Every night, a little ghost named Georgie creaks the stairs and squeaks the parlor door, which, in turn, signals Mr. and Mrs. Whittaker to go to bed, Herman the cat to prowl, and Miss. Oliver the owl to wake up and say “Whoo-oo-oo!” When the stair board and parlor door are fixed, Georgie has to find another house to haunt, but they are all occupied by other ghosts – all except Mr. Gloam’s place, but his is too gloomy. And so Georgie ends up in a barn, until time and inclement weather cause the stair board to creak again and the parlor door to squeak again. Herman and Miss Oliver summon Georgie, and with is raison d’etre restored, he returns home.
Georgie by Robert Bright was first published in 1944 and is full of great old-fashioned sayings, such as, “That was a fine how-do-you-do!” and “during the winter, it snowed to beat the band”. A local librarian and friend recommended Georgie to my daughter and me, and my daughter loves it. One of her favorite parts is the repetition associated with Herman’s prowling and Mrs. Oliver’s whoo-oo-oo-ing, and when we read the book they are her lines to say aloud. This made me think of creating a picture book puppet theater, using the background and characters of Georgie. Georgie is particularly suited to this project, I think, because of the distinct cast of characters and the repeated lines associated with each of them, but the project could be done with any picture book, really. It could even be done with an imagined world and characters.
- Shoe box
- Paint & brush
- Paper & something to draw with
- X-acto knife
- Popsicle sticks
Paint all of your shoe box, including the top.
Cut out a piece of paper that is the dimensions of the inside of the shoe box top. Draw the theater background on it. Glue the background to the inside of the shoe box top.
On the bottom of the shoe box, draw the frame, and, using an X-acto knife, cut the interior out.
Draw your characters, cut them out, and glue them onto popsicle sticks with the bottoms of the characters positioned at the ends of the popsicle sticks.
On the top of the theater, cut out “tracks” using an X-acto knife.
Now you have a picture book puppet theater. Bravo!