Puppetry's Still Got It

March 9, 2016 | Diane

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Puppet Show Too Much Noise
"Too Much Noise" presented at Locke

Puppetry has been popular for centuries as art and entertainment, and this is still true today. Case in point: Kermit the Frog remains famous, even though he’s been around since 1955, and the story of Pinocchio, the little wooden puppet with a penchant for misbehaving, continues to circulate today in a variety of formats.

Toronto Public Library has offered high-quality puppet shows to families since the 1930s, when children's librarian Lillian H. Smith promoted puppet shows as part of children’s services. Puppet shows continue to be extremely popular at the library -- of more than 100 free March Break events for kids at the library, more than 25 are puppet shows, and are likely to draw large crowds.

Some branches, like Pape/Danforth, are making extra efforts to improve access to children with hearing loss, by presenting their upcoming show, Little Red Riding Hood, using FM equipment and hearing assists to support families with children who are deaf or hard of hearing. Customers are also able to request sign language interpretation for any library program.

And while taking in a puppet show is a magical experience, many kids want to design and present their own. This spring, school-aged children can register for Write A Puppet Show, a weekly creative writing workshop under the guidance of a professional puppeteer, as part of the library’s Sophie’s Studio Workshops series.

For kids looking to create their own puppets, here are a few good choices:

How To Be a Puppeteer Make Your Own Puppets My Puppet Art Class

I think part of puppetry’s enduring appeal is that it captivates diverse audiences, regardless of language, ability and age -- even adults can’t help but smile around puppets!

Woman hugging dog puppet