Yesterday just as I was prepared to admit defeat, I was hauled back from the verge of failure by Lola. I was beginning to wonder if I would ever find suitable summertime entertainment for Sof that didn’t involve retreating from the heat to a shopping mall. Fortunately, Lola—which stands for Lots Of Lovely Art—provided me with a new way to entertain my small one. This open, airy environment created by Alara Hindle in a storefront location up above Emirgan Park in Reşitpaşa, is focused on providing children with an entertaining, involving approach to art. It also ties the creativity into lots of lovely books: there’s a well stocked lending library, with many titles I recognize from my own childhood, as well as a fine selection of the latest titles, some of which are also for sale. I don’t know about Sof, but for me the most exciting sequel of the summer is The Gruffalo’s Child, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Schleffer, the follow up to my personal favorite, The Gruffalo, which I discovered yesterday.
Although Sof is still a little bit on the young side for Lola (she just turned two), we had a great couple of hours. In addition to the art and the books, there was yoga for kids as well as some creative food fun—monkey face sandwiches inspired by Paul Frank. This is a very bright, happy space, the walls lined with a splendid array of student work of all sorts including homages to David Hockney, butterflies, fish and all sorts of other colorful creations by our next generation of artists.
I particularly appreciate the way Ms. Hindle approaches her classes. This week’s theme is Africa, and before working on one of today’s pieces, a dancing giraffe, she read the story Giraffes Can’t Dance (spoiler alert: the title is ironic) to get the kids inspired. Her instruction style is clear and easy to follow and help is on hand if necessary, which means nobody is left behind and the kids can feel a sense of accomplishment about their creations. We’ll definitely be back.