I was treated to all three items of stationery in December. (I have a huge desire to mis-spell it as stationary every time I type that, despite knowing how wrong it is.) They came out in September last year and I immediately added them to my Amazon wishlist for when my birthday and Christmas rolled around. At an RRP of £9.99 each they aren’t exactly cheap, but considering they feature beautifully reproduced Eileen Soper illustrations I think they are worth it.
The three pieces are a notebook, a set of notelets and a box of postcards. Each features a dustwapper illustration: Five Go to Demon’s Rocks for the notebook, Five Go Off in a Caravan for the notes and Five on a Secret Trail for the postcards. Interestingly, the Demon’s Rocks and Secret Trail covers featured on the 2014 and 2015 annuals respectively and a fragment from the 2016 annual cover (from Five on Finniston Farm) appears on the back of the notebook too.
The stationery is produced by Kinkajou which is an imprint of Frances Lincoln Limited. I’ve never heard of either of these, to tell you the truth but that’s what it says on the back of each piece. The artwork and trademarked names etc are only licenced out to them by Hodder so who knows what other bits and pieces we may see in the future.
So to look at the smashing notebook. As I said it has the Demon’s Rock cover on the front and a bit of the Finniston Farm cover on the back. It has a vintage feel to it with the fonts used; more so than the annuals do. Inside the front cover is a bunch of book illustrations cut into circular shapes. They are in colour and I suspect they are from the ‘first ever colour editions’ from the early 2000s. There are only eight images repeating but they’re still a nice touch.
After that we are onto the notepages which are all the same, a mottled light blue with lines. At the top is a very Famous Fivey motif made up of maps, compasses, books, bottles of ginger-beer and telescopes. Interspersed are a few full-colour pages featuring dustjacket illustrations. There’s one from Give Go Off In a Caravan, Five Go Off to Camp, Five Have Plenty of Fun and Five Have a Wonderful Time. There’s also a ribbon bookmark to keep your place.
The splendid notes for every occasion continues the vintage theme and although it is a different size, it forms a nice set with the notebook. They have the same colour scheme and fonts and look good together.
The notes feature the same round colour illustrations inside then several sets of notes. There’s one of invitations, thanks notes, lined pages for any sort of notes, check lists, shopping lists and then more notes. They’re all perforated so they can be torn out and they have little colour illustrations in the bottom corner too.
And lastly the postcards. These are in a matchbox style box with a tray and outer sleeve. The cover is from Five on a Secret Trail and the sides have the same design as the top of the notebook pages. The inner box features some of the same wordings as some of the notelets too. There are 30 postcards and they are all unique – a mixture of book covers (from the late 90s/early 2000s Soper paperbacks), covers minus any text (which should also match the frontispiece from the hardbacks) and the colour illustrations from inside those. The book titles don’t appear on the paperback ones instead it just says “The Famous Five” and the button reads “Illustrated Enid Blyton Editions”. It’s a bit of a test but I will try to identify where all the postcards come from!
The 11 paperback covers are easy to identify; they are from #11 (Five Have a Wonderful time) through to #21 (Five Are Together Again).
The other covers are from Five Go Adventuring Again (though it’s the second edition cover rather than the first), Five Run Away Together (second edition again), Five Go To Smuggler’s Top (second edition), Five Go Off To Camp and Five Fall Into Adventure.
So they’ve used 17 covers of the possible 21.
And so for the internal illustrations, this is the harder part.
Smuggler’s Top – Secret Trail – Kirrin Island Again – Five Go Off in a Caravan.
Smuggler’s Top – Run Away Together – Five Fall Into Adventure – Five Run Away Together
Billycock Hill – Adventuring Again – Five Go to Mystery Moor – Plenty of Fun
And the last two which I needed Stef’s help for
Billycock Hill and Billycock Hill (perhaps I need to revisit this book!).
That means that the only books not featured are Five on a Treasure Island, Five Get Into Trouble and Five on a Hike Together. Which is strange, when you think about it. I wonder if the licences for those had been given to someone else.
As I said in my presents round up post these are all too nice to use. I may frame some of the postcards and put them on my wall, though.