Archive for the ‘Puppetry’ Category

Sandra Dutton at Hudson Children’s Book Festival

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012

 

 

I’ll be at the Hudson Children’s Book Festival (http://hudsonchildrensbookfestival NULL.com/index NULL.php?menuid=06 NULL.) Saturday, May 5, at the Hudson Junior and Senior High school from 10am to 4 pm in Hudson, New York, and Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth  will be my featured book.  Can’t wait!  I’ll be doing  a workshop on making “trilobite puppets.”

Paper Bag Puppets

 

Trilobites and Genesis: A 10-Year-Old’s Questions

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011
Trilobites & Trilobite Puppets

Come to Maine Festival of the Book (http://mainereads NULL.org/) Saturday, April 2 at the Abromson Center, University of Southern Maine.  I’ll be discussing growing up in Norwood, Ohio, and how it informed my novel, “the acclaimed (and controversial)”  Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth.   Learn about trilobites, the Cincinnati Arch, and how to make trilobite puppets out of paper bags.   Recommended for ages 8-12, and those who teach them.

“Mary Mae” Good for Science Education

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Good news!  Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth is now for sale on the National Council for Science Education (NCSE) website (http://ncse NULL.com/store/title/mary-mae-gospel-truth).  Reviewing the book for RNCSE, David C. Kopaska-Merkel writes, “One thing I like about this book is its delivery through the persona of a child who is both passionate about her church and about science. She doesn’t reject either aspect of her life. She is as excited about the puppet show her Sunday School class is doing as about her interview with a trilobite for a school assignment.”

NCSE, National Center for Science Education. Defending the Teaching of Evolution in Public Schools. (http://ncse NULL.com/)

Puppet-Making Workshop, Reading, and Art Show Saturday

Thursday, November 18th, 2010

Paper Bag Puppets

Saturday, November 20 at 11 am, I’ll be at the Coastal Children’s Museum, Sharp’s Point South,75 Mechanic Street, in Rockland, Maine, reading from “Dear Miss Perfect:  A Beast’s Guide to Proper Behavior.”  Afterward, I’ll have a puppet-making workshop for children.  The workshop is free for members and included in the price of admission for non members.

At 1 pm, at Bootstraps Gallery (just across the street from the Children’s Museum),  I’ll be reading from “Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth.”  The event is free and open to the public.  A show of my paintings will also be on display.

Saturday’s events should be great fun, and I hope you can stop in for one or both events!

A portion of any art and books sold through Bootstraps Gallery will benefit a family in need served through Oasis Services, LLC, a home and personal care agency.  For more information, call Kristin Tescher at (207) 542-8564.

Sandra Dutton at Coastal Children’s Museum and Bootstraps Gallery

Sunday, November 14th, 2010
“Grassharper” by Sandra Dutton

 

Saturday, November 20 at 11 am, I’ll be at the Coastal Children’s Museum, Sharp’s Point South,75 Mechanic Street, in Rockland, Maine, reading from “Dear Miss Perfect:  A Beast’s Guide to Proper Behavior.”  Afterward, I’ll have a puppet-making workshop for children.  The workshop is free for members and included in the price of admission for non members.

At 1 pm, at Bootstraps Gallery (just across the street from the Children’s Museum),  I’ll be reading from “Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth.”  The event is free and open to the public.  A show of my paintings will also be on display.

Saturday’s events should be great fun, and I hope you can stop in for one or both events!

A portion of any art and books sold through Bootstraps Gallery will benefit a family in need served through Oasis Services, LLC, a home and personal care agency.  For more information, call Kristin Tescher at (207) 542-8564. 

“Provocative in the Very Best Way”

Tuesday, August 17th, 2010

For a grand review of Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth, go to Planet Esme (http://planetesme NULL.blogspot NULL.com/2010/08/me-and-rolly-maloo-fiction-and-10 NULL.html).

“Readers of all faith backgrounds and educational backgrounds will sympathize with and like Mary Mae, and find plenty to discuss.  Provocative in the very best way, this is a brave and timely book that leaves you the better for having read it.”

From the Chicago Tribune and Books-for-Kids-Blog

Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Following are some exciting reviews, first from “The Chicago Tribune” and second, from “Books for Kids Blog”:

‘Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth’

By Sandra Dutton

Houghton Mifflin, $15, ages 10-13

The year is 1988, the place southern Ohio, a location rich with fossils. Ten-year-old Mary Mae loves many parts of her world. There’s the Remnant Church of God, where “you can get up and sing and say what you’re thankful for.” Mary Mae’s great-grandmother sings, plays and writes songs. Granny is just visiting, but she is a supportive and kindred spirit to Mary Mae. . . .  (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/0547249667?ie=UTF8&tag=books0299-20&link_code=as3&camp=211189&creative=373489&creativeASIN=0547249667 NULL.jpg)

God’s Good Time: Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth by Sandra Dutton

Review by Glenda Children at BooksforKidsBlog.com (http://http://booksforkidsblog NULL.blogspot NULL.com/)

When Granny asked me what we learned in school today, I tell her all about trilobites and how southern Ohio was right down by the equator. “We’re digging for fossils tomorrow, too,” I tell her.
God must have loved curious kids, because he made so darned many of them. Mary Mae Krebs can’t help being one. “What do we believe?” she asks her mother, and her mother tells her to read Genesis.

“Wish I could dig for fossils,” says Granny. “But I’m just an old fossil myself.”

“Digging?” says Daddy. “You know when I was in school, we didn’t go out digging. We stayed inside and learned our lessons.”

“Ain’t no different ages,” Mama says. “Tempting kids to believe in something that ain’t so!” Mama goes on. “The world is 6000 years old. You look in the Bible.”

That works for Mary Mae, whose Sunday School class is already practicing for a puppet play about the Creation right from the book of Genesis. She’s in charge of Mrs. Noah, whose job, she is told, is to look after all the animals on the Ark. Practical Mary Mae hits a snag right there. How could one woman, even with those daughters-in-law, clean that many cages? And what about the insects? They’re animals, but the Bible doesn’t say anything about rounding them up and housing them in the Ark in all those little bitty cages. And what about fresh meat for the lions and tigers?

When Mary Mae and her class study the Cincinnati Arch, a band of ancient rock filled with the fossils of the Ordovician sea which once covered the Ohio River basin, her teacher Mrs. Sizemore takes them on a field trip to the school grounds themselves where a construction project has uncovered a treasure trove of trilobites, ancient snails and starfish, and crinoid fossils. Mary Mae is fascinated by the “enrolled” trilobite she finds and as she writes her “Interview with a Trilobite” report, she and her great-grandmother write a song for fiddle and guitar about the little creature. Then Mary May spots hundreds of little fossils embedded in the rocks around her own backyard fish pond, and when she shows them to her mother, Mama’s protests fail to past muster even with Daddy, not to mention Granny.

“She oughtn’t to be learning such things,” says Mama.

“But this is our backyard,” says Daddy. “Can’t go walking around like an ostrich.”

“Them fossils was put in the ground to trick us, Farley.”

“Trick us?” says Daddy. “Who’s trying to trick us?”

“The Lord,” says Mama.

“If that’s what the Lord’s up to, you can go to church yourself. I ain’t going.”

Things come to a head when Mama finds her trilobite report and takes her out of school. Forbidden to read anything but the Bible, Mary Mae goes back to adding up the “begats” in Matthew to see if the generations total up to 6000 years, but she runs into the question of how to count those Bible folks who lived for hundreds and hundreds of years. Mama’s already overloaded, what with her job and distributing fliers for the church and everything else, and she finds Mary Mae’s endless questions about the Bible a trial and tribulation, And then, when Mama drives a young friend home to Indiana, the young woman talks her into stopping to see the famous local site, the Falls of the Ohio, in whose shoals millions of fossils are all around to be seen by visitors, “like the Lord’s science lesson.” Although Mama is gruff with her questions, Mary Mae senses that her mother is beginning to have some doubts about her interpretation of Genesis as well.

Then Mary Mae’s educational luck changes. A chance talk with a visiting pastor shows Mama that there are differences of opinion about the form Creation has taken even among the faithful at the Remnant Church of God.

“I can understand your concern,” Pastor Tilbury says to Mama. “but fossils is God’s creatures, too. The way I see it, they was all fossilized during Noah’s flood in 3500 B.C.”

“Now me, I believe they was fossilized in 90,000 B.C.,” says Mrs. Tilbury.

“I think you’re way off,” Pastor Tilbury says to his wife, “but everybody’s got a right to their opinion.”

With a reassurance from the pastor that fossils were mentioned in the book of Romans, Mama is convinced that it’s time Mary Mae went back to school so Mrs. Sizemore can take over the job of answering at least some of her questions.

In Sandra Duncan’s latest, Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth (http://www NULL.amazon NULL.com/gp/product/0547249667?ie=UTF8&tag=books0299-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0547249667) (Houghton Mifflin, 2010), her inquisitive and level-headed Mary Mae comes head on against the eternal verities. A member of an evangelistic church which affirms the primacy of the Scriptures, she has a hard time reconciling her mother’s version of creation with what she sees before her eyes, and her natural childlike drive to understand the world puts her into opposition with her mother’s weary assertions that there are some questions that ought not to be asked. Still Mary Mae’s parents and church elders are sincere and loving, and Dutton refuses to portray them as enemies in the ongoing conflict between faith and knowledge. Her use of the everyday speech of her characters is rich and pitch perfect, and her theme, that no one has an absolute answer to the questions of life, is crafted with the respect that can only come with love and the love that can only come with respect. As Publishers Weekly says in its starred review, “Dutton sensitively navigates the sticky debate between creationism and evolution both through the young narrator’s delightful curiosity and honest questions, and through the various responses she receives from numerous caring adults, who all strive to provide truthful guidance.”

“Now tell me about them fossils,” says Granny.

“They’re older than the dinosaurs,” I say…. “Miss Sizemore says the world is fifteen billion years old.”

Granny’s clicking her teeth. “Hmm… Well…My…”

“God takes his time,” I say.

“Yes, he does,” says Granny.

booksforkidsblog.blogspot.com (http://http://booksforkidsblog NULL.blogspot NULL.com/)

On “Read the Spirit”

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Just wanted my readers to see this wonderful review of “Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth” on ReadtheSpirit.com (http://www NULL.readthespirit NULL.com/explore/708-great-summer-reading-mary-mae-the-gospel-truth NULL.html):

“TODAY, we’ve got a great book for the entire family, especially if your family is related to evangelical Christianity. I can’t imagine a more engaging and compassionate slice of American life than the 129-page “Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth”—a novella for young readers by Sandra Dutton. Anytime we recommend books for “young readers,” we’ve selected them deliberately because we know adults will enjoy them as well. (If you don’t have a child at home right now, get this book and give it to a family that does—after . . . ”  [Click here to read the rest of the review:  ReadtheSpirit.com (http://www NULL.readthespirit NULL.com/explore/708-great-summer-reading-mary-mae-the-gospel-truth NULL.html)]

Noah’s Ark Puppet Show

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

Mrs. Noah and Noah

 Noah’s Ark Puppet Show

One doesn’t hear much about Noah’s wife in Genesis, but writers of the medieval miracle plays dug deep into the story and came up with a feisty Mrs. Noah who speaks her mind.  In “Noah and His Sons,” by the Wakefield master, Mrs. Noah sits and spins, refusing to board the boat, saying there won’t be enough food and that she’ll miss her friends.  In “Noah’s Flood” of the Chester Pageant, she refuses to board, saying to Noah:

Yea, sir, set up your sail,

And row forth with evil hail,

For, without any fail,

I will not out of this town.

Finally, when she does board, she boxes Noah on the ear.  (In both plays they’re constantly hitting each other.) Of course this is all a bit of a comedy.  The miracle plays were performed not only to dramatize the stories of the Bible but to entertain.

In Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth, Mary Mae’s “Mrs. Noah” is feisty.  She’s concerned that dangerous animals are running loose, that they won’t be able keep the boat clean.  “Now we got some mighty big animals,” she says, “and they’s using their cage for a litter box.” 

Since I have both puppets and theatre (I describe making those in earlier blogs), I decided to try and perform the play, taking both Mary Mae and Chester’s parts (Noah and Mrs. Noah).  The puppets are rather fragile, being made of florists’ foam, but I think if kids were doing this with wooden puppets, some butting of heads would be in order. 

If you hit the link, you can see the video. 

Noah’s ArK Puppet Show

Mary Mae’s Puppet Stage

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

 

Sandra Dutton with Mary Mae's Mrs. Noah

I made the puppets that appear in Mary Mae and the Gospel Truth and had such fun (see the April 14 entry) that I decided to make the puppet theatre.  I wanted it to be portable (it’s now against a wall in the dining room) and to be able to fit in the back of my Corolla with the seats down, so I was limited to three feet wide by six feet tall.  I also wanted it to be lightweight.  So after looking at many puppet theatres, I decided to make a three-sided one of wood and fabric, three “canvases” hinged together.   Below are diagrams and a list of supplies, if you would like to make one yourself.

 Here’s what I used:

 11 six-foot 1x2s

fabric for the outside, 7-8 yards

fabric to line (optional, but I wanted it to be strong and opaque), another 7-8 yards

four hinges (with removable pins) so that the theatre can easily be disassembled

12 flat corner braces

8 flat T braces

a staple gun

1 yard 60” fabric for curtains (or 2 yards 45”)

1 ¼ yard black cotton or gauze for backdrop

6 taps for chair legs

1.  Build the frames first.

2.  Lay out the fabric, wrong sides together.   Cut pieces to cover, allowing enough fabric to wrap around the fames. 

3.  Staple fabric to frame, starting at the top middle, then bottom middle, then the middle of each side, working your way from middles to ends.

4.  Add hinges.

5.  Make a triangular pediment using cardboard for stiffener.  Add a layer of quilting and use scraps to cover.  (I sewed a triangle, then stuffed the cardboard inside it. 

6.  Add ties to hold pediment (pinned to frame).

7.  Make curtains.  They can hang from a string or a rod.

8.  Attach backdrop. (I fasten the backdrop with pushpins but may eventually do something more permanent.)

9.  Hammer in 2 taps per side on the bottom of each frame—this will protect the fabric.

Now you’re ready for a puppet show! 

Diagram, Outside of Puppet Theatre

 

Diagram, Inside of Puppet Theatre

 

Inside the Puppet Theatre