The Mystery of the Haunted Library
Puppet Play by Rose Treviño
Notes and Tips
This show is appropriate for children of all ages. Here are a few tips!
- Two puppeteers are needed for this puppet show. Puppeteer 1 will play the part of the girl. Puppeteer 2 will play the part of the bookworm. Both puppeteers will alternate with the other puppets. Practice and see what works best.
- Ask a volunteer or library staff member to practice with you and agree to play the part of the narrator. In keeping with the mystery theme, the narrator could wear a sleuth hat, have spyglasses around his/her neck, and wear a long dark coat. The narrator will stand in front of the stage to recite or read the lines. The narrator would also be responsible for turning the music on and off and raising and lowering the volume should you decide to include music. This is optional.
- For the backdrop, use a large piece of white fabric and draw or paint library bookshelves, books, a book cart, etc. on it. The cloth will fit easily as a backdrop and won’t wrinkle or tear like paper.
- Sleuth hat for girl puppet
- Backpack for girl puppet that says “Jackie Super Spy, Private Eye”
- Girl puppet
- Boy puppet
Narrator: Welcome to “The Mystery of the Haunted Library”. Jackie is convinced that strange things are happening in her library. Just yesterday, she was passing the folktale area when she was sure she heard a tiny raspy voice say, “Somebody’s been sleeping in my bed, and here she is!” When she looked, she didn’t see anyone. She walked around the shelves and looked in corners, but there was nobody hiding. She did see a copy of Goldilocks and the Three Bears that had fallen to the floor. So she picked it up, closed it and put it back on the shelf.
Open curtain to backdrop of library stacks.
Jackie: Something strange is going on and I’d better get to the bottom of this. I’ll come back later just before closing with my super spy private eye kit.
Close curtain briefly and then re-open. Enter Jackie wearing a sleuth hat and a backpack.
Jackie: Nobody ever checks behind the puppet stage, so I’ll just wander over there and stay still until the lights go off.
In the background, somebody says, “The Library is now closed.” Play theme music to the Pink Panther for about 10-15 seconds, then fade the music to a very low background level.
Jackie: Most of the lights are out and I heard someone set the alarm, so I guess it’s safe to check things out.
Narrator: Jackie starts to walk slowly around the library. When she gets to the picture book area, she sees movement. On closer inspection, she can see that a small worm is crawling over to a big book. Incredibly, the worm has managed to open the cover. Now Jackie can hear a rhyme:
Jack and Jill went up the hill
To fetch a pail of water,
Jack fell down and broke his crown
And Jill came tumbling after.
Jackie: Who’s there? Come out. I’ve got you surrounded.
Bookworm: Oh my! I thought I was alone. Who are you and what are you doing here?
Jackie: What do you mean, who am I, and what am I doing here? I’m the one who should be asking those questions. I can’t believe I’m talking to a worm. (To the audience) Am I really talking to a worm?
Bookworm: Excuse me, but my name is Hermie. Hermie, the Bookworm. And I live here. These are my books and inside my books are all my friends. Who are you?
Jackie: I’m Jackie, Super Spy, Private Eye and what are you talking about?
Bookworm: Every evening, I take turns visiting my friends. Why just yesterday, I couldn’t wait for the library to close to visit my friends in the woods. Baby Bear is just so adorable and I had to see him before he went to sleep.
Jackie: Baby Bear. Are you talking about the Baby Bear who goes for a walk with Mama and Papa Bear while their porridge cools?
Bookworm: Give yourself an A. You got that one right.
Giant: FEE, FI, FO, FUM, I smell the blood of an Englishman.
Bookworm: Run! Run towards the Jack and the Beanstalk book!
Chase scene occurs here. Play fast chase music from the “Mission Impossible” sound track for about 10-15 seconds
Bookworm: When the giant steps on the pages of the book, close it fast!
Sound of book slamming in the background. Giant disappears behind the stage.
Jackie: Where did he come from?
Bookworm: Someone must have left the book open just a bit, and that’s all that Giant needed to get out. Well, that should do it. Now where were we?
Jackie: We were here and I still can’t believe I’m talking to a bookworm.
Bookworm: Hermie, the name is Hermie. Now I must visit Red. That girl never takes my warning seriously. And I do worry about her.
Hermie crawls towards the fairy tale sections and starts to open the book, Little Red Riding Hood. Out pops the wolf.
Wolf: Looking for someone? Ah, and what have we here. You don’t look as tasty as bacon, (goes over to sniff Jackie) sniff, sniff, sniff - but you’ll do.
Bookworm: Don’t just stand there. Help me get him back into the book!
Jackie: But how? What should I do?
Bookworm: Run! Run before you become his supper!
Chase scene occurs here. Have fun selecting good chase music. “The Ride of the Valkyries” by Wagner is fast. When the sound of a book slamming is heard in the background, the Wolf disappears.
Bookworm: That was close! He’s a sly one. He doesn’t bother me, but I should have guessed that he’d go after someone who reminded him of Red and his supper. He wouldn’t think I was tasty enough or big enough to fill him up.
Jackie: I don’t get it. Are you trying to tell me that the book characters in all of these library books can just get up out of the pages and walk or run around the library?
Bookworm: That’s just the way it is. You’ll have to take my word for it. Oh look, here comes a little pig.
Pig: Hi, Hermie. I’m off to the fair to get apples for tonight. You didn’t by any chance see you-know-who?
Bookworm: Uh-oh! I think I just made a big mistake. We did see you know who, but thought he was after Red. He is now trapped inside the Little Red Riding Hood book.
Pig: Suits me just fine. I could do without that pesky old wolf anyway. Well, see you around.
Jackie: Now I think I’ve seen it all! Aren’t you tired? You’d think a worm would get tired really fast, but you seem to be the fastest worm I’ve ever seen.
Bookworm: Well, now that you mention it, I guess it is getting to be my bedtime. Will I see you again some time?
Jackie: Um sure! Yeah! I guess so. Well, I can’t seem to keep my eyes open. Good night.
Narrator: Jackie was so tired that she closed her eyes and immediately fell asleep.
Davy: Jackie. Wake up Jackie. It’s time to go home. The library is closing in five minutes.
Jackie: What? What did you say? Davy, have I been sleeping long?
Davy: Not long. We were picking out our library books and then you decided to sit behind the puppet stage and read for a while. When I came to get you, you were asleep. But come on, we have to check out our books.
Jackie: (to the audience) That was one strange dream!
Close curtain. Enter bookworm
Bookworm: Jackie, Super Spy, Private Eye was a fun kid. I wonder if she will come back to see me again!
Play the Pink Panther music again for about 10-15 seconds