How to Make a Bookworm Puppet for 'Toto's Apple'

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It’s fall, and they’re everywhere. Apples. Apples. Apples. I’m not complaining, either. I love the fall traditions of apple picking, apple cider, and especially apple pie. I guess that’s why I fell in love with Toto's Apple

Toto is a little worm, and he loves apples, too. Well, he loves one apple in particular. The apple is up high. Toto is down low. And that’s the central conflict in this delightful new book by Matieu Lavoie. 

Toto tries and tries to get to his apple. When his plans fail, he tries again and again. When he finally succeeds, it is not in the way we expect. Toto’s Apple teaches about perseverance, ingenuity, and - well - alternative routes to happiness. 


Click to enlarge.

The illustrations in this book are crisp and bright—like all good apples. The text is simple, too, and early readers will be able to tackle it alone. It has inspired quite a bit of pretend play in my house, and I created a simple prop to facilitate that.


Click to enlarge.

Before you chick out the tutorial, though, check out this fun book list. Kids are fascinated by icky, squish earthworms. Here are five picture books staring these fascinating creatures.


Here’s how to make a bookworm finger puppet like ours. Will you play along with us?



Sharp scissors (By the way, do you have dedicated sewing scissors? I have these. I hide them away so I’m not tempted to cut paper and do everyday tasks that dull them.)

Sequins (I had a bunch on hand, but you might want these or these to make eyes.)

Needle and thread or a sewing machine (I swear by Brother sewing machines.)

Felt tipped pens

1. Fold the felt in half.

I started with a 4” by 5” rectangle. 

2. Sew the worm shape.

Sew by hand or machine. I did one of both. One looked a bit neater, but my kids didn’t care.

Felt can be a bit tricky if you are sewing on a machine. Consider slowing way down around the curves, drawing an outline to guide your needle, or pinning a piece of paper over the felt. 

After sewing, cut off the excess felt.

3. Add the eyes.

I used two sequins for my puppets—a larger white sequin and a smaller colored one to be the iris of the eye. I would love to see your versions with googly eyes, proper seed beads, or embroidery. Tag me on Instagram or Facebook.

4. Embellish.

My worm got a mouth and some body definition with fine-tipped felt pens like these

5. Play!

My two kids thought these were so silly! I loved watching them try out Toto’s ideas. 

If you make some bookworm puppets, we would love to see! Please do tag me on Instagram or Facebook with your creations.