Parents' Choice Foundation: Reviewing Children's Media Since 1978



Spring 2011 Toys
Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Folkmanis, Inc.
Price: $33.99

These two new and unusual puppet creations are enormously inviting in their design and construction. The provided description for each one states, "Night had fallen and a puppet designer was turning off the light in her workroom. She was tired and worn out from a day of cutting and sewing puppets, and none of the new designs looked quite right. Too tired to clean up the workroom floor, she said, 'I'll do it tomorrow,' as she closed the door. Leaving the building, she looked up to see a shooting star flash across the night sky. 'I wish for some great puppet ideas,' she said as she stepped into her car and drove away. What she didn't see is that the small meteorite fell to Earth. It streaked right through her design room window, landing with a soft thump on the pile of color fabrics and notions. What happened next could be described as magical or scientific or just plain amazing, but a spark from the space spores of the cooling rock caused the fabrics to shuffle and move, bind and bend, twist and turn and join, forming awesome new creations. Soon the room was aglow with bright colors as new puppets came to life. The FolkMonsters were born!"

It is easy to imagine the above depiction of how these two exciting and colorful critters were created. "Twickety" is covered with a green and orange neon furry fabric. Two protruding arms/wings contain openings for the puppeteer's hands, and there are additional smaller sections into which thumbs may be positioned for even greater maneuverability. The beak/jaw opening could accommodate an extra puppeteer, if desired. "Blueper" is equally engaging, but it has a more startling appearance than Twickety. Two white teeth and orange horns peek through the brightly colored fur that covers most of its body. Its glove-like hands allow the insertion of four separate fingers in each, thus offering more specific gesturing potential.

Both Twickety and Blueper will motivate children to compose original and creative stories to tell to their friends and family members (if they can get these puppets away from the adults long enough to do so).

Dr. Flora Joy   ©2011 Parents' Choice
Flora has been described as a “founder” in the world of storytelling. The following are a few examples of programs or events that she began: (1) Storytelling World, an international journal for which Flora has continued to serve as editor since its first issue in the 1980s. This journal is currently part of NSN’s Storytelling Magazine. (2) The Annual Storytelling Resource Awards Program, (3) The National Storytelling Youth Olympics, and (4) The Master’s Degree Program in Storytelling at ETSU (where she taught for 41 years and is currently a Professor Emeritus). She has won many prestigious awards, including NSN’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Look for this product at:
Folkmanis, Inc.

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