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Book Review: Sock Puppet Madness!

Book Review: Sock Puppet Madness!

By Becky Ferreira

We featured a slideshow of work by sock puppet genius Marty Allen a few months ago, and have a huge update: Marty has published a book! Sock Puppet Madness will be published on March 14, and is packed full of essential information for anyone who loves to craft, including how to properly wield "the (Sacred) Hot Glue Gun (of Power)."

But this book is so much more than a DIY puppetry guide. It's more like a manifesto for how to succeed in life as a creative nerd, and that's what makes it so refreshing. The instructions for building Marty's trademark puppets are comprehensive, but right up top, he makes it clear that he hopes people come up with their own designs. The book is intended to be used as a jumping-off point for other inventive crafters to populate what he calls "Sock Puppet City (one of the Seven Layers of Space)."

Okay, let us explain the whole Seven Layers of Space thing. Not only has Marty developed dozens of sock puppet characters, he's also given each of them a backstory that interlocks into a larger mythology involving flying burritos, wizards who use their power to speed up pizza delivery, and noses that can connect various layers of space. In fact, reading through the explosively imaginative descriptions of each character is the most delightful part of the book. Spot the Elusive Dinosaur has narcolepsy, and fell asleep for 65 million years only to awaken to find all his friends long extinct. Puppytron 5000 is a puppy from the future (but only by eleven days into the future, where he reports everything is A-okay). There are also historical figure puppets, which share some characteristics with their namesakes. For example, the Abraham Lincoln puppet was the 16th President of Sock Puppet USA. But since sock puppets are invincible, puppet Lincoln was not successfully assassinated, and instead retired to a llama farm. Obviously.

The sheer inventiveness of this book is contagious, and it's simply a great tool to get your own creative juices flowing. Marty clearly places no limits on his own imagination; there is nothing too weird, specific, or outlandish for Sock Puppet Madness. Any nerd embarking on his/her own creative venture could benefit from his example.

Check out Marty's website here!

Tags: toys, fun, puppets, reviews, books-and-comics, imagination

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About the Author
Becky Ferreira

Becky Ferreira is a writer, performer, and raptor based in New York.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.