Puppet Show



TO REQUEST A PERFORMANCE, please contact Dawn via email or phone (dawn@lawnchairgardener.com or 651.485.5171) including your preferred date(s), time(s) and the location(s). To view Ms. Pape’s availability, please see the calendar below. Dawn generally confirms requests within 24 hours.



Author, licensed teacher, speaker and self-proclaimed “lawn chair gardener,” Dawn Pape shares her knowledge and passion about native bees and eco-friendly gardening with audiences of all ages. Dawn has a knack for covering heavy environmental concerns with levity, brevity and a sense of humor—even puppet shows! Not only does Dawn entertain and inspire her audiences to take action, audiences say they know where to start because Dawn gives practical how-to’s.

Ms. Pape is the author of A Lawn Chair Gardener’s Guide, Thank You, Bugs! Mason Meets a Mason Bee and Mason Meets a Mason Bee with K-5 Educator’s Guide. Dawn has a Masters in Environmental Education, founded the Blue Thumb-Planting for Clean Water® program, and has served as a Master Gardener volunteer for 18 years. She and her husband reside near St. Paul, Minnesota with their two young boys. Dawn’s small company has a big goal: make the world a better place—one yard at a time. And she proudly shares her profits with community organizations. (Find out more about fundraising opportunities.)

Website puppet showTARGET AUDIENCE: 

Puppet Show: preK-grade 2 or 3

Why & How to Host Gentle Mason Bees: grades 3-adult

Make Your Yard Work for You & the Earth Too: adults


30-60 minutes per group depending on group’s preference. (Note: Maximum of 3 performances in a day, please. The stage is 6′ h x 8′ w so it works best with a maximum of three classes at a time so all kids can see puppets.) Dawn has a microphone system so large spaces like gyms and cafeterias work fine.


I. Gathering songs (2-3 min.)

To teach (or reinforce) the body parts of insects

II. Ask kids if they think bugs do “more good” or “more bad” (2-3 min.)

Reveal some interesting and crazy ways insects help us and reinforce the importance of insects–especially pollinators–even if we don’t always appreciate insects

III. Author reading of Thank You, Bugs  (5 min.)

This fun rhyming book teaches kids the positive and negative aspects of bugs. It reinforces that even though some bugs are creepy, many bugs are extremely important because they help make our food.

IV. Overview of mason bees and their life cycle (5 min.)

Kids learn surprising facts about native bees and how they differ from honey bees

IV. Puppet Show of Mason Meets a Mason Bee (12-15 min.)

Summary of book/show: Like many kids, Mason is afraid of bees. Find out how an encounter with a mason bee changes Mason’s life and makes him feel like a superhero!

V. Q&A (5 min.) or Pollination Activity

Kids put on bee costumes and try their hand (or bellies!) at pollination

VI. Extended lessons depending on amount of time available covering

Differences between social v. non-social bees

How to host mason bees

Review ways to help and protect bees that was covered in the puppet show


“This is a great book–not only for kids, but also for parents and teachers. Kids will enjoy learning trivia, while adults stand to learn as much as the kids, and will appreciate the resource in the back as well. Best of all, parents may face pressure from their kids to actually use those resources. The rhyming style of this book reminds me of Dr. Seuss, and The Lorax in particular for its environmental message. The rhymes are clever and well thought-out…The book has a clear message–protect the bees–and delivers it effectively…”

Joel Gardner, University of Minnesota Bee Lab Research Associate with Marla Spivak

“This book is a must have in all science classrooms. The precise photographs guide the story of Mason’s journey through observation and scientific inquiry with mason bees. The creative rhythm and rhyme draws listeners in with every page turn. Be sure to take advantage of the additional resources to extend your learner’s love and quest for knowledge. Creative and informative for all ages, children love it!”

Kara Cassidy, Kindergarten Teacher

“This is a cute tale … about a boy who meets a bee and each of them is afraid of the other. The bee explains that it is a mason bee and does not want to sting, but pollinates plants to make food for people. Mason also gets to hear about insecticides and other issues for beneficial insects.

There are lovely colourful photos on every page. At the end are lessons and more detailed information for adults. This would be good for a class nature table or a family reading session and should help to educate young people about nature.”

— Claire O’Beara, award-winning fiction and non–fiction author

“This book is a dynamite teaching tool and a must for schools, libraries, garden centers, grandparents and parents–and anyone else who likes to eat. Bursting with critical and timely information about the importance of pollinators, this lovely picture storybook delights, motivates and informs the reader. As gardeners become aware of the myriad of bees in their backyard, learning about common and wonderful pollinators like the mason bee is a must. The interplay of the pictures and words illustrate big topics in an understandable way-teaching young gardeners that there ARE gentle bees in the backyard and we shouldn’t be afraid of them. They are necessary for growing our food!”    

  — Dave Hunter, Crown Bees

Pape does a wonderful job addressing the common fear of children (and adults) that bees are aggressive and should be avoided. By focusing on a mason bee, she highlights the differences between these solitary bees and honey bees. This book is a fantastic introduction to the world of wild bees and pollination for children, and an excellent tool for parents to learn more about wild bees and why they need our collective help.

Mason Meets a Mason Bee is a delightful story about a young boy (Mason) who meets a talking mason bee. The mason bee helps Mason overcome his fear of insects (and bee stings) and shows him how he pollinates flowers, providing the fruit and vegetables that Mason likes to eat. The bee also conveys to Mason how he can help the bee thrive by planting native plants throughout the growing season.”

— Heather Holm, author of Pollinators of Native Plants

“A wonderful story about a boy and a bee with the same name. The bee educates the boy and the reader on the importance of insects in our world. This was a fun, fact filled book that lets everyone who reads it know what they can do to help take care of our planet.”

— Cindy Musslewhite, Goodreads Five-Star Review

Mason Meets a Mason Bee by Dawn Pape is a book that should be on bookshelves and classrooms everywhere. It is about Mason who is afraid of bees. One day he meets a mason bee and learns that bees are also afraid of people. This book is a fun and educational way learning about bees. It is told in a rhyming way, it’s informative and done in such a cute way. A great read aloud. This book is also a good teaching tool and in the back of the book you will find science lessons. The illustrations are clear and bright and the colors really stand out. I gave this book 5 stars but it truly deserves many more. I highly recommend this book to everyone and anyone who has young children or work with young children. I look for more by Dawn Pape.”

— Marjorie Boyd-Springer, Net Galley Review

A delightful story with a serious real-life message, MASON MEETS A MASON BEE photographically illustrates the encounter of a young boy named MASON, with a type of bee [New to me!] which daily pollinated 100 times the amount of a honeybee. This particular Mason bee is both verbal and voluble, and instructs his namesake on several important lawn and garden matters.

The book also appends explanations, research, and links. The author, Dawn Pape, is the Lawn Chair Gardener.

— Mallory Heart Reviews, Five-Star Review


Please email dawn@lawnchairgardener or call or text 651.485.5171 with questions or requests for date(s), time(s) and location(s). She aims to reply within 24 hours.



Looking for a way to cover the cost of this performance or fund other activities? How about having your school or organization sell some books? It’s super easy. Prior to the author visit, print off an order form (below) and send it home with your kids. Let the author know the sales total before the visit so she can bring the signed books with her.

Example: Your school (or community organization!) sells 30 books that retail for $10 for a total of $300 in sales. Half ($150) of that amount covers the cost of the book, the other $150 is donated to your school.

If your school would rather offer the books at a 50% discount, just sell twice as many books to get to $150 profit for your school. (NOTE: People like a deal. People tend to buy a lot more if they feel like they’re getting a deal!)

Download Book Order Forms

Puppet Show Info & Book Order Form

Puppet Show Info & Book Order Form (offered at a 50% discount)