In earlier years, Dr. Elana Ashley began creating a variety of different types of puppets – finger puppets, hand puppets, string puppets, and sci-fi/fantasy figures, and taught puppet workshops for kindergarten through eighth grade students. During those years & building into the future, Ashley was joined by a team of professional puppets in programs at schools, libraries & community centers ─ vent figures whose dramatic flair & spontaneous humor added to the delight & engagement of young & older audiences.

Her five-foot, educational partner Spokespuppet Splunkunio Splunkey® has participated with her over the years in large scale, school assemblies for children, as well as in literary assemblies for students and/or families. Splunkey became the leading force in the development of a children’s book series which was named after him ─ Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker. See the section Books for Children to learn more.

Bullying has been an ongoing problem for children and adults, an issue which has become more prominent because people have been more openly talking about these types of abusive behaviors going on in their lives and in the lives of friends and family. People have become more and more direct and honest in talking about such personal events over recent years.  Dr. Ashley started a Local Book Tour in the Chicago metropolitan area which is providing her with opportunities to speak about her two newest children’s books ─ Big Bully Holly Howler in English and in English-Spanish ─ with children, families, teachers and other interested adults.

It is Ellie Elephant, who, along with her friends, are being victimized by Bully Holly Howler at their school. Wanting to help Dr. Ashley spread the word about bullying and anti-bullying efforts, Ellie has been accompanying the author to a variety of organizations in nearby communities in the fall and winter of 2015, and has committed herself to joining Ashley in her 2016 presentations. Dr. Elana Ashley and Super-Star Puppet Ellie Elephant look forward to presenting programs in schools, libraries, book stores and for other interested companies to help empower people with anti-bullying know-how and strategies.  

The first week of March, 2016, Dr. Ashley was displaying her books with other exhibitors and sponsors at the National Association for Bilingual Education 45th Annual Conference conducted at the Chicago Hilton Hotel March 2nd - March 5th, an exhibit especially for NABE members. The author had a fabulous opportunity to not only interest, but also excite a very large number of professional, bilingual educators, as well as graduate students in the field, coming to attend the conference from throughout the United States. Many people had the opportunity to watch Dr. Ashley recite selections from her books, taking on the voices and personalities of her puppet storybook characters, an especially entertaining experience which Ashley feels will create some wonderful opportunities to extend her local book tour into a national book tour.

Kicking off events with children in 2016, Ashley and Ellie were delighted to present a dramatic storytelling followed by an interactive discussion about bullying with children [preschool through second grade classes] at St. Norbert School in Northbrook, Illinois the morning of March 9th. To learn more about the program, refer to News and Reviews ─ Program Reviews.

From the photograph above, you are probably becoming aware of the fact that Dr. Ashley is the proud mother of eight, adoring children. When the family gets together, they create craziness, fun and magical possibilities!

Puppets are a fabulous medium for the open expression of thoughts, feelings, hopes and dreams. To learn more about how your organization can participate in Dr. Elana Ashley's 2016 National Book Tour: Empowering Children and Adults with Anti-Bullying Strategies, a tour which provides varied program options, e-mail  call 847.480.8998.