I'm an actor by trade, and recently got to perform with the Rogue Artists Ensemble, a magical group of madmen, in a production based on Neil Gaimon & Dave McKean's graphic novel THE TRAGICAL COMEDY OR COMICAL TRAGEDY of MR. PUNCH in Los Angeles.
To research the role of a Punch and Judy professor, I bought 6 books on puppeting...this hands down gave the most useful information for the least amount of money. Completely unpretentious. Enough detail to get you started to build and work with hand puppets and keep you busy for a year.
If you want a more in depth book, try PUPPETS AND PUPPET THEATRE
by David Currell, another wonderful book, but not one you can breeze through. Combine them on the same bookshelf would be my best suggestion.