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!
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
#4 – Funky Chick & Chicken Little
#5 – Cow & How to Speak Moo!
#6 – Duckling & Mr. Duck Means Business
#7 – Elephant & Miss Mary Mack
#8 – Frog & The Croaky Pokey
#9 – Kangaroo & Josephine Wants to Dance
#10 – Parrot & The Parrot Tick Tango
#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!
Katie Senn is the Content and Community Engagement Manager for West Music. Her background is in music education, with an emphasis in orchestral directing and cello. She performs regularly around the midwest with her all-female folk band Awful Purdies. She serves her local community as a board member for the following organizations: Iowa City Music Auxilary, Kennedy Center’s Any Given Child, and her children’s before and afterschool program.