Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Dressing the Naked Hand: The World's Greatest Guide to Making, Staging, and Performing with Puppets

Our long awaited, time gobbling, blogpost-robbing book is finally here . . .

Let us introduce you to

by Amy White, Mark Pulham, and Dallin Blankenship

Soon to be released (Available now), the galleys are in hand and being proofed as I 'speak'. Expected arrival is July, 2015. We can't say an exact date at the moment as there is a dock worker strike that is impacting many an impending ship arrival from China.

INCLUDED in the book is a DVD with over TWO HOURS of how-to instruction--and a bit of fun.

Also, in the book you will recognize a few locations from this blog and the Orem Public Library. We had to include them, after all, this is a library book, a storytime resource book for those of us who are all things storytime and laptime addicted. I hope you have as much fun with the book, not only in the reading of it, but also in the following of your creative muse as we teach you how to make your own puppets.


This book is unlike any other puppetry book on the market. The equivalent of taking not one, but multiple workshops on puppet construction, stage construction, with an added course in the art of puppet manipulation

Includes over two hours of step-by-step videos

Tons of illustrations, step-by-step photos, patterns, and more to make puppet-making easy.

Filled with jokes, gags, and tips from puppet characters throughout to make for a thoroughly entertaining experience.

Clear organization make it an easy, go-to manual.

Authors have over 50 years of combined experience.

The story behind the making of the book:

Mark Pulham, children's librarian, puppeteer extraordinaire, improv king, and yearly summer reading program emcee, has created and performed with his puppets at the library and elsewhere in the community for well over forty years. Known to not only for leaving the kids in a fit of giggles, but also for his ability to have the adults in his audiences streaming tears of laughter.

It's taken the last almost twenty years since I started working at the library for me to pretty much force Mark's hand and make him take me on as his apprentice puppet maker. This book is what I learned from Mark and a few other great puppet makers and performers that I corralled and convinced to teach me.

One of those others, Joe Flores, who is one of the most persistent, non-stop, and over the top creative puppet makers I've had the opportunity to work with was instrumental in getting this book off the ground. It was Joe that insisted I write the book. It was Joe that checked in with me weekly--for years--always bringing new ideas, sketching out how-to's whenever I was stumped, and providing much needed motivation. 

During our journey to publication, we found Dallin Blankenship, yet another storytime telling puppet-maker, although he hails from the nearby Provo Public Library--we'll still claim him despite being from Provo ;) --Dallin found that he was always missing characters whenever he was trying to do storytime. Not one to let a little thing like a lack of puppets dissuade him, he began making them himself. Dallin soon found an internship and then a job at The Puppet School in Los Angeles. Now, he is back in Utah and is busy pursuing his Puppet Master of the Universe Doctorate as a member of the Naked Hand team.

None of this book would have gone further than a fevered dream if not for the vision of Familius Publishing's Christopher Robbins--yeh, you know by his name he's one of us. Forever cheering me on, despite my lack of book-writing experience, Christopher, and the Familius family, never lost faith and more than that, they had my back. I can't tell you how reassuring it feels to know that I had an entire team working to make sure my mistakes got corrected, my faux pas fixed, and access to my own grammar nazi squad.

Another special, huge, tremendous, holy cow this would not have succeeded thank you to David Miles, our brilliant book designer with his mad design skills and never flagging enthusiasm for the book.

It does take a village--or, in my case, the whole city and a publishing house to boot--to succeed. Now it's your turn. Take the book for a spin, enjoy the DVD--we dare you not to laugh--and then drop us a line or two at dressingnakedhands (at) gmail

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