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  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780143775683
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $18.99


What would you do if you accidentally created a barking-mad glove puppet, with sharp teeth, a fierce attitude and an unpredictable mouth?

A boy and a fast-talking terrier glove puppet form a hilarious double act in this warm and funny illustrated novel for readers eight years and older.

Twelve-year-old Freddie Foxworthy just wants to do arts and crafts. He finds them a lot easier to deal with than his peers, and far more rewarding. His latest project is to create the perfect glove puppet from papier-mache. But when ashes from his metalhead neighbour’s deceased bull terrier get into the mix, he finds he has accidentally made a growling puppet with an unpredictable mouth!

Freddie has an overload of mysteries to solve – who is to blame for the late Masher’s death? Was Masher responsible for the disappearance of a neighbourhood cat? And, most of all, is Masher actually for real? Surely Freddie couldn’t be causing all this chaos himself?

Masher is acclaimed author, illustrator and arts-and-crafts guru Fifi Colston's warm and funny novel about animal companions, imaginary friends, perceived enemies, and finding your happy place.

No dogs or papier-mache were harmed in the making of this book.

  • Published: 3 May 2022
  • ISBN: 9780143775683
  • Imprint: Puffin
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $18.99

About the author

Fifi Colston

Fifi Colston is a straight-up creative with her fingers in many arty pies. She is an award-winning junior-fiction novelist and illustrator of more than 30 children’s books including the bestselling Pearl in a Whirl by Catherine Robertson, Marvellous Marvin by Nadia Lim and the Little Yellow Digger stories by Peter Gilderdale and the Storylines Notable Junior Fiction novel Masher. She is also a poet and a television presenter of arts and crafts — firstly on TVNZ’s ‘What Now’ and then ‘The Good Morning Show’. She has been creating World of Wearable Arts designs and has been a finalist and an award-winner many times over. She has also worked in the New Zealand TV and film industry as a costumier, puppet maker and illustrator and trainee scriptwriter. In between writing and creating, Fifi enjoys visiting schools and community groups, inspiring budding artists and writers through workshops in creative process.

Also by Fifi Colston

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Praise for Masher

Masher has a very likeable main character who you will to solve the mystery. Plus wonderfully unique secondary characters, and a scary by loveable dog puppet. But it's the last character who will melt your heart ... this hilarious mystery story [is] for 8-12 year old readers. Your kids will laugh out loud and it'll brighten your day, too.

Maria Gill, Kids Books NZ

A story as quirky as this just has to be good, and it is.

Desna Wallace, Book Trailers 4 Kids & YA

[L]iterally a shaggy dog story for intermediate and junior readers and it is very funny. Reluctant boy readers in particular will love it

Bob Docherty, Bob's Book Blog

[L]augh out loud funny...An entertaining and highly relatable read for middle grade / tween readers

Adele Broadbent, What Book Next?

A brilliant, funny and touching novel that captures the essence of being a kid.

National Library: Our Best Children's and YA Books for 2022

Imagine if a dead dog's ashes got mixed up in a glove puppet's papier-mache head. The multi-talented Colston...gives a devilish twist to a bog-standard craft project.

Ann Packer, NZ Listener 50 Best Kids' Books

What a legend Colston is. This latest is the tale of a dog-ghost-that-animates-a-hand-made-hand puppet resulting in carnage and chaos. Funny and action-packed and full of craft (sorry but we had to). It’s red and Christmassy and will be just the thing for that Boxing Day laze. Especially great for kids who like hands-on fun and games.

The great, late Christmas book guide for kids, The Spinoff

Freddie's voice shines throughout this warm, funny story about companionship, friends, enemies and the choices we make.

NZ Booklovers

Awards & recognition

Storylines Notable Book Award

Awarded  •  2022  •  A Storylines Notable Junior Fiction Book

NZ Booklovers Award

Shortlisted  •  2023  •  NZ Booklovers Award for Best Junior Fiction Book

Discover more

Masher finger puppet activity

Make It If You Dare!