By Valerie Bendt
Puppet Designs by Michelle DeMicco
Bendt Family Ministries www.ValerieBendt.com
333 W. Rio Vista Court
Tampa, FL 33604-6940
Are you looking for a way to jazz up your Bible curriculum for a reasonable price? This 8 x 11 paperback may be just what you're looking for! Nestled between its covers are the patterns for 40 easy-to-make (just like the title says) Bible hand puppets. From Adam and Eve to numerous animals, this book has it all. Along with the patterns themselves come excellent instructions to put the puppets together. These puppets work best when made with felt, though the author does say that they could also be made with construction paper. In the first few pages you will also find suggestions for backdrops, along with patterns for them. If you are like me, lacking the craft gene, you will be very grateful for the color photo of each puppet.
Using very clear instructions, each puppet pattern first lists the materials you will need, including the colors and amounts of felt, scissors, tape or stick pins, and glue. It then goes step by step, showing which piece to glue and where to glue it, in just the right order to achieve puppet perfection! Each step has a black-and-white drawing that illustrates what you need to do.
I really can't say enough about this product. I found it to be one of the very few craft books that I actually took delight in using. My kids love the puppets. They make a great tool for committing classic Bible accounts to memory. Although they are very easy to make, it can be a very time-consuming process. You also need to be sure that you have all the materials handy or you will go nuts looking for a scrap of blue felt for the waterspout on the whale (of course this is a hypothetical situation). There is a lot of cutting involved if you do them all at once; however, if you make them as you go it is a manageable project. The only improvement I made was to trace around each pattern with a marker instead of attempting to adhere the pattern to the felt.
All children, say under the age of 100, will love these puppets. We have had hours of family fun using them. They are durable, and I can very easily see these puppets becoming a family heirloom that is passed down to the next generation of homeschoolers.
Product review by Annemarie Williams, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC, June 2006