One of our all time favorite classic read-aloud stories is There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly Illustrations by Simms Taback. This version is so colorful and entertaining. Our kids enjoy watching the cut out circle that shows you what the old lady has eaten and a preview of what is to come on the next page.
Scholastic also has a great video with music to read along with and watch. They have more great activitiy ideas to go along with this book.
I found this great puppet in a teacher's store 12 years ago and decided to get it for my mother-in-law as a gift since she collected puppets that went with books. Large Puppet by Alma's Design
I always wanted my own once I had kids but could never afford it so I decided to make my own. Here is what I came up with, using the real puppet as an example (with no pattern). I found cute calico fabric, brownish grey yarn for hair, great cream lace for trim. I made sure she has a large tummy to hold all the props. I found other little toys and made a felt cat to use for props for her to eat. The kids love to move her arms to help her eat.
Then, a few years after making the one in brown, I found the original at a yard sale for $3. She was missing her nose but I couldn't pass her up.
There are a variety of new versions written by Lucille Colando, illustrated by Jared D. Lee.
I adapted my props to go with this new book. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves (Perhaps she'll sneeze). She eats some leaves, a shirt, some pants, a pumpkin, a pole, some hay and rope. At the end she does sneeze and the kids all guessed that it would make a scarecrow. The rhyming and illustrations were great again. I borrowed our teacher's extra large version and sat the old lady on my lap while I gave each child a prop to take turns putting it in. They asked to read it again as they love hands-on activities with books. (As do I.)