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

Folkmanis® Nautilus Puppet

Folkmanis® Nautilus Puppet

Fall 2016 Toys
Ages: 3 & Up
Manufacturer: Folkmanis, Inc.
Price: $27.99

The seas and oceans host countless living creatures, and many are obscure or unfamiliar to young learners. Here, Folkmanis introduces children to the Nautilus with an exquisitely designed chambered puppet. Although the actual creature has almost 90 tentacles, this puppet conveys the illusion of many with only five tubular tentacle insertions and their dangling stringed attachments. This puppet closely resembles the actual animal with its external shell's chocolate-colored angular spirals that range from dark-to-light in color from top to bottom.

This puppet contains a deep pouch into which it can coil its entire body, an action the real sea creature performs when it senses danger. The creature's pouch is also used to entrap and crush its prey for food. Puppeteers can easily duplicate each of these maneuvers by transforming the critter into a ball shape (much like a turtle pulling into its shell). A real nautilus can then conceal its innards by capping the opening with its protective hood, and puppeteers can manually perform this last step with their free hand.

Youngsters can learn more science information about this nocturnal creature's habitat by studying geographic regions such as the coral reefs of the Pacific and Indian oceans. Other educational connections could be made with selected literature pieces, such as The Chambered Nautilus, a famous poem by Oliver Wendell Holmes. An excerpt of that poem is included on the puppet tag.

Dr. Flora Joy   ©2016 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.

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