mn1_000430The Yellow Beaked Crow Puppet caught my eye at the International Toy Fair in New York City with that semi-crossed eyed look, tuft of goofy hair on top of her head and incredibly soft body with wings to animate with my whole hand. Kids felt the same way as they cuddled the crow and then slipped both hands into her wings to take flight. They loved  The Facts of Interest, amazed that crows can be taught a few words and are thought to be able to solve problems by reasoning. Maybe that’s why they have the smarts to tease other animals and “steal” interesting objects. Folkmanis is unique in that it also includes a story about the animal puppet, in this case about how the clever crow outwitted the bully fox. My little friends loved the story and one related it to an Aesop’s Fable he’d heard which he said was the opposite–the fox outwitted the crow. What a great language lesson to make connections between the stories. Puppets take kids to a creative place where their imaginations can take off as they incorporate some real-life facts and take the story in their direction, building critical literacy skills while storytelling. Our crow was stealing from the other animals, laughing and spreading his wide wings to get away! Then of course little hands came out of the puppet for a hug.

Available at Folkmanis. Click here