Thank you to all our wonderful backers! You are helping us create a new Christmas classic!
If you missed our Kickstarter campaign but are still interested in reserving your own copy of our limited first edition, please watch Mr. Dog's website and/or sign up for his e-newsletter. After we've taken a careful tally of our backers' selected rewards, we'll release any remaining books for pre-order on the website. (We will also post an update here on our Kickstarter page when pre-ordering is available on Mr. Dog's site.)
Betsy Cordes & Family
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Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn.
We're bringing back a timeless tale by Albert Bigelow Paine, with new illustrations by award-winning artist Adam McCauley. And you can be a part of the magic! Start your own Mr. Dog tradition by supporting our campaign and reserving a copy of this beautiful book. While you're at it, you can do a little early Christmas shopping. Surprise your dear ones this holiday season with a gift unlike any other: a first edition copy of Mr. Dog's Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn.
Meet the mischievous but kind-hearted Mr. Dog: a worldly raconteur who delights in telling tales of Santa Claus's visits to Mr. Man's house. His friends at the Hollow Tree Inn—Mr. Crow, Mr. 'Coon, and Mr. Possum—have never heard of Santa Claus.
They are mesmerized by Mr. Dog's descriptions of the jolly old man and the gifts he brings to those who hang a stocking by the fire on Christmas Eve. Naturally, they'd like to entice Santa to the Hollow Tree. So Mr. Dog decides to play along, posing as Santa and secretly delivering a trove of gifts to his Hollow Tree companions. His generosity, creativity and careful planning result in a joyous celebration for all, capturing the essence of Christmas as a time for love and giving.
Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn was written by Albert Bigelow Paine in 1898 and its reading has been a beloved Christmas Eve tradition in my family (where it's fondly known as "Mr. Dog's Christmas") for almost that long. My dad's parents read it to him and his brother. My dad, in turn, introduced it to me when I was two years old, and he's been reading it to me, my brother, and our growing family every Christmas Eve—for nearly 50 years now. It's just that good!
And yet the story has been out of print for decades, and we seemed to be among the very few who knew of it. Quite recently, it dawned on us that we could publish a new edition ourselves and, with any luck, inspire a Christmas Eve tradition for many more families.
Listen to a sample of the recording we've made of my dad, Jim, reading the story. The full recording of this reading is a Kickstarter reward at pledge levels of $25 and higher and will be available exclusively to our backers.
We felt that Paine's original text was perfect, but that the story would have much more appeal to modern sensibilities if we could find just the right artist to bring it to life with full color illustrations. And we found him! Adam McCauley immediately appreciated the slightly subversive appeal of Mr. Dog and knew he was a character that contemporary families would love. He chose to render the Hollow Tree folks and their setting in crow quill pen and ink—a demanding technique that, in Adam's masterful hand, produces a richly detailed image. The technique itself is perfectly suited to the Victorian era of the story, but Adam's images sit satisfyingly somewhere in between then and now. What he's done is magical. It feels like his images have always been part of this story.
With your help we'll be able to print gorgeous, heirloom quality books and introduce Mr. Dog's story to new generations. And with a pledge of $25.00 or more you can secure your own copy of Mr. Dog's Christmas well in time for this year's holiday festivities. Pledge more and receive wonderful Mr. Dog paraphernalia as well!
By backing our campaign, you're doing far more than simply buying a book. Your early show of support helps us create a collective howl of delight across the world wide web. We want to bring the joy of Mr. Dog and his friends to as many homes as possible this Christmas, but we have a limited window of opportunity to raise that ruckus and we are just one small family. We're asking you to join our merry pack and help ensure that Mr. Dog's 2014 debut is a runaway success.
Remember: A Kickstarter campaign is an all-or-nothing proposition. If we don't meet our funding goal, your wonderful pledge will be for naught. So after you pledge, please spread the word to your friends and family. This will help ensure Mr. Dog’s Christmas reaches the widest possible audience and is available for many more generations to come.
In addition to the warm glow you'll feel when you help bring the joy of Mr. Dog to a much-deserved wider audience, you'll be rewarded with your choice of lovely gifts. The packages are described at right. Here's a bit more detail about what you can expect.
We're planning such a beautiful book! The hard cover will be wrapped in red linen cloth, with Adam's hand-lettered title embossed in gold foil, framing a handsome portrait of our hero, Mr. Dog. The full color interior pages will showcase the rich detail and luscious color of Adam's illustrations, which are woven throughout Mr. Paine's story in this 36-page treasure.
These goodies will make fabulous stocking stuffers!
We're offering prints of two of our favorite scenes from the book: "Mr. Dog Spins a Tale" (a Society of Illustrators Honoree), or "Christmas Arrival at the Old Hollow Tree." The prints will be professionally reproduced on acid-free 100% cotton paper with a softly textured matte finish. Choose your 8"x10" print and we'll make sure it's packaged securely and delivered with the rest of your rewards.
This is a bag you'll be proud to sport all year long. It's made of sturdy, 100% cotton canvas and features a joyful Mr. Dog racing across the front (silkscreen printing). The dimensions are approximately 18" high by 14" wide, and a 5" wide flat bottom helps it stand open. The handle drop is approximately 10", making it perfect for either over-the-shoulder or hand-carrying. It also makes a beautiful gift presentation for the book and all the extras.
When we've successfully funded this project, we'll establish a page on our book's website that's permanently devoted to the Very Important Pets whose magnanimous companions have selected this reward. (In other words, with your pledge, your pet will earn a spot in Mr. Dog's gallery. You'll supply the photo. We'll design the page and add it to our site immediately following our successfully funded campaign.)
Albert Bigelow Paine (1861-1937) was a prolific and broadly talented American writer, perhaps most famous for his three-volume biography of Mark Twain, with whom he lived and traveled for four years.
In France, where he lived for several years, he remains well-known for his biography of Joan of Arc, which earned him the distinction of Chevalier in the Legion of Honor. His other writings include several popular travel books, two novels, and four story-books for children about the Deep Woods people, who dwell in the Hollow Tree.
Artist Adam McCauley was weened as a young lad on Angela Banner’s Ant and Bee books. Soon after, along came Dr. Seuss, then Maurice Sendak. By second grade he was getting into arguments with his teacher about The Wizard of Oz books because the teacher didn’t believe there were more books than the original one.
Next came a deep obsession with Tolkien’s The Hobbit and its richly author-illustrated pages. A parallel obsession happened with Tintin and the masterful art and story of Hergé.
Eventually, Adam went to art school in New York, followed by real-world schooling as an assistant illustrator, learning all along the way from artists he greatly admired. Settled now in San Francisco, he’s been illustrating all sorts of things for years, including a variety of books for children of all ages. His lovely and wonderful wife, Cynthia Wigginton, lends her amazing design wizardry to many of his book projects—including Mr. Dog’s Christmas.
Risks and challenges
The illustrations and page designs are 100% complete. The book is ready for the printer. Our goal is for you to receive your rewards in time for 2014 holiday enjoyment and gift-giving. The main risk we can see is with respect to book printing. We are committed to providing the very highest quality product for our backers. If for any reason there is a print quality issue, we will take the time to make sure they are done right, which could lead to a later ship date for the final product. We believe the risk this will happen is low because we have carefully chosen a printer capable of the best printing quality.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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