Sometimes it’s really not about going places. Sometimes it’s about getting the felt pens from out of the cupboard and sitting crossed legged on the floor and just colouring away to your hearts content. Sometimes it just has to happen.2013-09-16_0001

We received Rosie Flo’s Colouring Pool Party from the guys over at All contained in a fab keepsake box, the kit arrived with mostly everything flat packed and ready for us to push out, colour and construct BUT no scissors and no glue was needed. Usually when we do something like this, I tend to read the instructions and then tell the kids how to do it, but this time, as much as it killed me, I took a picture and then pushed the whole thing towards them with a ‘Go on, figure it out.’ kind of look. Brave aren’t I?

There were cute little push out characters, a cafe to build, a pool to tile, ice cream to colour in, arguments over whether the two circular things were rubber rings or do-nuts (we had one of each in the end) – We were missing a black and white floor but the kids just coloured their own.

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Well, they did figure it out and they loved it! It seriously had them entertained for hours. Scarlett kept telling Violet to colour within the lines. Violet ignored that rule. A little fight broke out when someone put the diving board where the other didn’t think it belonged but that was cleared up soon enough. After a while one of them would wander off and do something else but whenever they came back in the living room the pens would be picked up again or the scene would be re-arranged according to the new character they had just introduced.2013-09-16_0004 2013-09-16_0005

I’m always intrigued as to how a company formed or what it’s inspiration is and the following words are taken from the Rosie Flo website…

The Rosie Flo colouring books evolved through hours of sitting and drawing with our daughters when they were small. They gave me instructions as to what I must draw and each time I promptly obeyed.Dresses were the most popular items demanded of me and Sophie (now 15) would then do the faces, arms and legs. We drew all different kinds of people; rich, poor, fat, thin, tall, short, old and young. Sasha (now 12) became obsessed with simply colouring-in.

The book ended up as a collection of dresses, some eccentric, some with a vague narrative but all of them lacked the head and limbs required to give them the character of Rosie Flo (a name made up from Sasha and Sophie’s middle names). I was fascinated with how they both maintained such prolonged interest with this way of drawing and felt there must be other like minded girls around.

In designing the books, I have paid attention to all things which irritated me as a child, and then as a parent. The paper quality is thick enough to avoid showing through or damaging the picture on the next page.

It is sturdy enough to withstand a few journeys without falling apart and small enough to fit in a child’s hand luggage. The lines are intentionally not too thick, as this makes it look like it is only for preschool children. 
The age range is between around 4 to 12 and beyond. We were encouraged to bring out Johhny Joe’s colouring book which appeals more to boys. The Johnny Joe books are collections of action-led scenes where heads, legs and arms are still required.

With twelve colouring books now in the range, all on different themes and some with unusual paper stock, we have also introduced postcards, posters and a beautiful colouring fashion show to construct. We remain true to the initial interest in the encouragement of drawing and colouring and often hear that Rosie Flo isn’t just enjoyed by children, adults can’t resist joining in too.

With my husband Steve Kamlish, fellow graphic designer, we design and publish everything in-house and all our products are printed in the UK.

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I can thoroughly say that we enjoyed our weekend with Rosie Flo’s Pool Party, it’s still taking pride of place on the dining table. The pretty box it came in is now filled with Moshi Monster trading cards.

Hop on over to Rosie Flo’s and help to support the great British business. Let them know Truly Madly Kids sent you.

Think big and reach for the stars,