The Elephant Gift Guide 2021: Kids 

Stuck for festive present-giving ideas this year? We can help. Welcome to part 2 of Elephant’s guide to art-related treats…

Play Around With Jean Jullien’s Cats

Fed up of endless games of snap and Top Trumps? Then you need this new feline-inspired card game illustrated by French artist Jean Jullien. Beat everyone else to complete sets of his fantastically witty cat cards (our favourite is Neil the Curious Cat, with his head stuck inside a bottle). The purrfect Christmas gift.  

(Kooky Cats, £25)  

Puss in Bits

And if your desire for all things feline isn’t sated by the above card game, why not give this 1,000 piece jigsaw a go? Based on one of Simone Johnson’s witty, cartoony portraits of the cats that live in US bodegas (the corner supermarkets in many an urban sprawl), it boasts a vivid background of fruit and veg and a foreground tabby of the most fearsome demeanour.  

(Bodega Cat With Fruits And Vegetables, £25)  

Pick a Flower Puzzle

Working out which swirl of colour belongs where is going to be fun with this 1,000 piece puzzle. Which is exactly what you’d hope with a jigsaw that uses one of US illustrator Micke Lindebergh’s utterly distinctive minimalist designs…  

(1,000 Pieces of Flowers, £26)  

Eyes on the Ground

If there’s a better pair of rugs available, we’ve never seen them (apologies…). Put this matching set of rugs from Maison Deux on your child’s floor then play around with them to create any eye-rolling expression you desire. Throw in a skipping rope or a few discarded socks and the emoji possibilities are simply endless.  

(Eyes rug, £152)  

Filling in The Gaps

Drawing on East Asian Art, London-based artist and animator Manshen Lo combines sharp clear lines with a bold colour palette to create images that hint at enticing broader stories yet to be told. Warning: once you’ve completed this 1,000 piece puzzle, you might not be able to bring yourself to break it back up again.  

(Elephant’s Ears, £30)  


Hue and Crayon

Spiky and surreal, Emma Cousin’s colouring-in book isn’t one for the younger kids but there’s a definite edgy appeal to spending time bringing these odd black and white line drawings back to technicolour life. Accompanying Cousin’s exhibition New Dirt, the images formed the basis of an exchange between the artist and her grandmother Rita Wood during lockdown.  

(Keep It In Your Knicker Drawer, £3)  

Oodles of Doodles

Make learning to draw fun by following the inventive doodling games laid out in this book by former art director Victor Nunes. Will a photo of an eraser tempt you to turn it into a surfboard? Or a giant mobile phone? Or a jumbo Jet? The only restriction is your imagination.  

(The Drawing Game, £10.39)  

Bear Necessity

The Vampire’s Wife doesn’t sound like the ideal source for a cuddly toy (set up by Susie Cave, the name comes from an abandoned book project planned by her husband, musician Nick Cave), but don’t let that put you off. This floral-printed silk-satin teddy bear is a definite thing of beauty. Though you might want to keep it for yourself and get your infant a less pretty one to play with…  

(The Vampire’s Wife Teddy Bear, £225)  


The Complete Elephant Gift Guide

Find all six sections here