Left to right: Nieces CJ, Molly, Ally, Uncle Hyggly, and nephews Mark, Jake and David. On the Fjestad farm near Carlisle, Minnesota. Circa 1986.

Writer-illustrator Uncle Hyggly wrote the book as a Christmas gift

Uncle Hyggly first wrote “Mr. Gonopolis And His 12 Holsteins” as a Christmas gift for his six nephews and nieces, having no idea how far his little tale would travel. The next five years saw the release of the audio cassette version (which also played on radio stations coast-to-coast), more printings, the book adapted to Christmas paegants by a dozen elementary schools, and three more books written and illustrated by Uncle Hyggly.

Written in vivid verse and peppered with whimsical illustrations, “Mr. Gonopolis And His 12 Holsteins” has become a Christmas gift classic for families from coast-to-coast as many people have written to tell of their family’s own dramatic reading beneath the Christmas tree. Uncle Hyggly has received fan mail from people in all 50 states, many of whom share stories with him of their grandchildren , their own farms full of cows and thanks for providing a new, wholesome Christmas story for fans of all ages, and a lasting and memorable Christmas gift idea to bring smiles and laughter to everyone in the family. Many stories have appeared in newspapers and magazines over the years.