From master storyteller Kate DiCamillo comes an original fairy tale, enchantingly illustrated, in which five puppets confront circumstances beyond their control with patience, cunning and high spirits.

Once, there was a king. And a wolf. And a girl with a shepherd’s crook. And a boy with a bow and arrow. And also, there was an owl... They were puppets, and they were waiting for a story to begin.

In this new work of short fiction by twice winner of the Newbery Medal Kate DiCamillo, exquisitely illustrated in black and white by Governor General Literary Award Finalist Julie Morstad, five puppets who find themselves together in an abandoned trunk are carried off into the adventure of a lifetime.


Kate DiCamillo is one of America’s most beloved storytellers, author of The Tale of Despereaux and Flora and Ulysses, both of which have been awarded the prestigious Newbery Medal; Because of Winn-Dixie, which received a Newbery Honor; The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane, which won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Award; and the bestselling Mercy Watson series. Born in Philadelphia, she grew up in Florida and now lives in Minneapolis, USA, where she faithfully writes two pages a day, five days a week.

Julie Morstad is the illustrator of numerous acclaimed books for young readers, including House of Dreams: The Life of L. M. Montgomery by Liz Rosenberg, When Green Becomes Tomatoes by Julie Fogliano and Swan: The Life and Dance of Anna Pavlova by Laurel Snyder. She lives in Vancouver, Canada.


I’m becoming more and more convinced that the only stories Kate DiCamillo can write are those that I love. I’ve yet to find one I haven’t adored. She invites me into her imagination. She introduces me to characters who become real to me, even when they’re puppets. I smile and get misty eyed. My heart warms and my curiosity engages. I feel hope.

Schizanthus Nerd

This is a brilliant, thought provoking fairy tale, with themes of belonging and shared experiences, that is ideal for readers as young as 7 and as old as old can be.

Lamont Books

At its heart this is a story about the serendipity of life. It is also a quietly understated love story. And a story about the fulfilment of hopes and dreams.

Momo Time To Read

This is a delightful book with heart and imagination

The Book Muse

Kate DiCamillo, winner of the Newbery Medal and other awards has written another charming fable that will delight fans… Perfect for young independent readers, The puppets of Spelhorst would also make an engrossing and challenging read aloud class novel.


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