Skip to main content

Midvale Journal

A magical menagerie at Tyler Library

Jul 25, 2017 04:25PM ● By Travis Barton

Laurel Dalton shows off her sock puppet after she completed hers at the Tyler Library (Travis Barton/City Journals)

It’s been 20 years since “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” was released to the world and its magic has spawned seven books, nine movies (and counting), countless fan clubs and, in Midvale, sock puppet pets. 

Tyler Library hosted its own Magical Menagerie on July 5 where people could make their own magical pets out of sock puppets. 

“It’s a fun thing, gets the creative juices going,” said Melinda Tooley, youth services librarian. 

The Magical Menagerie was part of Salt Lake County Library system’s wizarding at the county library. Throughout June and July, the public could participate in various activities and classes at the “Diagon Alley” shops held at different county libraries throughout the valley. 

It all serves as preparation for the additionally Harry Potter-themed O.W.L Camp that was held July 10-15 at the Viridian Event Center in West Jordan. 

Room was limited for the camp so Tooley said these activities, like the sock puppet class, made it so anyone could participate even if they couldn’t go to the camp. As a former teacher and as a youth-focused librarian, Tooley said her favorite character from the Potter universe is Professor McGonagall. She says she can identify with the stern, but fair teacher. 

Tooley used her teaching skills to demonstrate how to make the sock puppets. She showed by using the heel as the top of the puppet’s head before tucking the toe so it fits in your hand and then glue the corners to keep the mouth in its place. 

After that is complete, she said, then you can “go crazy” putting on yarn for hair or buttons for eyes. 

“One of the things that’s fun about them is they are pretty easy. You can make them as hard or as difficult as you want,” Tooley said.  

While Tooley made three puppets herself— a cat, snake and turtle—she said they didn’t have to be animals. 

“That’s one of the beauties of them is they can be people, they can be animals, they can be monsters, they can be mythical creatures,” she said. 

Alexa Bacall helped her son, Kaden, make a dragon after having made a dog modeled after Fang, a character from the Harry Potter series, at the Bingham Creek Library the week before. 

“He (Kaden) loves Harry Potter, I love Harry Potter. We had to come back and make another (sock puppet),” Bacall said. 

Tooley said the wizarding theme this summer, which included other branches that had scavenger hunts and wand making, ignited people’s minds. 

“It’s a fun series, I think it really sparked a lot of kids’ imaginations,” Tooley said. “(The books have) been around a while and I know (for) my niece, and other kids I’ve known, it’s kind of lit them on fire for reading.”