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Anne Masson
Illustrated by Pamela Kinney

Toronto, Annick Press, 1989. 88pp, paper, $9.95, ISBN 1-55037-042-1
Distributed by Firefly Books. CIP

Grades 3 and up/Ages 8 and up
Reviewed by Margaret Montgomery.

Volume 17 Number 4
1989 July

This book takes the reader through the whole process of making marionettes step by step, explaining how to build papier-mache" marionette heads for both human and animal characters and the soft bodies for both types, how to attach the strings and the sticks, and how to operate the marionette, store it and build stages. Masson discusses props, scenery, sound effects and, most important, the scripts.

The author has provided precise details where necessary (e.g., the stringing of the marionette) and has given general inspirational ideas where creativity is more important (e.g., the creation of a marionette character), I am impressed with her ability to break down a complicated task such as the business of sticks and strings: her instructions are clear and simple.

One section often forgotten by authors is the follow-up activities, dear to the heart of teachers. She has ideas such as writing a classroom book about the puppet play and sending a letter to Anne Masson (and has included a form letter to help the children). Throughout the book there are drawings and a few photos. The drawings are a necessity when she describes some of the more technical activities, and these are large and clear.

Go for it, teachers. You should be able to manage to make die marionettes and produce a play with kids who are old enough to use papier-mâché and a needle and thread. Find some adults or older students to help with the stringing of the marionettes, and you are all set. An excellent book for those who like a challenge.

Margaret Montgomery, West Vernon Elementary School, Vernon, B.C.
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