"A Soup Opera" by Jim Gill (with puppets)

If you have a group of children's librarians, and you ask them who their favorite musician for kids is... you're probably going to hear Jim Gill's name come up a lot. And for good reason! Jim's songs are interactive, which is the kids love and his voice is much more pleasant to adult ears than some other performers I won't name.

I've had the pleasure of seeing Jim perform live a few times in the Grand Rapids area and he always puts on a great show. One of the best parts is when performs his book A Soup Opera with puppets made from the illustrations in his book. I decided to make my own version using coloring pages I found on the Internet and paint stirrers.

The only tricky thing about this one is making sure the voices and puppets match gender-wise. I did drop The Mayor from my version because I don't think preschoolers really grasp the different between a mayor and the president and it also goes on a little long. This show is easy to put on by yourself. I copied Jim's idea and wrapped black paper around a cardboard box. Then I cut slits into it just big enough to stick the puppets in.

Don't know this book? Here's a video of Jim acting it out live.

This also makes a great play for kids to put on at school or if you do a theater club at your library, try this one out. Nobody will forget their lines! 


  1. I love his stuff (and have seen him perform it live). I am looking forward to doing it myself!

  2. This will make a very entertaining storytime!

  3. oh my gosh - LOVE this! I will need to practice - I want to do it. I have never seen Jim Gill perform. Wow, I want to. Thanks for the video and the idea. Fabulous!

  4. I am laughing so hard! That is a very fun way of doing this song. I will have to get the CD because I think this is a MUST-DO for me ~ live action! I have most of the props and costumes including the BIG pen. :)
    I think I'll use some grade schoolers as the characters. I have a number of older kids who attend storytime who would be perfect for a few of these characters. Lol!
    Thanks for sharing the video. It is awesome!
    ~ K ~

  5. Great use of the paint stirrers -- I bet those hold up much better than popsicle sticks!

  6. I recently discovered Jim Gill and am loving him! I do agree that he is palatable to ears of all ages. :)

    I can't wait to try this idea out!

  7. Someone just referred me to your post! Thanks for those kind words about my music..... and I'm so glad that you enjoy my book A SOUP OPERA enough to share it with folks during story time!

    You made my day!


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