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ASHLEY BRYAN'S PUPPETS by Ashley  Bryan Kirkus Star


Making Something from Everything

by Ashley Bryan ; illustrated by Ashley Bryan ; photographed by Ken Hannon

Pub Date: July 8th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-4424-8728-4
Publisher: Atheneum

A riveting collection of puppets made from found objects at the seashore.

Coretta Scott King–Virginia Hamilton Lifetime Achievement winner Bryan here presents the uncanny fruit of over 50 years of artistry and beachcombing. A child of the Depression, Bryan early on developed a penchant for collecting cast-off items from New York City sidewalks. As an adult, when walking the shores of Maine’s Little Cranberry Island, he does the same, now turning much of his seaside bounty into the more than 30 hand puppets captured here in exquisite detail by photographer Hannon. Not only do shells, sea glass and driftwood find new life in Bryan’s African folklore–inspired creations, but bits of net, marbles, thumbtacks, gloves, twine, all kinds of bones, watchbands, forks, fur and a bedpost—not to mention the occasional button—and more amazingly transform into appendages and accessories. As if his wildly fashioned creatures don’t have enough character, Bryan gives each of his puppets a name and poem describing both what it’s made from and its vision. Says the shamanlike Spirit Guardian: “We are born of cast-off pieces / And, like magic, brought alive / By your own imagination. / That’s the gift / By which we thrive.”

A stunning work of creative genius sure to captivate the young and lend pure delight to beachcombers of any age.

(Picture book/poetry. 4 & up)