mr. dog’s christmas at the hollow tree inn… and a GIVE-AWAY!

Thank you to everyone that entered the draw for this lovely, heart-warming, made with love storybook! I could only draw one name, and that name is… MEGAN CARTY! If your name isn’t Megan Carty, you can still buy this beauty directly from the Cordes family. Visit their site, right here.

*Stay tuned because I’ll be giving away a little something, via my Facebook page, every Friday between now and Christmas!


I don’t know about you, but I am in desperate need of a happy, feel-good story… this is it! All of this started with a decades long holiday family tradition, reading a story that is over 100 years old. This tale, titled “Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn”, was written by Albert Bigelow Paine in 1898. The Cordes family has been reading it on Christmas Eve for generations. Such a shame that it has long been out of print… and so they decided to take it upon themselves to change that! Betsy Cordes, an art director with ideas, business savvy, licensing expertise, and a love of working with artists reached out to American illustrator Adam McCauley {really interesting video here with Adam talking about his traditional “crow quill” ink drawings}. With a lot of love, a truckload of hard work, and a very successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, they brought Mr.Dog and his friends at the Hollow Tree Inn back to life! Take a look at this video of Betsy and her dad, Jim, talking about the sweet story behind this sweet story. ps. This was their Kickstarter video from 2014, which they finished with flying colors… so no need to pledge. Since this video they’ve printed a second, limited edition, run. Ok, now you can watch it…

Ah, Mr. Dog’s Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn … I just got a copy when I was in San Francisco a few weeks ago, and it’s absolutely gorgeous! Red linen, gold foil, Adam’s illustrations! Want one? Of course you do! Leave a comment below and I will draw one name on Monday November 30, at noon PST…. and if you don’t win this give-away, you can still order one right here. But be quick… Betsy and her family were only able to print a limited number for this holiday season.

comments (102)

  1. Cari /// 11.27.2015 /// 7:02am

    Love the illustrations! So pretty.

  2. Liz /// 11.27.2015 /// 7:24am

    oh, love.

  3. Ada /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:19am

    So lovely! Would love a copy for my nieces and nephews. Xx

  4. Neetu /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:22am

    Such a classic look!

  5. Megan /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:31am

    Yay! So gorgeous!!!!

  6. Nicola /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:31am

    Such a sweet story.

  7. Jane Caro /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:32am

    What a gorgeous book! I would love to win a copy to have and share with all the little ones in my life!

  8. Heather /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:42am

    If Mr. Dog’s story is half as good as The Cordes’ story of loving him, I can’t wait to read it!

  9. bruna /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:47am

    pick me! pick me! pick me!

    i love dogs, especially ones who can talk and have other furry friends!



  10. Chris fiore /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:54am

    Love how this family wants to keep the tradition alive!! Would love to be a part of it!!

  11. Tyler /// 11.27.2015 /// 9:56am

    I’m trying to build up a children’s library for my sister. This would be perfect!

  12. English Prevo /// 11.27.2015 /// 10:13am

    This is wonderful. I’d love to share this with my nephew!! 🙂

  13. Rendell /// 11.27.2015 /// 10:22am

    I love that a tradition is living on and that it involves a dog. We are all about dogs and animals! Looks like a beautiful book with a beautiful story. Definitely want to add to our Christmas reading! Thank you for sharing this!

  14. Tanya /// 11.27.2015 /// 10:26am

    how beautiful a tradition, treasured memories for all at such a special time of year. Thanks for sharing

  15. Kim kennedy /// 11.27.2015 /// 10:40am

    I love how beautiful this book is! Wonderful illustrations.

  16. Marian /// 11.27.2015 /// 10:43am


  17. Erin /// 11.27.2015 /// 10:46am

    That looks incredible!

  18. Sister Hilda /// 11.27.2015 /// 11:02am


  19. Christina /// 11.27.2015 /// 11:07am


  20. Pececito /// 11.27.2015 /// 11:19am

    That’s an amazing book and story!!! Love it.

  21. Annemie De Deyne /// 11.27.2015 /// 11:37am

    From a dazzling childish beauty, a real Christmas treasure…

  22. Tomasa /// 11.27.2015 /// 11:38am

    This looks amazing – I have two kids but think I’d keep this for myself

  23. Hilary m /// 11.27.2015 /// 12:01pm

    This is gorgeous, and just what my family needs as we create new holiday traditions.

  24. Denise /// 11.27.2015 /// 12:16pm

    Beautiful book! Thanks for sharing!

  25. Ryan Carty /// 11.27.2015 /// 12:22pm

    Stylish and timeless illustration, and a clever story I now must read in its entirety. Thanks for sharing this.

  26. Kristie /// 11.27.2015 /// 12:28pm

    Please! I’d like a lovely book for Christmas.

  27. Anna Rolin /// 11.27.2015 /// 1:31pm

    These illustrations are gorgeous! I love the rich colors used. Very Christmasy. Thank you for sharing.

  28. Alex /// 11.27.2015 /// 1:52pm

    That book reminds me of my childhood and spending Christmas with my family… Gorgeous.

  29. Katy McHugh /// 11.27.2015 /// 2:52pm

    I would love a copy of this to read with my little nephew

  30. Cindy Hood /// 11.27.2015 /// 3:16pm

    Utterly charming. Would love to start my own holiday tradition of reading this to my children on Christmas.

  31. Christy /// 11.27.2015 /// 4:43pm

    This is so absolutely fantastic! The first page had me hooked- now I have to read the rest! Thanks for sharing.

  32. Susan /// 11.27.2015 /// 5:47pm

    I’m a librarian and I need this in my life!

  33. Allyn Howard /// 11.27.2015 /// 7:34pm

    What a terrific story! I saw something about this in Betsy’s newsletter, but somehow didn’t realize they had it published themselves. She and her dad seem so sweet. They picked the perfect illustrator for it. It looks beautiful!! Thanks for sharing. Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  34. Tash /// 11.27.2015 /// 7:41pm

    I love this book and I just know my little sisters would too!

  35. Rena /// 11.28.2015 /// 2:31am

    Always on the lookout for inspiring illustrations! This is definitely one.

  36. Lisa /// 11.28.2015 /// 3:10am

    Well done, a labor of love. Wonderful Christmas voices!

  37. Amy /// 11.28.2015 /// 3:30am

    This is so beautiful, I know my entire family would treasure it.

  38. Kathy S /// 11.28.2015 /// 3:56am

    Oh this is brilliant. Beautiful illustration; a year-round treasure.

  39. Barbara /// 11.28.2015 /// 4:04am

    must have now!!

  40. Samantha /// 11.28.2015 /// 5:10am

    This would be a perfect tradition for our family to continue! <3

  41. Jacquelien /// 11.28.2015 /// 5:26am

    I always judge a book by its cover (I know, bit shallow right..) but whow this one is absolutely amazing, the outside as well as the inside.

  42. Amanda /// 11.28.2015 /// 5:59am

    how lovely!

  43. Susan /// 11.28.2015 /// 6:02am


  44. Sarah Thompson /// 11.28.2015 /// 7:02am

    Beautiful! My family and I would love to add this to our library!!

  45. Mackenzie reynolds /// 11.28.2015 /// 7:16am

    I love this! I would love to have this in my collection and share it with my family 🙂

  46. Dianne Frothingham /// 11.28.2015 /// 7:21am

    Beloved family traditions spreading out through the world, preserving the arts of a well made BOOK! What could be better. Thanks to all involved.

  47. Ross Thompson /// 11.28.2015 /// 7:22am

    What a great book! I would love to read this to my daughter.

  48. Juliane Tenner /// 11.28.2015 /// 7:30am

    What a beautiful book and a touching story behind it!

  49. Jessica G. /// 11.28.2015 /// 7:35am

    Want it!

  50. Amber /// 11.28.2015 /// 9:03am

    What fun! I would love to read this to my boys.

  51. Susan Sorrell Hill /// 11.28.2015 /// 9:29am

    Oh! This book takes me back to reading the wonderful old tomes in my Grandmother’s bookcase, snuggled under down comforters with a cup of cocoa on the night table. Beautiful!

  52. jeanne L B /// 11.28.2015 /// 10:27am

    What!! A Christmas story starring a dog!!
    Woo Hoo!!

  53. Blue Eyed Night Owl /// 11.28.2015 /// 10:28am

    This is just wonderful! I desperately cling to Christmas just to survive winter, so anything that adds to my excitement is very, very welcome. Also, I love feel good stories, especially when animals are involved, and I also treasure books with pretty covers, so this is basically everything I love wrapped up into one book;)
    What a lovely video that was too! Anyway, I’m thrilled about this and will definitely be keeping my fingers crossed!

  54. Kelly /// 11.28.2015 /// 11:36am

    Oh I how I love the illustrations!!!!!! I’m so excited to share with my siblings and their kids!

  55. Maren /// 11.28.2015 /// 1:29pm

    I’ve never seen this before — looks really, really good!

  56. Jenn /// 11.28.2015 /// 1:44pm

    Ooh, pick me! This looks completely charming!

  57. Alexa /// 11.28.2015 /// 2:32pm

    I love this!! Book traditions leave such lasting memories. I remember when my dad would read to us by the fire at night before bed. What beautiful illustrations and video and I absolutely adore that they gave their family tradition a legacy.

  58. AmyN /// 11.28.2015 /// 3:39pm

    I’d love to share this with my boys!

  59. Nancy /// 11.28.2015 /// 6:19pm

    I love Adam’s illustrations! I would love to give this book to my grandson for Christmas!

  60. Wendy Crumbley /// 11.28.2015 /// 7:19pm

    Thank you for the opportunity to win this labor of love! Look forward to reading this story.

  61. Jen /// 11.28.2015 /// 7:21pm

    I’m a longtime fan of Adam McCauley’s illustrations, thanks for reminding me about this wonderful work, I can’t wait to get a copy for my nephew.

  62. Sarah /// 11.28.2015 /// 9:50pm

    This book screams a great christmas tradition!

  63. Saffron /// 11.29.2015 /// 2:55am

    Such a lovely book-the perfect giveaway it has us of us in my house hold swooning at the thought of sharing such an incredible book. I’m a huge fan. Thanks. Also
    thanks so much for your podcasts. They have been a favourite of mine all year.

  64. Alice C. /// 11.29.2015 /// 6:29am

    Lovely book and delightful illustrations. This would be great to read with my granddaughter.

  65. Debbie Turpen /// 11.29.2015 /// 10:36am

    Please share this delightful book with the Southern Hemisphere. My standard poodle Jazz needs to learn about Christmas in the winter.

  66. janie /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:03am

    My hairy hound would love me to read this to him …. it’s top of his Xmas wish list !!! We’re curled up in London in front of a log fire and it’s blusterous and wild outside …..

  67. Matt Cheadle /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:16am

    So beautiful! My 10 month old would love this!

  68. A Shah /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:17am

    Gorgeous illustrations – my son would love this!

  69. Chloé /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:18am

    Happy Holidays!!

  70. Lauren K /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:20am

    I’d love to own a copy of this beautiful book!

  71. Mrs. Dog /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:20am


  72. Catarina Oliveira /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:23am

    I want one 😀

  73. Jamie /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:27am

    For me? Yes please.

  74. Kendra /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:28am

    Such charming illustrations. ❤️

  75. Matt /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:30am

    So beautiful! My 10 month old would love this!

  76. Mat /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:33am

    Nevah win nuthin.

  77. Kyra Liggett /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:38am

    This book is gorgeous; I hope I win!!

  78. Chris g /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:44am

    What a lovely book!

  79. Jen Haig /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:57am

    Looks absolutely beautiful. This will be going on my wish list for my son’s library!

  80. Charlotte McDaniel /// 11.29.2015 /// 11:59am

    Beautiful book for my daughters’ Christmas book set

  81. Alicia /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:01pm

    Fingers crossed!

  82. Paula /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:02pm

    Such a beautiful book!

  83. Juan /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:04pm

    Perfect for nephew’s 1st Christmas 🙂

  84. linda /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:08pm

    I’ll take 12.

  85. Ina /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:18pm

    I’d love to add this to my collection.

  86. Dorothy Siemens /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:20pm

    Looks like a fabulous book! I would love to win a copy!

  87. Patti Peregrine /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:22pm

    This a wonderful Christmas story! And… a wonderful tale of family, storytelling & sharing. I would love to have this book to share with my grandchildren but even more I’d love to have this book to donate to my local public library so even more children (and families) could share in the joy of Mr. Dog’s Christmas. (I live near a large Marine base in Southern California and there many children in our community with parents deployed overseas.) Thank you for your generous revival of the story and for adding the beautiful illustrations. All the best and a very merry Christmas to you and your entire family. ~ Patti Peregrine

  88. ally /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:25pm

    Adam McCauley is incredibly! His illustrations are so fun and playful – they accompany the stories so perfectly. As an aspiring writer of children’s literature, I just love this!

    Thanks for sharing! This blog is the best.

  89. Sarah Steele /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:31pm

    What a wonderful story and beautiful illustrations! Thanks for the chance to win!

  90. Shannon Amidon /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:32pm

    Fantastic, I love it.

  91. melissa newman /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:33pm

    Would love this for my daughter.

  92. Jen Starr /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:43pm

    What a beautiful book! This would make a great addition to our holiday traditions! Love it!❤️

  93. Trina /// 11.29.2015 /// 12:58pm

    A dog in clothes,Christmas, wonderful illustrations, Victorian children’s book revived -so much too love!

  94. Liuba Draws /// 11.29.2015 /// 7:16pm

    The book is stunning!

  95. Claudine /// 11.30.2015 /// 12:08am

    So lovely, thanks for sharing this!

  96. Alexia /// 11.30.2015 /// 2:06am

    Sweet, love it

  97. Gretchen /// 11.30.2015 /// 6:19am

    Dogs are the best! Really a lovely book–puts me in the Christmas spirit!

  98. D. Wesman /// 11.30.2015 /// 7:48am

    What a fun book!

  99. Gen /// 11.30.2015 /// 8:21am

    Thank you for sharing such a marvelous book with us! What a treasure.

  100. Lisa /// 11.30.2015 /// 9:03am

    Lovely!!! And sweet. Merry Christmas

  101. Betsy Cordes /// 11.30.2015 /// 1:38pm

    Thank you ALL for your interest in our book and for your lovely comments! And thanks again, Danielle, for sharing our story. Wishing you all a warm and beautiful holiday season.

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    […] « mr. dog’s christmas at the hollow tree inn… and a GIVE-AWAY! […]

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