I’ve had Lizzie for over 10 years now, and she is still a great ambassador. I found her at a craft fair, and even though, at the time, I thought she was a bit expensive, she is like a good pair of shoes- costs a pretty penny, but you get a lot of mileage out of them. Lizzie is at least 5 feet long, made of forest-green plush. She is very soft, has warm brown eyes, and for a mouth puppet, is quite expressive. When I first started using her, she read poetry (in an affected Southern accent) at storytime. I could even get away with Shakespeare in preschool storytime when Lizzie was there to read it. For a few years now, though, Lizzie has sat patiently on a bookshelf near my desk, waiting her turn to shine once again. Last year, I attended 8 preschool screening clinics, gave out library info to parents and children. I never really felt I connected with the kids at these, I was just another adult yapping away about something that didn’t mean anything to them. After the first clinic this year, I felt the same. And then I looked up and there was Lizzie, smiling knowingly from her perch on the shelf.I packed her up, and behold, now I have a way to draw in children, talk to them on their level through Lizzie, and then quickly give the parents the info they need. Lizzie breaks the barriers; she is fascinating to 3-year olds, and I am able connect with the children easily. So, my advice (freely given) is this: if ever you are tempted to purchase a puppet, and you aren’t really sure why, but you are just drawn to it for some reason, do it. That puppet can open many doors, and be your best library ambassador ever. Just ask Lizzie.
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