Ernie's Work of Art

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Ernie's Work of Art book cover

Ernie's Work of Art (ISBN 0-307-60109-9) is a 1979 children's book written by Valjean McLenighan, and illustrated by Joe Mathieu. Published by Little Golden Books, it is based on the children's television show Sesame Street. The entire book is about Ernie's misadventure trying to paint Sesame Street. As in many early Sesame Street books, all the dialog is in voice bubbles, as if it were a comic book.

Copies of the books sold for $1.20 CAD upon publication.[citation needed]

This view of Sesame Street is that of the open-ended street, and includes a store called "Spotless Cleaners", right after the Fix-It Shop.


The book begins with Oscar insulting Ernie's "getup", and Ernie explaining "beneath this stripey shirt, there beats the heart of an artist." Eventually Bert and the Count arrive, as Oscar insults the brightness of Ernie's painting. The Count counters, counting the "lovely colors".

Once Prairie Dawn arrives (oddly as a brunette), Bert and Prairie begin suggesting ways that Ernie can improve his painting. Big Bird arrives on a unicycle with Roosevelt Franklin, both thinking there must be a party going on. Despite Prairie's best attempts to get Big Bird to stop, he collides with all of them, hurling Ernie's head through the canvas. Ernie is aghast with horror at the sight of his ripped painting, covered with Roosevelt's ice cream.

Oscar arises from his can, wondering what caused the ruckus, only to discover that he now loves Ernie's artwork. Ernie gives the painting to Oscar, titling it The View From Oscar's Trash Can.