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Merry Minilab Gift Ideas! With Nobrow and Flying Eye Books

It’s that time of year again!

We’re big fans of the holiday season here in the studio, and when it comes to thinking of gift ideas we’re pretty spoilt. Working right next door to the wonderful independent publishers Nobrow and Flying Eye Books provides just a little too much temptation… I wandered over to the envy-inducing library and picked out a few festive favourites to talk about today (and read on for Minilab’s own holiday offerings too). Let’s get started!



Book: ‘A Letter for Bear’, David Lucas

Poor bear – he works so hard to deliver letters out to everyone, and yet never seems to receive any himself! This charming Christmas tale recounts a post-bear’s decision to throw a party, and send out some letters of his own… Beautifully illustrated by David Lucas, and printed in the vivid, high-quality colours that Flying Eye Books and Nobrow are famous for, ‘A Letter for Bear’ is perfect for younger children as a bedtime story and reading practice – with just a couple of sentences per page, you’ll find the ideal balance of written and visual storytelling.

Will the animals of the town respond to bear’s letters, and come to his party? You’ll have to read and see…


Professor Astro Cat's Solar System App title screen


App: Professor Astro Cat’s Solar System

The star is a staple image of Christmas and holiday festivities, but stars are more than just a pretty face…actually, they’re gigantic balls of nuclear reactions releasing masses of heat and light! Professor Astro Cat is the coolest cat-scientist on the block, with a degree in just about every discipline under the sun. With our first ever app, we dove into the incredible science of our very own solar system and broke it down into bite-sized chunks with the help of creators Ben Newman and Dominic Walliman. Available on the App Store, Google Play and Amazon, Astro Cat is the perfect gift for little geniuses.




Toy: Hilda Vinyl Model

Yes indeed, Nobrow doesn’t just do books! Up next is a real-world rendering of the hugely popular and much-loved character Hilda, created by Luke Pearson. The Hilda series is set against an enchanting rural landscape and is full of heart-warming imagery of cosy interiors and magical creatures that is just perfect this time of year. Our curious heroine thinks nothing of befriending the mythic creatures around her, and her 8-inch vinyl incarnation is just perfect for sitting on a desk and inspiring thoughts of faraway places and magical occurrences. She’s earned her place in our vinyl toy collection, we hope you’ll treasure her, too!




Stationery: Sketchbooks by Bjorn Rune Lie

Where an artist chooses to create their masterpieces is always a great challenge, but we hope that these stunning, 100% environmentally sketchbooks will be the perfect inspiration to get a piece of work off the ground! Whether you’re penning your oeuvre in them, or handing them over to the kids, these sketchbooks are ideal for all ages. Rounded corners prevent scuffs and paper cuts, while the 128 pages of quality off-white paper are perfect for doodling and writing alike. Bjorn Rune Lie’s enigmatic illustrations inspired by aqautic wildlife only add to the unique style! You can order one from your local bookshop or stationer, details on the Nobrow website!


Mystery present

App: Artie’s World

We don’t want to give away too much (this is our big Christmas surprise, after all), but anyone following our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram may notice some well-wrapped presents appearing over the next few days. We’re a matter of days away from the release of our all-new app, Artie’s World! Following the adventures of our plucky illustrator in Artie’s Magic Pencil, a whole new world of drawing and learning is about to be uncovered, and for the winter season only there’s a definite festive spin on the whole occasion… We can’t wait to tell you more, but until then keep an eye out for presents popping up on your social feeds!


Well, I think I know what I’m buying the artists and mini-people in my life now, and we hope this post has sparked a few creative gift-giving ideas for you too. We’d love to know which pick is your favourite, and which books or apps would make up your dream stockings too! Get the conversation started on our social media channels, we can’t wait to hear from you! Merry Christmas from Minilab!

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