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STORYTELLING PROPS | The Rabbit in the Carrot Pop-Up

1 Aug

I was called in at the last minute to give a Family Storytime to a group of caregivers and their charges. Needing some extras, I went into the “closet” and found a cute Made-in-China pop-up toy featuring a little rabbit hiding inside a carrot.

I asked my boss what she knew about this object and she replied:

Well, I was mesmerized and so were the kids and their caregivers.

So, I decided to buy one for my regular Storytimes.

A long search came up empty-handed. As no bunnies in carrots were to be found, my crafty side began to think that I could build one myself.

I already had a finger puppet from IKEA that I could use:

So, I gathered together a pair of scissors, a stick, a plastic funnel,  squares of orange and green felt, a piece of white fabric to make a “skirt” for the bunny, a sewing kit, thick rubber bands to hold the skirt to the funnel, and a bottle of Weldbond to hold the last layer of felt in place, and … got busy!

Weldbond – It’s the best!

About an hour or so later (twisting the felt just-so was somewhat frustrating!) I had my bunny on a stick. Up and down she goes, depending on her shyness quotient (or how enthusiastically the kids shout out their part in the play: “Yes, she will!”).

Total cost: less than $3. That’s a lot of joy per buck.

And, if I may say so, I think it’s better than the Made-in-China one back in the box in the “closet” at work.

and …

PUPPETS | Introducing Chester Brown

8 Jan

New to the game of children’s librarianship, I watched an amazing puppet performance by a colleague — a fellow guybrarian — whom I truly respect.

After the show, I asked his advice about puppets. His words: “Choose one and stick to it. Develop its personality and you’re set for any show.” I asked him how long he’s had his “special friend” and he responded: “Thirty-five years.” Solid advice from a pro.

So, without further ado, I present my one and only “special friend” (other puppets may come and go for special occasions, but this guy is the main attraction at my storytimes) — Mr. Chester Brown, from Guilford, Surrey, England.


FLASHCARD STORY | Cosmic Panda: Chapter One

8 Jan

In a previous post I wrote that I really liked YouTube’s “Cosmic Panda” Beta release graphic of a supercute panda and that I wanted to archive him for posterity by turning him into a flashcard story.

Ta da! …

Introducing the first installment of THE INTERGALACTIC ADVENTURES of COSMIC PANDA.

If you’d like to read about Cosmic Panda’s intergalactic adventures, click on the PDF logo at the end of the post (please be patient while it downloads — the story is 45 cards long).

I’ve formatted the story to print double-sided so that you can read the story on the back whilst showing the picture front to your audience:

I hope you enjoy COSMIC PANDA and I invite your feedback.

(BTW, Chapter 2, “Trouble at the Double Helix,” is  in production. Stay tuned for its début on Guybrarian in the supernear future.)

Space Bunny!

… lots of penguins!


Note that the dialogue in COSMIC PANDA is in script form. To liven things up, I’ve made a character chart and stick puppets. Before I start the story, I go over the characters using the chart and then pass out the sticks (multiple copies of each).

Whenever a character in the story has a speaking role, the members of the audience with that character stick hold up their  character. In a few places, up  to four characters speak at once. Try it — it’s fun!

To wrap things up, I hand out a Cosmic Panda colouring sheet and button.

PDF > FLASHCARD: Cosmic Panda Character Card 

PDF > STICK PUPPETS: Cosmic Panda – Main Characters for Chapters 1 + 2

PDF  > COLOURING SHEET: Cosmic Panda – Fill in the Stars


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