Hand Shadows by Henry Bursill is a Project Gutenberg book that is short and sweet. I remember the contests me and my cousins used to have late in the night, between the ghost stories to create the most terrifying shadows. There was a scary spider a cousin used to throw – unfortunately that is not in the book. Thanks to haha.nu for pointing me at the right place.
Says the author:
I calculate that I put my ten fingers through hundreds of various exercises before my “Bird” took wing; my left little finger thrills at the memory of “Grandpapa”; and my thumbs gave in no less than twenty times before “Boy” was accomplished. Yet now how easy it is to make the “Duck” to quack, the “Donkey” to bray, “Toby” to wag his tail, and the “Rabbit” to munch his unsubstantial meal.
Of course the Shadows are not to be reproduced perfectly, on “one trial only”; but I believe that in each case I have drawn the due position of the fingers with such care, that the most difficult subject may be accomplished after a few minutes; nor need ingenious youth or parental fondness confine their endeavours to the sketches contained in this book. With a little ingenuity and some patience, new shadows may be produced; and not unfrequently figures appear that one never dreamed of attempting.
Again, the copyright free e-book is available:
Hand Shadows by Henry Bursill