives, Ant B, Ant C, and Ant E.M.. A worker ant, Randall worked at his chores non stop, night and day. His Aunts encouraged him to slow down and take a break, but Randall insisted that as a worker ant he needed no break.

But the more work he did, the more antsy he felt, finally heading off to the Ant County Fair with his aunts. While there, Ant B won the canning contest with her jar of pickled sugar cubes, and Ant C took the blue ribbon for her patchwork quilt of tinfoil and twine. At the end of their trip they went to the Fancy Ants Square Dance, where Randall did the twist with a glowworm.

After taking a nap at home, it was back to work for Randall, but this time it didn't seem like work, as he could find the fun in his chores, because he finally learned to play.

Written by Barry Keating
Illustrated by John Gurney
Playtime is up baby gonzo
"Playtime Is Up, Baby Gonzo"
Baby Gonzo takes a bath with his Pirate Pete doll and whale sponge, in a bathtub Nanny had filled for him. Leaving him alone to clean up, Gonzo soon begins to imagine the white ball of soap is a giant pearl, and when it slips out of his hands and goes into the water, he and Pirate Pete go in search of the long-lost pearl of Prince Potso.

Swept out to sea by a storm, the two spot the pearl in the waves. They jump aboard Pete's ship and plow through the water, full steam ahead. With the waves tossing them, the pirate is unable to control his boat, and they soon crash on Bubble Reef, but are no sooner stranded when Waldo the Whale, Pete's old friend, has them climb aboard to finally catch the pearl.

When Nanny returns to the bathroom, she is dismayed by the water everywhere, laughing that a storm hit the room. But Gonzo tells her he had an adventure, and recounts the tale as they clean together.

Written by Patricia Lakin
Illustrated by Tom Cooke
Tub time magic
"Tub-Time Magic"
A hunt and seek game.
Illustrated by Tom Cooke
Fozzie goes overboard
"Fozzie Goes Overboard"
When Fozzie Bear is listening to Friendly Fred on the radio, he takes his advice to heart that, "A good friend always says nice things and never hurts other people's feelings." So when he heads to Rowlf's house to hear one of his new songs, he decides to follow Fred's advice.

When Miss Piggy answers the door, she is wearing a very funny looking hat, but Fozzie exclaims that it is beautiful, and urges her not to return it to the store. He continues his compliments to Kermit and Scooter for things that normally would not be commented upon.

When Rowlf plays his new song, Fozzie is so busy thinking of compliments to give, he hardly listens at all, clapping as loud and hard as he can when it is over. When asked to critique it, Kermit and Piggy feel it needs more verses, Animal and Scooter feels the beat should be faster, and Fozzie thinks it is terrible that the others are criticizing Rowlf's new song, but Rowlf never asks Fozzie for his opinion.

In the kitchen, Fozzie reassures Rowlf it is a good song, and not to let the others get him down. Rowlf then tells Fozzie that he is grateful for their honesty, because now he can make a good song even better with the changes they suggested, for friends should be nice, but also be honest.

Written by Kimberly Morris
Illustrated by Richard Walz
Ms Ribit
"Robin and the Most Beautiful Bug"
Ms. Ribit, the Frog Scout camp counselor is handing out jars for the big summer project. The campers are to place a bug in the jar to watch and then set free.

Robin loved nature class, so he excitedly searched the woods for a bug, looking under rocks, in rotting logs and on leaves. At the end of the time period, all the other scouts had caught a bug except Robin. Ms. Ribit tells him to cheer up, because oftentimes you find the best bugs when not even looking.

Heading back to his lean-to, he spots a green caterpillar in a berry bush. Breaking the branch it was clinging to off, he places them both in his jar. It wasn't a special bug, or a creepy bug, but it would have to make do. When he shows it to Ms. Ribit, she gets excited, for she knows what is about to happen. The caterpillar began to spin a cocoon after a few days, and she says in two weeks Robin will have a very nice surprise.

Forgetting about it, Robin is surpised to hear a crunching noise coming from the jar. Giving it a closer inspection, he finds the caterpillar eating its way out of the cocoon. Only it wasn't a caterpillar anymore, it was a butterfly.

Written by Harry Ross
Illustrated by Richard Walz

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