Monday, June 13, 2011

Nonfiction Monday: Puppet Play by Diana Schoenbrun

I requested this book hoping to find some suggestions for the huge volume of socks I have collected in the back of our storyroom. This book was a little too advanced for my programs, which are aimed at ages 6 – 12, but had some really fun ideas that would be great for a teen puppet program.

The book opens with general instructions, ideas for embellishments, and some basic sewing instructions. Each of the twenty puppet projects has a list of reused and recycled materials, embellishments, construction materials and tools, and shapes to cut from patterns (provided in the book) and freehand.

Each project is given a difficulty level and has a photograph of the finished project. Construction steps are given in short, clear increments. Where needed, the steps are supplemented with illustrations. The illustrations looked a little sketchy and I’m not sure how helpful they would be, but the actual book might be clearer than the pdf file I reviewed this from. Projects include “Betty the Elephant,” “Feilong the Dragon,” “Crazy Cat” and many more. The book concludes with some tips for putting on a puppet show, other ideas for using your puppets, and further puppet-making resources.

Most of the projects require some sewing abilities, ranging from simple stitching to more complicated stitches. There is quite a bit of initial cutting involved and a hot glue gun is needed for many of the projects.

Verdict: A fun book for a few younger kids at a sleepover or with a parent, or for a teen program if your teens have some sewing and craft abilities. You’ll need at least a couple hours for even the simplest project, so if you’re planning to use these as a teen program, you may need to stretch it over several days. Recommended for a fun teen program.

ISBN: 9781449401191; Published; April 2011 Andrews McMeel; ebook review copy provided by publisher through NetGalley

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