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How the Hoogie Puppet Came to Be

Hoogie LIVE!

Hoogie the Puppet

I commissioned a very talented lady to create a puppet of Hoogie this past summer. As you’ll see from the first photos below, she did a wonderful job. The problem was that as lovely as her puppet was, it didn’t completely look like Hoogie to me. The fur was close, but not perfect; the eyes were a little too big and close together; the face was too thin.

I am definitely not a puppet maker (!), but I visited a fabric store in September with a thought to make some little tweaks in an effort to bring the puppet closer to Dean Griffith’s rendering of Hoogie in the book. The result? I ended up covering the original puppet with friendlier fur, smaller and more widely spaced eyes, a wider face (with whiskers like Hoogie has in the book), a dress that matched the book, etc.

I think both puppets are great (see the photos below), but the new one feels more like Hoogie to me. Let me know what you think!

Hoogie Puppet 01 - Before

Hoogie – Just before we start

Hoogie Puppet 02

The first pattern pieces

Hoogie Puppet 03

There’s Hoogie’s mouth!

Hoogie Puppet 04

Hoogie’s Head!

Hoogie Puppet 05

Everything but Hoogie’s face!

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The original Hoogie puppet finished! We visited with the real Hoogie (left) on Middle Child Day in Guelph, Ontario (where the real Hoogie is attending University of Guelph)

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Just about to start again (of course I couldn’t have created the new Hoogie from scratch … the original puppet created was vital as a base for the new puppet)

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New head (the old head is under the new head). The wider shape is more like Hoogie in the book.

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New eyes (a little smaller and wider apart)

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Just before I sew on Hoogie’s ears

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Comparing Hoogie’s new face to the book illustration (Hoogie the puppet is looking a wee bit distressed here!)

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Her new dress is now the same as the one Dean Griffiths painted in the book, but a little too tight at the bottom. I had to rip that seam open to give her more room.

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Sometimes Hoogie feels like the hole in the middle of a donut! (She had a little trouble getting that donut over her eye here!)

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Hoogie attends the Vaughan Book Fair

Author Helaine Becker, the Beautiful Pink Queen, Hoogie and I at Vaughan Public Library's Bookfest

Hoogie and I with Canadian author Helaine Becker (left) and a little princess who stopped by at the Vaughan Book Fair

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