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Children's LiteraturePuppets is a fascinating volume in the "Crafts of Many Cultures" series, which describes crafts from various geographic areas. Young readers and adults will find historical information about the folk arts as well as directions for making some items themselves. Parents or teachers will need to help in both assembling and using the necessary materials and tools listed at the beginning of each book. Puppets features striking color pictures, small maps showing the region of origin, and directions for making eleven puppets (as well as several kinds of stages) ranging from simple jumping jacks from Poland and India to a very complex marionette from Burma. Most of them involve skills like clay modeling, sewing, and woodcarving; The Hindu and Muslim rod puppets from Indonesia and elegant Bunraku puppets from Japan are definitely at an advanced level. Although the puppets will surely appeal to younger children, making them requires sophisticated hand and eye coordination; adults will need to help with (or take over) such tools as needle and thread, hacksaws, hand drills, and craft knives. Older students with some experience may be able to complete a few of the projects, but most should be done with supervision. Adult artists, too, can enjoy creating puppets for plays (a typical plot is included) inspired by these designs. Each volume has a glossary listing books and websites with further information on making traditional puppets. 2004 (orig. 1995), Gareth Stevens, Ages 8 up.
—Barbara L. Talcroft