Monday, December 16, 2013

Mr. Pig's Holiday Gift Guide

Greetings! It's been a busy a week in the cottage. I've been baking and wrapping and decorating my curly tail off. (It's not easy stringing lights on the roof when you're 2 ft 7, but I managed.)

Kristen, Kara, Jamie and Anika have been busy, too, helping me pull together my

Holiday Gift Guide!

If you're looking for some last minute gift ideas. . . look no further! 

Eggplant Rattle: If you want to bring people joy that lasts as long as life, then you might want to get them one of these knitted treasures. Kristen usually buys the rattles, even if the person doesn't have a baby. She calls them karma cleaners. You shake it to erase negativity and bring luck. She bought her agent two. Find them at the Five Trees etsy shop.
I Am Small by Emma Dodd: This is Anika's go-to gift book for very little kids or parents expecting a new baby. It begins simply: "The world is big... / and I am small. The world is fast... / and I am small. The ocean is deep... / and I am small." And ends sweetly: "But you are big / and you are kind. When I'm with you/ I do not mind." Dodd's mixed media illustrations of a baby penguin in an arctic landscape really capture the feeling of being small in a big wide world. And the baby penguin is cute and fuzzy. So fuzzy. 

Emperor Penguin and Baby plush: Try pairing I Am Small with an adorable plush Emperor Penguin and Baby like this one we found on

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook: Middle School: When it comes to stocking stuffers, Kristen likes to give people survival guides. Chronicle Books has a very good series of Worst Case Scenario handbooks. And for the 11-14 year olds in your life, they even have a guide to surviving middle school. 

Anika's favorite winter-themed picture book this year is Snowflakes Fall, by Patricia MacLachlan, illustrated by Steven Kellogg. MacLachlan and Kellogg, who are longtime friends, were moved to collaborate on a message of hope for children and their families following the tragic events in Sandy Hook. Kellogg and his family lived in the Sandy Hook community for thirty five years. The language and pictures are lovely, and Random House will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund. 

Snowflake Origami Kit: Try pairing Snowflakes Fall with a Snowflake Origami kit, like this mini one by Jordana Tusman. Origami keeps Anika's daughters (ages 11 and 9) occupied during boring holiday dinners with too many grown-ups or long car trips.
The Origami Yoda Files by Tom Angleberger: Speaking of origami, SuperFolders will flip over this new boxed set of the bestselling Origami Yoda novels. Included are the first four books -- The Strange Case of Origami Yoda, Darth Paper Strikes Back, The Secret of the Fortune Wookiee, and The Surprise Attack of Jabba the Puppett. These books are favorites of Jamie's two boys. 

Kara discovered the fabulous Out of Print Clothing: Classic children's book covers on tees and onesies . . . and they carry great stuff for adults, too! Visit their website at
The Smallest Gift of Christmas by Peter Reynolds: In this whimsical picture book by the beloved author-illustrator of Dot and Ish, a young boy learns that more isn’t always better -- and rediscovers the magic of home. We think this heartwarming, be-careful-what-you-wish-for story is the perfect holiday gift.

Puppets: Nothing says I love you like a puppet. Because you can actually put your own hand in the puppet and make it say "I love you." Some of Kristen's favorite hand puppets are made by Zubels. Her favorite finger puppets are made by Manhattan Toy.
Kara loves Over and Under the Snow by Kate Messner: Gorgeous illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal illustrate this gentle unveiling of a hidden wintry world.

Jamie's a huge fan of Mega Mash-Ups by Nikalas Catlow and Tim Wesson: Kids can draw their own adventures in these short, funny books that mash up two very different storylines. While text and wacky illustrations appear on every page, there's plenty of white space for doodling. Perfect for reluctant readers! See all of the Mega Mash-Ups here.
Idaho Spud: Nothing says Happy Holidays like a nostalgic candy bar shaped like a potato. For people Kristen really wants to impress, she tries to get them a Christmas spud. Find them here.
Happy holidays!

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