Puppet profile #4, Peeps

Peeps and me in Costa Rica

Peeps and me in Costa Rica

Peeps was a surprise. I had no intention of buying a new puppet when I wandered into the Toy Store about eight years ago, on a break between performances at the Lawrence Arts Center. He jumped onto my hand and there we were. At first, I called him Peep, but in that first performance I called him "Peepee" by mistake. Peeps is much better. 

He's young, just out of his shell. In fact, when I bring him out of the puppet bag, he's all the way inside the shell, scared. I coax him out. I love how quiet the audience is with the anticipation as his head appears slowly. If they aren't quiet, he goes back in the shell. 

Peeps has a problem, though. He's always hungry. The audience throws him worms, until he has so many that, HIC! he gets the hiccups. Then we try to get rid of them. The listeners suggest remedies. They don't work, usually, until someone (sometimes it's me) suggests peanut butter or a spoonful of sugar. Those always work. 

After that, Peeps is tired again, so he goes back into the puppet bag for his nap and we go on with the show.  

Peeps in Chile

Peeps in Chile

The children at Everest Masculino school drew pictures of the performance, including this portrait of Peeps.

The children at Everest Masculino school drew pictures of the performance, including this portrait of Peeps.



Puppet profile #3, Baby

Baby is the one on the left.

Baby is the one on the left.

Baby came to me from Molly, who beginning at the tender age of three was a fan of my puppet Trixie. Once she invited Trixie over for a sleepover. I was not invited. When Trixie hesitated, Molly suggested maybe just a playdate. When Molly was about ten, she got her own puppet, Baby. Alas, Baby wasn't as engaging as Trixie. Molly's mother Stacey called me to say that Molly would like to give me a present. 

As soon as I put Baby on my hand, I knew we were a good match. The combination of the old-man look, the wide blue eyes and the binky (a.k.a. pacifier, a.k.a. dummy, a.k.a. passy) are irresistible.

The binky is what pulls most listeners in. Baby pops it out, even when she says she won't. Usually it's a resounding "pop!" but sometimes it's more like a raspberry. Even after I put her back in the bag, after she has vanished from sight, the listeners hear the passy pop. 

Baby doesn't have another name. She's content to be like Cher or Madonna. Baby. She has many activities in the puppet bag: playing poker, making up ridiculous songs, eating tuna fish sandwiches. She prefers that Trixie not sit on her head, as that is not a good way to babysit. 

Oh, and Baby has a new binky as of last summer. It is, as she says, "Only for special, not for every day." 

Baby keeps this special pacifier in the pocket of the puppet bag. It's her Super Mario binky or her Groucho binky, and when it's upside down, it's a soul patch. It pops out of her mouth just as well as the regular binky. 

Thanks, Molly, for this amazing character!

Puppet profile #1, Billy Turtle

I've decided to do an occasional series on my handpuppets, starting with Billy, who was my first. Judy Stoughton, my boss at Russell Library in Middletown CT asked one day if I wanted to try puppets. "No. I don't use puppets." I was adamant. "Let me just give you a quick lesson." Famous last words. I was hooked. 


Name: Billy Turtle

Creator: Leslie Larson of 'And Puppets

Construction: Velour and corduroy

Disposition: Sweet and gentle

Favorite food: Grasshopper, though he gets the hiccups (similar to Peeps, who will be profiled later).

Billy came to all of my preschool storytimes at the library. He made the segues between stories and songs and was also comic relief at times. His mother was a box and his father was a snapping turtle. He says he likes to wear turtlenecks. 


Do you have any questions for Billy? He's happy to answer them!