A Walk on the Child Side: 5 Lesser Known Sesame Street Characters You Should Know

1. Abby Cadabby

Abby joined Sesame Street in 2006, in an episode where she broke her fairy wand and had to have it fixed. Abby was added to the show to increase the number of girl Muppets, but her presence has also acted as a sort of diversity exercise: Abby does not look like the other Muppets originally from Sesame Street, but it is implied that she does look like the Muppets from her home. Abby is, therefore, a gentle and child-friendly reminder that people from different places look different, and that that’s okay.

 

2. Rudy

    Rudy is Abby’s stepbrother, who was introduced in 2017. Rudy and Abby’s relationship as step-siblings is often explored in relation to the concepts of blended families and sibling conflicts. Despite only appearing in a few episodes, Rudy is vital for demonstrating to children that blended families are a wonderful thing.

     

    3. Julia

    Julia, introduced in 2015, is the first muppet to have autism. The show is incredible in its handling of Julia and her autism: she is never "othered", but instead people say that she does things “in a Julia kind of way.” When Julia was part of a float for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade in 2018, she even wore noise-cancelling headphones so that the loud noises wouldn’t bother her. Julia is doing wonders in teaching children that autism is completely and entirely normal--and children with autism love to learn and play, too.

     

    4. Rosita

    Rosita was first introduced in 1991 (making her older than me!) as one of the first multilingual character on Sesame Street. Rosita was born in Mexico, and she speaks both Spanish and English. Her full name is Rosita, la Monstrua de las Cavas, which translates to Rosita, the Monster of the Caves. Rosita presents a Spanish word of the day often, and she also plays her guitar on the show.

     

    5. Lily

    Lily appeared in the 2011 special “Growing Hope Against Hunger” to educate children about the realities of food insecurity; in 2018, it was revealed that Lily and her family were now homeless, making her the first homeless character on Sesame Street. Considering that approximately 40% of the homeless population in the United States is under 18, representation of this reality is crucial for the youth audiences to learn about so that they may be compassionate and caring.  

     

    Honorable Mention: the Yip-Yips

    I don’t have much of an explanation for this one, except for the fact that they are aliens of some kind, they look silly, and you can buy a Yip-Yip costume on Amazon for only $25!