Not happy to settle with just producing their gorgeous handcrafted wooden peg dolls which are produced under fair trade conditions in Bogotá, Colombia, Anna and Juan Donado, the amazing couple behind the brand, have now turned their passion and energy to a new element of their company, book publishing!
Their first book, the (Not so )Blank Henry is self published and I find it so utterly inspiring to see small businesses venture out and create something new!
The boys were over the moon to be sent a copy of the board book and their new family DIY kit to test out and review.
The book starts with Henry waking up for his day and thinking about how he might like to dress, seeing as though he is a peg doll, he gets to choose his hair colour and his clothing. He chooses to dress like a cowboy before switching to becoming an artist until finally he erases all his clothing and goes back to sleep for the evening. But he is happier than he was at the beginning of the day because he made decisions, for himself.
As someone who has always struggled with making decisions ( I blame my Piscean star sign on that one), this book resonates with me as an adult and for my kids, the book resonated with them as they saw themselves in Henry. As a child they know that are now starting to make their own decisions in what they wear, what to play with and who to be friends with at school. They are starting to become their own people and learning that the decisions they make, can affect them and those around them.
Although it is quite a simple premise on the surface, when you dig deeper, the book can be used on many levels to help your child develop a greater understanding of themselves and how the decisions they make, will guide their life journey.
After we devoured the book, we opened up the family DIY kit which has 5 wooden peg dolls. The boys decided that they wanted to paint Henry first. We had a look at Goose Grease’s You Tube channel for some ideas and took a look their Instagram account.
Jasper decided on the hair design, colour and helped me to draw it in pencil on Henry. Then together we helped to paint him. We then did the same with the Mum and Dad. Again Jasper helping to design and then paint some of the peg dolls.
We left 2 blank as thought we would come back at a later time to design and decorate them. The boys also decided that their peg dolls should have a beaded love heart rug to symbolise their love that is within a family unit. I thought that was a very sweet touch and showed just how much they really adored this DIY project.
Originally we had thought we would paint stripes on the Dad’s shirt but in the end I made a bit of a mess of it, so he ended up just having a plain white shirt! 😉
We also ended up making some wooden chalkboard houses to give our little family somewhere to live as the kids decided they needed a home!
I have to say overall I was a little nervous about painting our own dolls but with a pencil and eraser we were able to create some pretty fab wooden peg dolls, if i do say so myself! We did need to use the sandpaper that the kit comes with to help clean up a few painting mistakes. I even said to the boys to just paint them how they would like, ie splatter, or spots or anything. But they were quite decisive in that they wanted their peg people to look like little people. That new found bravery they had discovered after reading about Henry, was already shining through!
It has been an exciting year for so many wooden toy brands as they look to build upon their own talents and take their passion one step further. I adore that Goose Grease has branched out to book writing and publishing as I love and truly believe in the fair trade movement that this company supports.
For their first book, they have created a children’s book with a simple story line but a powerful meaning and along with the DIY family kit, together they make such a gorgeous combination for a gift or present, for children to read, play and learn.
Disclosure: I was not compensated for this post, however, I did receive product for my review. All opinions are my own and not influenced in any way.