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Playtime Puppet Theater

Date: 1974
Publisher: Western Publishing Company, Inc. / Small World Enterprises



The Neighborhood of Make-Believe Playtime Puppet Theater was published in 1974 by Small World Enterprises and originally sold for the cover price of $1.29.

The back cover offers a description of this publication in an address to parents:

"This is one of a series of products developed in cooperation with Fred M. Rogers, creator of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood," the award-winning public television program for chidren. Both the prograrm and the materials based on it encourage children to be themselves, to imagine, to create, to cope with feelings and new ideas -- and through all these things, to learn and to grow.

This Fold-out Playbook is a set-up replica of the television Neighborhood of Make-Believe, where any pretend events can happen, where thoughts and feelings are played out and dealt with. Here, too, are stick puppets -- the easiest kind for small children to handle -- so youngsters can dramatize their very own make-believes."

The images below show the details of the fold-out background complete with King Friday's castle, X and Henrietta's tree, Corney's factory, and Daniel's clock. Strangely absent from the scenery is the Museum Go-Round, although Lady Elaine Fairchilde is included among the puppets.

Daniel's clock comes in the form of a punch-out as does the Neighborhood Trolley.

The characters themselves are very similar to those found in the Mister Rogers storybooks published around this same time -- in fact, the illustrator may very well be the same person. As you can see, the stick puppets were done quite well as a less-detailed version may not have included a view of each character's back. Once each piece was removed, the front and back pieces were placed together. The base of the front piece wrapped around that of the back forming a "stick" with the character's name on the front.

Included were King Friday XIII, Grandpere, X the Owl, Henrietta Pussycat, Queen Sara Saturday, Mrs. Platypus, and even a small Prince Tuesday that could be hooked into the arms of his mother...


...also, Cornflake S. Pecially, Daniel Tiger, Dr. Platypus, Edgar Cooke, Lady Elaine Fairchilde, and Donkey Hodie.


Appearing In This Book

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Content copyright © The Fred Rogers Company. Used with permission.
Corner image by Spencer Fruhling. Used with permission.
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