Flourish: Winter Tales

Our programme team has prepared a winter themed puppet activity for you to watch and participate from the comfort of your own homes.

Artist Ali Williams has written and performed 'Joe and the Snow Bro', a short story about spending your holidays away from your loved ones.

Watch Ali perform the story in the video below, and then follow the instructions in the second video to create your own puppets using everyday objects.

Read the transcripts for both videos at the bottom of this page.




Transcript of Joe and the Snow Bro, by Ali Williams

Christmas is Joe’s favourite time;
There isn’t any other,
Because at Christmas Joe will see
His long lost student brother.

But then Mum says:
‘We’re staying put - I’m sorry Joe!
We’ll miss your brother 
But we cannot go!’

That cannot be!  That’s just too bad!
Joe felt angry, cross and sad.

Then along came Maya - so he tried hard - not to cry!

‘Hiya!’ said Maya, ‘It’s been a while!
But Joe - what’s wrong? Where’s your smile?’

‘I want to see my brother but Mum says no -
We’re staying home - we cannot go!
If we could travel I’d feel better!’

“So….do something smart
Like write a letter!’

A good idea as everyone knows - 
But Joe ignored it as it wasn’t Joe’s.

‘I still want to go,’ 
He said,
‘Come out,’ said Maya, 
‘And play in the snow.’

The snow was beautiful - cold and bright 
And they had such fun and a snowball fight!

Then Maya said ‘I’ve got to go’

‘But we were having fun - in the snow!
And now I’m all alone you know!’

‘Well - why don’t you make your own snow-bro?’


And for once Joe took Maya’s advice 
And rolled some great big balls of snow.
It was cold - but fun and nice - 
Til there he was - Joe’s own Snow-bro!

Joe gave him eyes, and a nose - 
Joe had got the knack!  
And he smiled at the Snow-bro 
And the Snow-bro smiled right back.

‘What shall we do?  Where can we go?’

‘We’ll play right here!’
Said Joe’s Snow-bro.

And they played and played and 
One game after another - 
Soon Joe thought he could
Explain about his brother
And how they couldn’t visit - or at least,
So said his Mother.
And that Snow-Bro was a cheery fellow
Very smart and very mellow.

He noticed that Joe was feeling better
And said ‘Hey, Joe, why not write that letter?’

And although it had been Maya’s idea
Joe didn’t mind and gave a cheer.

He drew pictures for his brother
For Christmas as you will guess,
And his Mum helped find a stamp
And wrote out the address.

And then one day the wind blew colder
And the Snow-bro sighed,
He looked much older.

‘I’ll have to leave you soon,’ he said
The Snow-bro seemed to shrink.

‘Don’t go,’ said Joe ‘We have such fun!’
The snowman gave a wink.

‘Nothing lasts forever 
And some days are a trial!
But little acts of kindness stay 
Along with every smile.’

The next day Joe came back and saw
That the Snow-bro had quite gone -
But in the pile of snow he left
The Snow-bro’s smile still shone.

Joe thought about the Snow-bro’s words.
It made him feel much better.
And then he heard his mum call him -
‘Hey, Joe, you’ve got a letter!’


Transcript from puppet-making instructions video

Ali Williams' voiceover

I’ve used things that I’ve got in my recycling bag.

I’ve got a plastic milk bottle and I’ve got a white plastic bag - that’s for the snowman. 

Then for the little puppets I’ve got a large and two smaller yogurt pots. I don't have coloured paper so I just cut out the colours that I needed from magazines.

I have toilet roll, and I’ve cut it into segments. I have string, a felt tip, glue, sellotape and scissors.

To make the snow I’ve cut some strings.  I’ve done about five lengths of string, and they’re about 40cm long. Then for the snow I use segments of toilet paper which I’ve just twisted in the middle.

I’ve tied the twists onto one of the pieces of string, and then to make the balls I’ve just scrunched up the twists and attached them (the strings) to a piece of card.

For the snowman I’ve taken a plastic milk bottle and drawn a snowman shape on it across the front and around the sides, the same on both sides.

I’m going to cut it so we’ve got the snowman shape like that, and I’ve also trimmed the rest of the sides, and right round the sides just leaving the handle. Then I’m going to press the two sides together at the front and the back and I’m just going to sellotape them. And that is the snowman’s body. I’ve taken the label off the back as well as you can see, there we are, sellotaped at the back. 

I’ve taken the shape and shoved it into the white plastic bag, and using sellotape I’ve sellotaped it randomly at the back to give it some shape. Now the base: I folded it and pressed it in so that it will stand up, and I’ve decorated him with colours I’ve cut out from magazines and sellotaped them on.

As for Joe’s mum, Joe and Maya, I’ve used yogurt pots and decorated them with colours I’ve cut out, and faces I’ve cut out of coloured paper from magazines and sellotaped them on.  

And there we have our cast!