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Noah’s Ark Origami is a large set which recreates Noah and his ark — in folded-paper oriami figures. The set includes a large case with plentiful papers for creating the 13 figures of Noah and his wife, and 11 different animals to go along with them on the ark. The book provides basic instructions for origami generally and then walks through the steps needed to create each figure.

Plus, there is the ark itself, which my daughter put together herself easily. I liked how the book includes a 26-page discussion of the story and research of Noah’s ark. We’ve already made Noah and a couple of the animals and are hoping to make them all.

As a child, I had a friend from Vietnam who could make all sorts of origami animals — watching him was like magic. I’d always wanted to learn how to do origami, since my paper folding expertise was limited to paper airplanes and a fortune-telling game. With Bird Origami, I’m trying to learn how to make different types of origami birds. The book-like case is really nice and it includes 100 sheets of origami paper for the birds, printed with the feather colors for each one. It also has a helpful, spiral-bound book with detailed, step-by-step instructions that are all pictured in color. I’m still an amateur, and can only do a few from memory, but I’m learning!

I have a brother who, when we were young, loved to build models of vintage airplanes. He also has tried some origami, so I thought Origami Aircraft would be a good gift for him. The well-made case includes many patterned papers for different types of planes, a color book with instructions for each vintage aircraft, and several pages of stickers with insignia for different types of warplanes, too. He really liked it, and my sister in law tells me he makes them while watching TV.

I think Origami Chess: Cats vs. Dogs will appeal to many people. Fans of chess, fans of cats, fans of dogs, and fans of origami. This set includes 100+ sheets of origami paper, printed with various designs (including photos of fur), along with a surprisingly substantial book with visual instructions that make it really easy. I loved how the dogs and cats are sitting in cute little positions, and each sits on its own chesspiece marked stand. The nice 2-sided chessboard is included. I’ve just gotten started with making my favorite cats and dogs first, and I’m really enjoying this set!