Reply To: Question for puppet people

Welcome Forums NSN Forum Storytelling Resources Question for puppet people Reply To: Question for puppet people


From: Victoria G Dworkin
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 02:25:25 -0500

I have a much smaller version of the Folkmanis red and gold Chinese dragon puppet, maybe 10 inches or a foot long?,, and also a small red Folkmanis dragon finger puppet (which has wings, so it is European rather than Asian, but I use it anyway). I most frequently use them both to tell the story of the carp that was determined to become a dragon, and swam through all the rivers of the world seeking the Dragon’s Gate, having heard that a carp with the persistence to swim up the Dragon’s Gate (a waterfall) could become a dragon – if it could then pass the dragon that is guarding the gate. I use the Chinese dragon puppet as the dragon guarding the gate, and the finger puppet as the baby dragon that the carp turns into after succeeding in passing all of the obstacles. I use a laminated paper stick puppet of a Chinese carp painting for most of the story, and bring the dragon in near the end, which is quite effective. The puppet does not have to be “on” for the entire story. When I was in China with Eth-Noh-Tec in 2006, we saw a waterfall in Yunnan that was considered to be the Dragon’s Gate, and had a statue at the top to demonstrate the story. I share that at the end of the story, since that makes it “real” to the children listening, although I tell them that there are other places in China that also claim to be Dragon’s Gate.

Telling with a puppet a yard long might be difficult, although I have told the story of Frog and Snake are friends using a large Folkmanis toad puppet myself, and a yard-long stuffed toy snake that was manipulated by a volunteer child from the audience. I told the story with Frog as “my” character, and she had to follow my cues to act out Snake’s part. That worked very well.

Both Fran Stallings and I are doing puppet workshops (separately) at the LANES Sharing the Fire conference in Plymouth, MA March 24-26. There will also be a puppet story swap on Friday night of the conference, that Gail Herman, Hope Lewis, and I are organizing. Puppets will be available to borrow for those who have never tried telling with them before. Take a story you know well enough to tell, match it with one or more of the puppets available, and see how you can integrate the puppet into the story, keeping to a five-minute time slot, or bring your own puppet and story and show us how you do it. If anyone is interested in learning more about storytelling with puppets, this would be a great conference to come to. Not to mention all the other wonderful stuff that will be happening at the conference. For more information, go to


On Tue, Feb 7, 2017 at 10:23 AM, Jane DorFman <> wrote:
Several years ago I bought a Folkmanis Chinese Dragon puppet at a yard sale.

He’s more than a yard long, red and gold, quite smashing, movable mouth, eyes, and tongue (if one has six fingers) and slightly scary.

I’ve never used him.

Can anyone think of a story that might go with him? I know the picture book ‘Everyone Knows What a Dragon Look Like,’ but the dragon in all his glory only comes on at the end. There is also one where a boy turns into a dragon–it has the origins of the pearl you see in Chinese dragons’ mouths. Something simpler would be good.


Scroll to Top