At first glance, the need to define a hand puppet as a talking one seems odd. Of course it can speak, it's attached to a hand, which is generally just a few feet away from a mouth. When I learned that it utilizes a little recorder/speaker assembly to make it speak, I thought it was interesting, but was still a bit puzzled as to the need for it, due to the hand-mouth proximity mentioned earlier. Then I read about Bosung, and the uncle he barely knows living half a world away, and it all became clear.
Make contributor Michelle Min wanted a way for her two-year old nephew Bosung in Korea to remember his uncle living in New York, who he had only met once. So she came up with the great idea of making a hand puppet in his likeness with an integrated motion-activated recordable audio chip inside of it with the uncle's voice saying 'Bosung!' While that sounds like a job for a tech-savvy audio expert, all it really involves is buying a greeting card with the ability to record a brief audio clip, removing its guts and carefully placing it inside of the puppet.
It also, of course, involves sewing a hand puppet, but Michelle's tutorial makes it all look pretty easy. We hope Bosung enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed reading about it.
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(Images: Michelle Min)