It always makes us so happy to hear from folks who love “Mr. Dog’s Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn.” Every now and then, we even hear from readers who have their own personal history with Albert Bigelow Paine's tale. To know that our new edition of Paine's story, with Adam's illustrations, honors their cherished childhood memories and family traditions is a source of great pride and joy.
Most recently, we heard from a father and his grown son…
Randy B: “It was a great pleasure for me when my son recently brought me a copy of your magnificent printing of “Mr. Dog’s Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn.” This is a tradition in our family, [...] something that has characterized Christmas Eve for us over a long span of time. I send you and your family my most sincere thanks for this well conceived and beautifully executed project.”
Ran B: “You have already heard from my father, who was so excited when I showed him your book, but now that I have ordered copies two and three to be sure all of my kids will have their own one day, I wanted to add a quick note to say how pleased we all are at the wonderful efforts you have made to rescue this lovely story from obscurity and revive it. The book you have assembled is beautifully designed, set, and illustrated, and I hope that it finds broad commercial appeal. I’ve either listened to, or read this story every Christmas Eve of my life, and it delights me to know others out there treasure it, too.”
We’ve even received enthusiastic reviews from Paine’s very own descendents!
Charlotte C: “A friend recently told me about your project and I am writing to introduce myself. Albert Bigelow Paine was my great-grandfather and, needless to say, I also grew up with the Hollow Tree Stories! My grandmother was the "Little Lady" and the magic of those stories was very much part of my upbringing. I'm delighted to know that the stories are being rediscovered and that you are working to breathe new life into them. I hope that a new generation will discover this world, too, and that Mr. Dog and his friends will continue to live on.”
Sometimes, folks discover our edition of the story as a happy accident, as did Phyllis M. She stumbled across our edition while searching for a used copy of the book she remembered from childhood:
Phyllis M: “[Paine’s story] is a childhood favorite [that] my Mother used to read to us. I went online [thinking] I would be able to find an old used copy... So excited [to find your new edition]! Thank you!
Iris H: “My whole family was delighted to discover there are other Mr. Dog lovers in the world. We had the same family tradition on Christmas Eve. Thanks for keeping Mr. Dog and the all the Deep Woods folk alive for future generations.”
And Nancy B wrote to say:
"My daughter just gave me a copy [of your book, Mr. Dog’s Christmas at the Hollow Tree Inn.] She had been looking for [this story] for years, [as I’ve often recalled my memories of it to her.] I remember climbing up on my mom’s lap, as a small child in the 50s, snuggling in and asking her to read it again and again (even in the middle of the hot summer in Park City, Utah!). She always did, sometimes as many as three or four times in a row. Then I would ask her to read it again. My favorite story of all time. Tonight, I read it to my almost 40-year-old daughter, her dad, and her husband, stopping to wipe away my tears many times, remembering that special bond between me and my mom. Thank you!"
Each and every one of your stories is so special to us. We started this project because of our family’s long-standing tradition of reading Paine’s story every year on Christmas Eve. We wanted to bring that joy to new generations. Never did we expect to find other families just like ours, who have loved the story of Mr. Dog and his friends for decades. Publishing and promoting a book is hard work, but it’s your stories and encouragement that ground us in the positive and remind us why this project is so special. So we just want to say a big THANK YOU to each and every one of you reading this for supporting Mr. Dog.
Did you meet Mr. Dog and his friends through our edition, or have you known the Hollow Tree folks for a long time? Tell us your story in the comments, or by emailing us!