Puppet Nightmares

Playing with Puppets coverPlaying with puppets

Submitter: Found this book while working in our children’s book section. It’s only circulated twice in the last 14 years. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the frightening (and disturbing) examples of puppets.

Holly: As puppet books go, it’s ok, but look at that bite out of the top of the cover! This book is 40 years old, and showing its age. I really don’t get the vegetable puppets (second picture below). Are they just for looks, or do you actually play with them as the title implies? One last question: Are children supposed to be able to make these, or is this a book for adults to make puppets for kids? The title implies it’s more about playing with them, but the contents talks about sewing and polystyrene, and gives fabric dimensions. Now I’m just not sure who the intended audience is.

Playing with Puppets back cover

puppets made of vegetables

moving the puppet

finger puppets

size of the stage

rod puppets with living hands

puppets manipulated with sticks


  1. “This puppet has only one arm. To give it two, you will need two people.”

    And a hacksaw, a lightning storm, and the blood of a black goat.

    None of you are safe.

    (Also, I’m usually pretty resistant to creepy old dolls and the like, but those ball-headed voodoo monsters posing with the ghost are pretty harrowing.)

    1. Seriously. I spent years following the extremes of underground avant-garde surrealist junkie art( the kind of stuff too extreme for most of the other goth kids) and those…look like a perfect example of the style, actually. 0_o In fact I think I have a vague memory of that exact picture being used in a horror collage, though maybe it’s just deja vu.

  2. OK when I saw those two on the cover, my first thought was “Is this a book about molesters?” The expressions on them just scream SOMETHING BAD IS ABOUT TO HAPPEN.

  3. It says “translated buy Christine Crowley”. In what country would those be children’s puppets? Brrr. Gives me shudders just to wonder.

  4. Those crazy Danes… Just remembered I have a good one. I will try to remember to give it to Holly tomorrow.

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