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Do you want to add a whole new level of engagement to your elementary music class? Pairing a children’s book and puppet together can be just the ticket! Puppets have the ability to elevate the text into the 3D world and spark children’s imagination in a way that you can’t always achieve with text and images alone. Adding a puppet to your storytime makes the experience more memorable for students. When paired with the right children’s books you can explore song, sound, and movement through story.

#1 – Baby Dragon & Puff the Magic Dragon

Puff the Magic Dragon continues to be one of the most popular and recognizable folk songs from the twentieth century, written over 50 years ago by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton. The song was made popular by the singing group Peter, Paul, and Mary. This illustrated children’s book pairs Yarrow and Lipton’s lyrics with imaginative paintings by Eric Puybaret. This hardcover book includes a CD with recordings of “Puff the Magic Dragon” as well as “Froggie Went A-Courtin'” and “Blue Tail Fly” by the voice/cello duo of Bethany Yarrow and Rufus Cappadocia. Bonus, the CD includes a bonus track of an instrumental version of “Puff” to sing to.

Bundle this book with our baby dragon puppet! This dragon is friendly and fun, and can’t wait to meet you!  Our 11-inch puppet has incredible detail, including a green scaly body and tail, a fuzzy belly, and fabric wings.  The moveable mouth and front feet allow it to come alive with motion!

#2 – Baby Monsters & Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters

Romping Monsters, Stomping Monsters by Jane Yolen, illustrated by Kelly Murphy, welcomes students to a playground teeming with monsters, bristling with energy, and scaring up ways to have fun. This book, perfect for 3-7-year-olds features monsters enjoying swinging, sliding, and piggyback rides. In the story, these monsters run three-legged races and fall on their faces. Monsters eat monster-sicles and vie for the fountain (“Gulp…Grrrr…Grumble…Growl…All better now!”). Stretching, twirling, tumbling, jumping!

With so much action and movement, our baby monster puppets are a perfect children’s book and puppet pair. They are as large as a melon, with a huge mouth so they can talk, shout, and sing!  Plus, an air-filled squeaker in each gives them an optional squawky, “monster” voice.  Available in a variety of colors – each one brings its own unique personality to your class.

#3 – Fluffy Cat and Jazz Cats

A rhythmic jazzy story in verse, Jazz Cats by David R. Davis tells about the escapades of some real cool cats that know how to entertain. Their jazz combo plays together in the streets of New Orleans. From the blow of the clarinet and trumpet to the pluck of the fiddle base and beating the trash can drums, these Dixie, dancin’, jazz cats know how to have fun. Vibrant illustrations by Chuck Galey highlight the details and bring these hip cats to life in such memorable surroundings as Preservation Hall, Cafe du Monde, and Jackson Square. Your students can experience the lively atmosphere, the easy-going people, and the rich heritage of the French Quarter, all from the perspective of a few swingin’ jazz cats. When you pair this fabulous fluffy kitty puppet with this children’s book, your students will imagine being in vibrant New Orleans.  This kitty puppet has a movable mouth with a realistic-looking tongue. Her fur coat is super soft, and her long beautiful tail can move around. This children’s book and puppet duo will make your students purr with laughter. 

#4 – Funky Chick & Chicken Little

You may already know the tale of a not-quite-so-bright little chicken whose encounter with an acorn and gravity convinces him the sky is falling, but you’ve never seen the story told this way. A brilliant collaboration brings us a bold and colorful retelling of the classic tale, as crazy-eyed Chicken and all his panicked friends run away from the sky and right into an eye-catching gatefold surprise in Chicken Little.
Whether you want to shake your tail feathers, dance the funky chicken, or tell the story of chicken little, this chicken puppet will enhance the story. This fuzzy white chicken has a brilliant red comb on top of its head and moveable wings. Bring this charming chicken puppet into your home or classroom today! 

#5 – Cow & How to Speak Moo!

If the title sounds a little peculiar, that’s just the start! How to Speak Moo! is a totally silly book, by Deborah Fajerman, is about cows that is sure to make kids giggle. It tells boys and girls all about the way cows do the high moo and the low moo . . . the bumpy moo and the jumpy moo. Kids are invited to try these moos out for themselves. Then they can discover how their moo sounds in a tunnel. Or through a funnel. 
Deborah Fajerman’s wonderfully quirky pictures and the absolutely preposterous story will have young readers mooing along with the experts as they demonstrate the wonderful versatility of cows engaged in spirited conversation. By pairing this book with our glove cow puppet, you can add a whole new layer to this interactive experience. Plus, this cow puppet is a great addition to your puppet farm collection! It’s made of soft fabric, which giving it a superbly soft touch and finish. Additionally, it comes complete with little horns and cute floppy ears! 

#6 – Duckling & Mr. Duck Means Business

Mr. Duck lives alone on a pond, and he follows the same schedule every day. He lives a quiet, solitary life, and he is happiest that way. In the story, some unexpected visitors join him in the pond and ruffle Mr. Duck’s feathers. These new characters splash, play and make so much noise! Can Mr. Duck convince these visitors to leave his pond of tranquility? Mr. Duck Means Business, by Tammi Sauer and illustrated by Jeff Mack pairs beautifully with this adorable and fuzzy yellow ducklings puppet, with a movable beak and wings. He is sure to make anyone smile with his delightful yellow down and bright orange beak and webbed feet. This duckling is so amazing, it was awarded the 2012 CREATIVE CHILD AWARDS Seal of Excellence!

#7 – Elephant & Miss Mary Mack

This adaptation of the well-known children’s rhyme continues after the elephant jumps the fence! Children’s author Mary Ann Hoberman has extended the well-known story into hilarious tale children will want to read, sing, chant, and clap again and again. Nadine Westcott’s beautiful watercolor illustrations are a fun addition to this nonsense rhyme. Here is where our elephant puppet comes in! This 10″ plush grey elephant head puppet has a movable mouth, upturned trunk, small white horns, and floppy ears. Just imagine this elephant singing Miss Mary Mack with your students!

#8 – Frog & The Croaky Pokey

You already know the hokey pokey, now read this variation with a group of loud, silly frogs. In Ethan Long’s The Croaky Pokey, frogs sing, dance, play instruments, and use all their effort to catch an agile dragonfly. Even an alligator and a crane get into the dance along with the frogs. Children will dance and sing along as you hop the croaky pokey, especially when you add this adorable 10″ frog puppet. It’s easily moveable mouth is ready to croak out the Croaky Pokey.

#9 – Kangaroo & Josephine Wants to Dance

Josephine Wants to Dance, by Jackie French and illustrated by Bruce Whatley,  encourages all readers to never give up and to always dance to their own music. Josephine dreams of wearing a pink tutu and silk ballet shoes. But everyone reminds her that kangaroos don’t dance—they hop! Kangaroos don’t wear tutus, and they never wear ballet shoes! So Josephine sneaks into town, where the ballet rehearses and watches for hours as the dancers spin and swirl and pirouette and curtsy. But on the day of the ballet performance, the prima ballerina twists her ankle and a new dancer is needed for the lead role, a dancer who can jump higher than all the rest. 
With its soft fur and ample pouch, this kangaroo puppet is ready to hop right into a good story! You may just be inspired to put together a pink tutu and ballet shoes! 

#10 – Parrot & The Parrot Tick Tango

In this book, the parrot Tico Tango starts with a round, yellow mango. Unfortunately, this mango is not quite as yellow as his friend Marcello’s lemon. Selfishly, Tico Tango knew he had to have Marcello’s lemon, so he took it! The Parrot Tico Tangoby Anna Witte, is a cumulative rhyme in which a greedy parrot keeps taking colorful, tropical fruit from other creatures of the rainforest until he can hold no more! Petey, the puppet parrot, is going to make this children’s book come to life. Petey is a bright rainbow parrot that will catch your eye a mile away! It has a moveable mouth to help him sing or talk in any voice you can imagine. This parrot puppet is an excellent addition to any collection or classroom. 

#11 – Fox & What Does the Fox Say?

Do you know what the fox says? Based on the hugely popular YouTube video with more than 200 million views, this picture book is packed full of foxy fun. The lyrics of Ylvis’s YouTube sensation “The Fox (What Does the Fox Say?)” meet Svein Nyhus’s playful illustrations in this irresistibly entertaining read-aloud picture book. Pair this book with our red fox puppet, as a fantastic children’s book and puppet combo. Designed with realistic red fur, delicate whiskers, and moveable mouth and legs, this fox puppet will charm his way into your classroom or home. His pointed ears are indicative of fox’s excellent hearing. The long plush tail is fully moveable. 

What are your favorite children’s book and puppet combinations?

We hope you enjoy these children’s book and puppet combinations for your music classroom. This blog only scratches the surface of the possibilities. You can explore more puppets here and more children’s books here. Let us know in the comments about your favorite children’s book and puppet pairings!