Saying goodbye to January doesn't involve fond farewells and I feel that very strongly this year. I have been struggling to find my mojo this month- which is really unlike me. It may well be that I am feeling the early onset of menopause or maybe it's a momentary weariness not helped by our imminent departure from the European Community and there seems to be no escaping either.
As many of you might well know January is packed with trade shows from Maison et Objet, to Playtime, to Top Drawer , Spielwarenmesse, Dot to Dot , Toy Fair etc...
My trip to Maison was as wonderful as ever. I spent several hours with the magnificent Djeco seeing their new creations and playing games that I hadn't played- seventh heaven for me. Frederick who took the company over from his mother is always on hand to greet all. And as always I was amazed at the quality of the artwork from amazing illustrators that they commission for their puzzles, toys and games from Herve Tullet, Beatrice Alemagna to Sébastien Féraut aka Niark1... They have some fabulous new ideas which I really can't wait to share with you all a little later this year but for now, we have received 3 palletes of boxes from Djeco and are busy sorting our way through them and the shop is full of Djeco 'magic'.
I also made a point of popping by Wobbel's stand to catch up with their creator Hannelore Blaauw who is truly inspirational. The organic growth of their company is a wonderful tale and their approach to business is one i really respect. The Wobbel was created because Hannelore wanted to find something to help one of her sons with his motor skills and through this need Wobbel was developed with the help of designer Wouter Haine. They then saw that children enjoyed exploring them and playing with it in a multitude of different ways and from there they haven't looked back. And we are extending the range of Wobbel boards that we are stocking and they'll start arriving very soon.
Maileg's stand was stunning this year - for those of you unfamiliar with the name, they are the Danish creators of mice and rabbits of various sizes; some of whom live in matchboxes and have their own worlds- kitchens, ironing boards, skate boards....and they lend themselves to hours of imaginative play. This year I had a list of requests that folk had asked me for and I am pleased to announce that the delivery is due to arrive any day.
I've ordered lots of new goodies and they will all start arriving over the next few months - the ooh so gorgeous Mustard Shorty lockers, Skinny Lockers and baskets have arrived- more colours to follow... And they look great in Ottie and the Bea- do pop in and check them out in person, (they are gorgeous).
There have been lots of book events with various publishers introducing authors, illustrators who haev new books coming out but more of that over the weekend.