The latest Folkmanis hand puppet to come my way is the Raccoon in a Garbage Can, which seems appropriate — garbage cans are one of raccoons’ favorite places. (Trust me — I know this from personal experience. I also know that they can be absolutely fearless when you’re sitting in the back yard early in the morning — they really have no concept of personal space.)
This one is really a larger version of the Rat in a Tin Can: the garbage can and lid are covered with a silvery reflective fabric, and the raccoon inside is made of a deep plush with felt ears and paws and beady little eyes. Happily, it’s the “larger” that works for me: I have no problem fitting my admittedly not dainty hands into the puppet. It seems to work best if I insert my index finger and little finger into the arms, leaving my two middle fingers to move the head, with thumb tucked up against my palm.
The one drawback from a comfort standpoint is that the lining is somewhat rough, and the internal seams are rather bulky.
The label, for a change, does not include a story about a raccoon, but instead provides some raccoon facts: did you know that raccoons have better memories than college students? When it comes to remembering where food is, at least.
Overall, this is a creditable addition to the Folkmanis line-up — it’s really quite a charming little raccoon. And a bonus: it reminds us to “Please recycle.”
(Folkmanis Puppets, 2000)