Puppets: Man, Child, 3-6 Farm Animals
Prop: Boat (box lid, shallow tub, almost anything big and flat works)
Presenters: One with puppets, two if acted out
Audience: Toddler, Preschool
This classic picture book is one of my favorites to tell with puppets. The story and puppetry are both simple: Mr. Gumpy is about to take a boat ride on the river when a child comes along ans asks to join him (it's two kids in the book, but one works better with puppets). "Yes," says Mr. G., "but you mustn't squabble."
A series of animals comes one by one to join the outing. Mr. Gumpy allows each one to climb aboard, but always with a warning (“don’t muck about” to the Pig is my favorite). Off they go, and everything’s fine until…”the pig mucked about…the dog teased the cat…the child squabbled…and the boat tipped over and they all fell into the river.”