Newcastle children’s book author creates play mat featuring city landmarks


An author from Newcastle created a children’s play mat featuring more than twenty city landmarks.

Scott Barker, 32, has created over 50 children’s books, toys and other media in many countries around the world.

And now he’s helped create the Newcastle Hippo Mat to encourage kids to explore.

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“It’s a combination of play, learning and originality, it’s a unique accessory that will enliven and inspire a child’s play area,” Scott said.

The rug features over twenty Newcastle landmarks, places or quirks.

The idea is to go around Newcastle to see the unique monuments that make up the city, looking at the city from above.

“Children learn about different cultures when they visit Chinatown or Newcastle Castle and they can also take a trip to the countryside to see the memorable Angel of the North or can imagine being part of the team by stopping at St James’ Park, ”Scott added.




Not only will the user have Newcastle-themed fun using this mat, but they will also develop their hand-eye coordination, social skills and cognitive abilities.

“The latter is even more important, because learning the local geography is part of the Key Stage One program,” says Scott.

Scott was contacted by Marcos Millet – the man behind the original idea for the Hippo rug.

Marcos, a driving instructor living in Brighton, had created the very first Hippo Ma and it was developed and released as the Brighton Hippo Mat â„¢ in 2020.

Marcos’ goal is to improve children’s knowledge of the area and make them love where they come from.

Scott adds: “Rugs teach children about the area they live in and allow them to familiarize themselves with their origin. “




The Newcastle Hippo Mat has been tested and approved with its microfiber velor surface completely free of harmful substances that can harm the skin or health of a child.

Each Hippo Mat â„¢ is constructed with a non-slip latex backing.

The rug is currently sold in the UpSide Down Presents store in Newcastle city center.

To learn more about Scott Barker’s children’s books, visit: https://www.makebelieveideas.co.uk/product-category/illustrator/scott-barker/

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Grover Z. Barnes

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