This week at all three branches we performed a puppet show version of the book Good Night, Good Knight, by Shelley Moore Thomas. This is a very cute story of a knight and three restless dragons at bedtime. Each time the knight investigates the roar that he hears from his post, he discovers a dragon with a new reason for not going to sleep. The idea to use this book was inspired by the lovely Kay at Storytime ABCs. I can’t wait to see how her live action performance turns out! As suggested by Kay, we used the book’s repetition as an opportunity for audience participation. Every time there was a roar, the audience roared, every time he got on his horse, they shouted “AWAY!”, and every time he rode through the forest, they said “clippety-clop, clippety-clop”.
I made some changes to adapt the book to a puppet show format. I decided to go with two dragons instead of three–mostly because I didn’t have three dragon puppets. I also thought that it might get a little monotonous if we did the third dragon. Plus, I wanted to be able to do the show with three people if necessary. So we had a girl dragon and a boy dragon–the boy wanted a song (the knight wasn’t much of a singer, so asked the audience to sing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” with him). The dragon puppets are pictured left–They are made by Folkmanis and I dressed them with stuffed animal clothes that I had on hand (I added some embellishments to the girl’s nightgown).
Another difference is that we used a narrator–Princess Paige, princess of the Reading Kingdom. (We used trees that were already holding books, so we decided to just go with it and call it the Reading Forest–why not?) One of our fantastic teen volunteers got a princess costume and did a wonderful job as Princess Paige. She narrated the story and reminded the audience when they were supposed to participate.
Here is a picture of the staging at our main branch, where we used the multipurpose room.
At the end of the show, we covered the knight up with a blanket–it was a cute way to end and it made the audience laugh. Incidentally, it was my four-year-old’s favorite part!
After the show at the main branch, the kids visited with the puppets and got a coloring sheet designed and drawn by my brilliant artist husband.
At our two smaller branches, we had a slightly different (scaled down) stage. We were also able to do a shield craft like this one. Here’s the one I made–it should be noted that I am NOT the artist. When things need to be drawn, my husband makes it happen. This dragon, however, had the misfortune of being drawn by me.
The puppet show was really fun! Thank you SO MUCH to my excellent teen volunteers!
Next week we are hosting Chehaw’s Nocturnal Animals at Leesburg–10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, June 26. We will make our own monsters at Smithville at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27 and at Redbone at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, June 28. All summer reading events are sponsored by the Lee County Library and are free and open to the public. For more information call 759-2369.