Puppets by armful at library—July 15, 2011
Puppets are one of my favorite collections at Hastings Public Library, which houses about 230 of the cuddly creatures. A kind of magic occurs when they catch the eye of a potential puppeteer. Suddenly, the inanimate figures are infused with a personality created by the user’s imagination.
For example, Tyrannosaurus Rex, a favorite with young puppeteers, can be fierce and frightening or a clumsy, loveable character, depending on the user’s imagination. Tyrannosaurus Rex by Susan Grey and Tyrannosaurus Sue by Steve Fiffer are two books available to help create the drama associated with T-Rex. A picture book by Lois Grambling titled Can I Have A Tyrannosaurus Rex, Dad? Can I? Please? is also a good choice.
A colorful caterpillar or our butterfly/caterpillar duo seem to empathize with the feelings expressed in the stories of Charlie, the Caterpillar by Dom DeLuise or Caterpillar’s Wish by Mary Murphy as the words are read.
Paired together, the octopus puppet and a story called Tickly Octopus by Ruth Galloway instill a start toward self-acceptance. Octavia and Her Purple Pink Cloud by Donna Rathmell German is a fun way to learn about octopi.
Several pigs are available as well as dozens of entertaining books. The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas and My Lucky Day by Keiku Kasza. Our wolf puppet may want to join the pig for these stories. A better understanding of Math might surprise the reader of Pigs on the Ball: Fun With Math and Sports by Amy Axelrod, especially with the pig puppet “helping” to learn new concepts.
Learning and laughing are two inevitable results of puppeteering. But more than that, children sometimes treat a puppet their confidante. I’ve seen children sit eye to eye with a puppet and carry on quiet, solemn conversations. Sometimes kids’ chores are more easily accomplished with a puppet’s humorous direction.
The library also has several helpful books about making puppets, puppet plays and theaters. Make Your Own Performing Puppets includes instructions to make your own puppets, including marionettes. A novice puppeteer can learn how to build scenery or props. Artistic Adventures Puppets shows the reader how to bring the puppet to life and recommends puppet making materials.
There are bears, wizards, sharks, kittens and dogs waiting to make fun for a family. Why not check out one of our puppets and see how easily stories come to life?