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David Almond, illus. Lizzy Stewart
Walker Books
Age 7-9+ years

When Silvester the puppet maker stops performing and donates his puppets and materials to a museum he cannot resist making one last puppet; it is a labour of love. Amazingly the puppet shows signs of life – he learns to walk and even utters a word or two. He is just like the son Silvester never had. When Silvester meets Fleur, a little girl as passionate about puppet making as he is, he realises he has found someone to continue his legacy. Together they create one last magical puppet show.

This is a story brimming with warmth and wonder, celebrating the power of imagination, the magic of storytelling and the cycle of life. 

Talk about the story
◼︎ What would you tell someone else about this book?
◼︎ Does this story remind you of any other stories you know?
◼︎ What do you think the writer is trying to make his readers think about?
◼︎ Which of the illustrations do you like best?

Things to make and do

◼︎ Draw a picture of Silvester and Fleur’s performance in the town square.

◼︎ Try moving like Puppet swinging arms and legs with stiff movements. Perhaps you could tap a wooden spoon on a hard object to create the ‘tap, tap’ sound as your child moves.

◼︎ Make a few simple puppets together. You could use natural materials as Fleur does for example twigs and cones, make simple sock or stick puppets or even create your own marionette

◼︎ Make up a simple story including your puppets – this can be easier and more fun for your child if you talk about it and build the story together.

◼︎ Make or improvise a Puppet theatre. Add some scenery for example a painting or drawing as background for your story.

◼︎ Make a poster to advertise your show.

◼︎ Perform your puppet show! Invite your family, friends or create an audience of toys.

Download our activity book

Find out more

◼︎ Share the story of Pinocchio . The original story by Carlo Callodi is retold here by Kate Daynes

◼︎ Visit a Puppet theatre or watch an online puppet show

◼︎ Read more stories by award winning author and Lovemybooks patron David Almond.
Titles include:
My Name is Mina
The Boy Who Climbed into the Moon illus by Polly Dunbar
The Tale of Angelina Brownillus by Alex T Smith
The Boy who swam with Piranhas
Brand New Boy
The Dam illus by Levi Pinfold
The Savage illus by Dave McKean

◼︎ Find out more about illustrator Lizzy Stewart
Read a book written and illustrated by Lizzie Stewart.
There’s a Tiger in the Garden
Juniper Jupiter
The way to Treasure Island