A little gem from the literacy conference.
It's a knitted book bag, with finger puppets that adhere with snaps to the bag. A knitted string lets the child hang it around her neck and take it anywhere.
Each bag has a theme. For instance, the Ocean bag has a handpainted ocean scene, and it comes with a clownfish, a crab, a mermaid, an octopus, a sea turtle, a seal, a shark and a starfish.
The idea is that you put a book, or a couple of books, into the bag.
There's a list of book suggestions for each bag. For the Ocean bag, they suggest Baby Beluga, by Raffi and Commotion in the Ocean, by Giles Andreae (and eight others).
Then, wherever your little reader goes, she carries an entire puppet show with her.
Interacting with literature is definitely a great way to get kids reading.
The bags are made in Bolivia by indigenous peoples; it's a Fair Trade project, benefitting both countries and helping families in Bolivia earn a living wage.
You can purchase a bag, a product the owner calls 3 Bags Full, from her website.
And speaking of the owner - here she is. Her name is Sue Berlove, and boy, she is passionate about what she does. Do visit her website. For one thing, they have way better pictures of her bags than the one I've used here (taken myself, as if you didn't know.)