One of my earliest shadow puppets was Sir James, inspired by a dear friend whom I liked to tease with his notions about chivalry and gender roles. Dreaming of rescuing damsels in distress, Sir James had his debut in my son’s first grade class on Valentine’s Day, where he failed to win a princess’s heart but managed to steal a kiss from the teacher instead.
- Lady or Princess
- Horse or Unicorn
Not surprisingly, my cutouts of the knight and dragon have traditionally been most favored by boys, while the princess and the unicorn were most popular with girls.
Feel free to let children play around with traditional roles: let the princess fight the dragon, make the knight dance with the jester, or let him tame rather than slay the dragon, and have all characters go for a ride on the dragon and the unicorn!