Guide to great puppetry books

The majority of these books are available either or new or used through Amazon or other web sites and I’ve provided links to where they can be purchased (where possible). A few are older, out-of-print titles that can often be borrowed either from your local library or through inter-library loans (ask your local librarian for details).

Puppet Building Books


The Foam Book

By Drew Allison & Donald Devet

For many years this was the beginner’s bible for soft-foam puppet construction and it’s still a great resource for learning basic, straightforward methods for building foam hand and rod puppets.

Figure Making Can Be Fun?!?: A complete guide to making a professional ventriloquist figure

Figure Making Can Be Fun?!?

By Michael Brose

Quite possibly the best book ever written explaining how to make Ventriloquist figures, the section on mechanics is an extremely useful resource for learning how to make moving/blinking eyes and other types of mechanical effects for your puppets.

Hand and Rod Puppets: A Handbook of Technique

Hand and Rod Puppets

By Hansjürgen Fettig

This is one of the best sources of information on puppet mechanisms available. A few of the designs are technically inaccurate, but this is a must-have book if you’re seriously interested in puppet mechanics.

Marionette Sourcebook

By Luman Coad

Although it’s not exactly a step-by-step guide for beginners, this is an incredibly useful sourcebook for designing marionettes.

Puppet Planet

By John Kennedy

A follow-up to John’s popular Puppet Mania! craft book, this is filled with lots of great puppet making projects that will give young puppet makers a solid foundation in basic puppet construction skills.

Puppet Play

By Diana Schoenbrun

A fun book with lots of great ideas for creative, easy-to-make puppets. If you’re looking for ideas for puppets that children can make, this is one of the best resources you’ll find. Diana is also the author of Make Your Own Sock Puppets!

Books with great puppet activities for children