Toy of the month – March 2016

Oh my how are we already March with April looming! Life with kids especially school kids, makes your weeks zoom at a hundred kilometres an hour, don’t you think?!

For my “Toy of the month” for March, I am reviewing a wonderful new brand Golly Family, created by the loveliest Gaby Suhl, an Argentinian who has been based in New Zealand for the past 8 years.

Having quit her corporate job in 2015, she has instead pursued her love of children’s toys and books and thus far she has created 4 brilliant characters and books to match which make up the Golly Family. Designing all the characters and making the toys all by hand, the passion and love for Hugo, Miranda, Matilda and Hector is a joy to see.

Her desire in making the soft toys is to recreate that favourite toy you always remember having as a kid. The one you took everywhere, on holidays, to the Grandparents and on long road trips.

I love this wish as I had a toy like that when I was a child, he was soft toy dog called Scruffy, who I received as a baby from my Nana. He quite literally traveled the world with me when I was 6. My Nana even made him a backpack and a winter coat to wear for the trip. And admittedly, I still have him, although he is quite scruffy now, ha ha!

For the review, we received Hugo, the suspicious cat and 2 books, Find Hugo and  Hugo Finds a Friend. The “Find Hugo” book is made up of 44 photos taken around Auckland, New Zealand, where children need to find Hugo hidden in each of the photos.

Hugo, the cat and “Find Hugo” book arrived in a drawstring bag all sweetly packaged up for his long plane trip from Auckland. Hugo is oh so soft and the boys took to him straight away.

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The Golly Find books follow the different Golly characters on a hide and seek adventure. My boys of course LOVE playing hide and seek, and adore “Where’s Wally” books, so this book was an absolute hit in our household.

I have to say finding Hugo isn’t always easy and actually it can be quite hard. There is still one or two photos that we cannot find him! And this is after quite a few reads.  It certainly makes for a fun yet stimulating bedtime.

They have been requesting the book each night and even taking turns sleeping with Hugo, of a night.

In reading the book with the boys, I have noticed the difference in ages when we tried to find Hugo in the book. Jasper could find Hugo fairly well, although there are a few quite difficult pages where he struggled. But I did notice that Hudson really found it quite difficult to find Hugo. I think these books are great for visual and spatial awareness and I will be focusing on this more with Hudson using these books.

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I think the difference though with a normal hide and seek book and the Golly Family, is most certainly the soft toy. Having Hugo as their companion in real life, has made the book and Hugo seem more real. They can play with him, find him in the book and even take him on his own hide and seek adventures around our neighbourhood, which we did the other day.

Hudson & HugoIMG_2526IMG_2530IMG_2532 Hugo Finds a Friend, is picture book illustrated by Tingan Cai and follows Hugo on a daily adventure as he tries to find a friend in his new city. After looking in many different places, Hugo eventually meets Miranda, the sheep and they become firm friends.

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This book makes a wonderful introduction to the Golly Family characters and it also makes a great reader for kids ages 6+. Jasper enjoyed reading the book to his little brother which was oh so sweet! DSC_1621DSC_1625

All other members of the Golly Family will also have their own book. The next one in the list is Miranda, the shy sheep who is on adventures in Argentina and will have her book out shortly!

We cannot wait to see all the new books and characters in the Golly Family series. The kids are longing for more Hide and Seek adventures with their favourite cat, Hugo.

Toy of the Month: Find Hugo Book + Hugo soft toy

Helps to teach kids:  spatial awareness, understanding relationships of objects within the environment and visual perception.

Great for:  kids who love to read and who love hide and seek adventures and who adore a little companion along the way.

RRP: AUD $78.80

Ages: 4+

Golly Family toys and books are designed and handmade in the New Zealand. To find out more about Hugo and his friends check out Golly Family or follow their Instagram journey hereDSC_1609Hudson impersonating Hugo the suspicious cat.

NB:- we received the toy and books in order to complete our review.