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Puppets celebrate importance of friendship

Children of all ages welcome for Christmas story
Puppets celebrate importance of friendship

by Kyle Wells Puppets are once again returning to Powell River Public Library and this time they bring a tale of Christmas cheer and the importance of friendship.

Details of the story for the Special Christmas Puppet Show are strictly confidential by order of the library, so as to not ruin the surprise. What can be revealed is that the story is based on a popular children’s book about two very good friends who cut down and decorate a Christmas tree together. Not all goes smoothly while decorating and some disagreements arise that threaten the joy of Christmas.

“On a deeper level it’s re-evaluating what you really care about,” said co-creator Deborah Zagwyn. “It’s got a really great undercurrent to the story.”

Jeannette Jones, children services coordinator, said the puppet shows put on at the library recently have been very popular. She’s been delighted by how the children have responded to the shows and how even in an age of YouTube and smart phones how much children respond to this age-old form of storytelling.

“Children engage naturally with the puppets,” said Jones. “It’s a way of communicating with children that’s so immediate and so direct. You couldn’t have a better audience than children.”

The puppets for the show are handmade by Zagwyn and Valerie McKeen. They are made out of fabric, buttons and various other materials. Zagwyn said the eyes are the most important part of the puppet and that large defined eyes are essential for children to be able to connect to them.

Jones said she is also quickly finding out just how important the sets, costumes and other details are to creating a believable show. She said that even for a small-scale production such as this, great care has to be put into making sure everything looks proper and not thrown together.

Disagreements may arise, but Zagwyn and Jones promise the story has a happy ending and the spirit of Christmas comes out on top.

The Special Christmas Puppet Show will take place at 10:30 am on Saturday, December 17 at the library. Children two to six years old must be accompanied by a caregiver. Admission is free.