Book Bits, March 17th, 2014

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

First, we must congratulate DL for winning the Freddie Ramos giveaway

During the month of March, we’re focusing on high interest reads. Two groups that the folks in the industry often talk about are boys (“boys don’t read”) and diversity (“where are the books for ‘diverse’ kids?”); the claim is that these groups “need” more interesting fare targeted to their own interests. For some recent takes on these topics, see below.

Boys Will Be Boys: a reflection on whether boys are readers or not, and what messages we grown-ups might be sending them

Casual Diversity: an interesting post about the idea of “casual diversity” in which there are children of all different backgrounds in the story, but the story isn’t “about” race. Note the comments, too.

Time for Tea

Enjoy these literary tea tins!

huff and puff finger puppets

And Now, Puppet Show Time!

Capturing children’s interest in reading starts in the early years, and one of the tried and true methods of telling stories (even when reading from a book) is to have a few puppets on hand for some help. Trust me! Your children will enjoy telling and retelling stories with puppets–even beyond preschool. In fact, if you have some middle schoolers on hand as well as younger children, put their crafting skills to work. Here are some fun-looking puppet patterns, some easy enough for young kids to make on their own, and some for the more experienced crafters.


Paper Bag Puppets

  • Paper Bag Puppet Templates : lots of free templates for simple paper bag puppets–good when you have multiple children and need a quick craft (my children learned how to print these pages, and there is a veritable army of puppets in my house now!)
  • Bagtalk on etsy : A shop specializing in printable patterns for paper-bag puppets. Some great book-related collections (aren’t the fairy tale ones cute!?)
  • Farm Animal Puppets : Free printables for paper bag puppets!

Simple Puppets

  • Homemade Puppets with Popsicle Sticks and Wooden Spoons : don’t know how to sew? Stop by the Goodwill store and pick up some old wooden spoons. These are easy for young children to make and manipulate. Other puppet ideas also on this webpage.
  • Stick Puppet Patterns : Not feeling creative? Here are some patterns for stick puppets.
  • Bagtalk on etsy : A shop specializing in printable patterns for paper-bag puppets. Some great book-related collections (aren’t the fairy tale ones cute!?)
  • Tea Party Puppets : Megan and I never miss an opportunity for a tea party. Here’s an easy puppet activity to add in for your next tea party–using leftover toilet paper rolls.
  • Paper Puppets : I used to make these sorts of folded paper crafts in middle school ALL the time! I used them for games and notes, but puppets are a great use!!

Sewn Puppets

  • Make a Story in a Bag : directions for easy sock puppets as well as how to use them to help retell stories. Good for grade school.
  • : LOTS of patterns for puppets as well as handmade-ready-to-buy puppets. The handmade ones would make very fun gifts (hint, hint, Grandma!). There are lots of book-inspired collections. Try searching for a particular fairy tale or popular story (i.e. Red Riding Hood).


brown bear popsicle puppets

Book-inspired Puppets

elephant and piggie


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2 Responses to Book Bits, March 17th, 2014

  1. Betsy March 17, 2014 at 7:12 pm #

    Oh, Gina, thanks for that! I’ll try to fix it.

  2. Gina S. March 17, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    Hi there! The “Casual Diversity” link takes me to the “Boys Will Be Boys” article.

    Thanks for the links!

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