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Tail of the Week: Raccoons!

Raccoons have spectacular tails! They are long and bushy and have stripes (14 – 16 to be exact).

Raccoons are creatures of the night – perhaps you’ve seen one in your backyard. They like to forage for food, and their paws are shaped like tiny hands, so they might even take the lid off your trash can if they smell food in it. The black fur across their faces looks like a robber’s mask.

Author Audrey Penn has several stories about raccoons in the library’s picture book area, including A Pocket Full of Kisses. Rosemary Wells features raccoons in her Max and Ruby series. And for a fun, fast-paced read-aloud, try Francine Poulet Meets the Ghost Raccoon, an early chapter book by Kate DiCamillo.

Extend the story by checking out some information books about raccoons next time you visit the Library – and create a raccoon stick puppet with triangle shapes at home today!

Triangle Raccoon Puppet

What you need:

  • Paper (any kind)
  • Scissors
  • Black marker or crayon
  • Paint (white and brown)
  • Small sponge (cosmetic sponge is perfect)
  • Glue stick
  • Cardboard strip (for handle)

What you do:

  • Cut 2 large triangles and 1 slightly smaller triangle. The large ones should be about the size of your hand and can be any angle.
  • Take one of the large triangles and glue the smaller one at the top to form the raccoon’s head and body.
  • Take the other large triangle and glue it near the bottom at the side to form the raccoon’s tail.
  • Use the black marker to draw a large circle for the nose at the bottom point of the head, then draw the two ears at the two top points.
  • Use the black marker to draw two sideways triangles across the face for the raccoon’s “mask.”
  • Make the eyes by cutting out two white circles then glue them over the raccoon’s “mask” and draw eyes on them.
  • Draw 14 black stripes on the raccoon’s tail.
  • Put a tiny bit of white paint on a plastic take-out container or a piece of scrap paper.
  • Dab the sponge into the paint and then dab it again on a piece of scrap paper so there isn’t too much paint. Dab the paint across the raccoon’s forehead and around the nose.
  • Dab some fur on the raccoon with the white and brown paint.
  • Glue or tape the cardboard strip on the back of the raccoon for a handle.

Your Raccoon Stick Puppet is ready for a show! Put on a little night music (maybe some Mozart?) and help your raccoon sneak around the house looking for snacks.

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