the-great-british-bake-off-colouring-book

The Great British Bake Off Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
The Great British Bake Off Colouring Book is published by Hodder and Stoughton and is from my personal collection. It’s been a sad couple of weeks in the baking world after discovering that not only is our favourite baking show moving from the safety of the BBC to the big wide world of Channel 4 but that also 3 of our 4 presenters and judges won’t be relocating with it. I can’t be the only one who feels as if their world has been turned upside down and isn’t sure if they should be whisking or kneading the mess of dough before them. It’s therefore the perfect time for Tom Hovey, resident artist (at least for now) on the Great British Bake Off, to publish his wonderful colouring book filled with familiarity and nostalgia from the series we know and love! I was so worried that after the devastation of the past few days’ news, this book might disappoint, that it might not be a recipe for success and might have the dreaded soggy bottom! I can safely say it hasn’t, at least for me, it’s beautiful, filled with recognisable bakes and just begging to be coloured! So grab your aprons, preheat your ovens and “On Your Marks, Get Set, BAAAAKE!”!

This book is 25cm square, the same size as the bestsellers, paperback with flexible card covers which have partially coloured designs from inside the book on the outside and on the inside covers are colourable pages of cream horns which are also pictured in the book. The spine is glue and string-bound and isn’t especially tight on arrival meaning it’s quite easy to get most of the way into the gutter so very little of the image edge is lost. The pages consist of a mixture of single and double-page spreads, the book contains 90 pages of designs and 12 (24 sides) of these are double-page spreads. Many of the images are centralised cakes which don’t have any aspects reaching the edges of the pages, for those that are full page spreads of double-page designs, a very thin border has been left down the centre of the spine so once you’ve worked the spine and can open the book completely flat you’ll be able to reach all aspects of the image to colour which is fantastic and very rare! The paper is bright white, medium thickness and lightly textured, my water-based pens barely even shadowed though they did bleed through when I added water to them but that’s to be expected, the paper didn’t hold up brilliantly to water and did buckle a bit but I’m new to using water with pens so I wasn’t sparing enough with it. Pencils work really well on the paper, you can build up plenty of layers for blending and shading and this will be ideal for getting your chocolate looking perfectly tempered, icing superbly swirled, and fruit looking well glazed.

The contents of the book includes loads of Tom’s original illustrations from the series and they are instantly recognisable. There is no text through the book and on my first look through I was really worried about how I’d know what each bake was and who’d made it, I was very relieved and excited when I got to the final three pages of the book and saw that thumbnails of each image have been included and titled with what the bake is, who baked it and which series it’s from. This means a quick google search with those details, or a re-run of that episode if you’re a die-hard fan and have them all, will allow you to find the original bake and Tom’s original coloured illustration so that you can copy it if you wish or you can go to town and colour a unique baked creation. The bakes pictured include trifle, tiered pies, decorative loaves, 3D biscuit scenes, opera cakes, Swiss rolls, Charlotte Russe, eclairs, vol-au-vents, canapes, and even a povitica. All of the images are from Series 4-6 and there is a great cross-section with creations from all of your favourite bakers included, even Mary and Paul’s! Settle yourself down with a cup of tea and a slice of cake (purely for research purposes of course), get your pens and pencils out and colour the perfect crumb, shiniest icing, and sauciest self-saucing pudding! None of the people are pictured in this book, no bakers, presenters or judges, but the tent and the beautiful Welford Park House are pictured and even the famous Bake Off squirrel!

In terms of mental health, I have personally found this book fantastic! If you like cakes then this book has to be on your must-have list, it’s sure to cheer you up and improve your mood because the cakes are so beautiful and it might even inspire your baking (if you like to bake). I found the book really calming and very distracting, there are so many little details that you notice new ones each time you flick through the pages allowing you to become totally absorbed and I really noticed my worries melting away as I coloured Tamal’s Charlotte Russe. The images are all drawn in a consistently medium/thick line so this book would be ideal for almost anyone to enjoy regardless of vision impairment or issues with fine motor control. The detail level varies throughout from large pastry slices and meringue peaks on baked Alaska, to much smaller details in the garden scenes, and Chetna’s caramel covered Dobos Torte. This book will be ideal for those of you with varying concentration levels and symptoms because the illustrations are really varied in size and also have very natural stopping points so you could colour one chocolate covered strawberry or cream horn, a pastry or even a whole gateau, the choice is yours! The lines are quite black and heavy and at first I found this a little off-putting because I normally like to colour thin-lined images with delicate linework but I love how my page turned out and instead of just creating sections to colour within, the lines in this book are truly part of the artwork of the finished piece, the boldness of them means that your colours really pop so whether you use pens or pencils you’re liked to want to use some really bold colours so they stand out well and don’t disappear. These illustrations are almost identical to Tom’s originals from the show so if you’re not quite sure which section is nut, which is fruit or what colour dipping sauce has been used then just google the original and you can copy his colour scheme if you wish, this is ideal for anxious colourers like me because it’s like paint-by-numbers without the numbers and it takes all of the stress out of choosing colours and you can just pick the matching shade and get going, your symptoms can take a back seat and you can just enjoy colouring some deliciousness.

This book certainly contains some technical challenges and some pages that you can truly colour into your own signature bake and more still that will hopefully become showstoppers! It’s sure to make you hungry and get you hunting through your recipe books for inspiration and to make tasty treats to snack on when you need a break from colouring. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who loves cake, baking, or the Great British Bake Off because this really is the ultimate book for cake-lovers, it completely transports you back to the Bake Off tent!

If you get a copy of this book then be sure to avoid Mel wearing your tuille as bracelets and Sue accidentally elbowing your English muffins. Keep your colouring area a disaster-free zone and for goodness’ sake, colour slowly so that nothing needs to be discarded and we can all avoid another episode of “bin-gate”, I’m still not sure I’m over the trauma of the Baked Alaska challenge! You can take your finished pages and offer them up on the Gingham Altar for Mary and Paul to poke, prod, and almost certainly tell you it’s under-blended or over-shaded, but perhaps, if you’re lucky enough, you might just get crowned Star Colourer for the week and receive the coveted handshake from Paul – we can all dream can’t we?! This book truly offers you a way to have your cake, and eat it!

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book it’s available here:
Amazon UK – The Great British Bake Off Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Great-British-Bake-off-Colouring-Book-Tom-Hovey/9781473615625/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip pens and a Derwent waterbrush to create the macaron colour, bavarois colour and drips on the berries to create a mottled appearance.

If you’d like to see a silent video flick-through of the entire book then click here.

matthew-williamson-fashion-print-and-colouring-book

Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print & Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print & Colouring Book is published and very kindly sent to me to review by Laurence King Publishing. This book is really unusual and different from any other I’ve seen which after reviewing over 200 colouring books is quite a feat! It combines colouring, fashion and creative inspiration all into one book so it has far less colouring in than usual, but you also get loads of added extras.  This book is an absolute whopper at 33.1 x 25.3cm. It’s paperback with a beautiful partially coloured image which combines aspects from many of the patterns found inside the book. The spine is a glowing pink colour and the book is very thick and fairly heavy with a medium thickness card back and a thinner front cover. The spine is lay-flat meaning you can access the whole image and can easily remove pages from the book if you wish. You could create your own fashion-filled room by removing some or even all of the pages and putting them up on the wall or framing them for future inspiration and to add wonderful splashes of colour to your surroundings. The paper varies throughout the book, the non-colouring pages are medium thickness, smooth, slightly shiny paper which almost feels like the pages of a fashion magazine; the colouring pages are printed single-sided onto medium thickness card with a coloured back so there are no blank pages in the book but you can use whatever mediums you like on the colouring pages without fear of ruining anything on the reverse. The card the colouring pages are printed on is very lightly textured and while you can layer with pencils a little, it does burnish quickly, it’s perfect for pens, both water-based and alcohol-based and the patterns really lend themselves to bright popping colour which pens will bring fabulously! All of the pages within the book are single-pages and each chapter consists of 5 themed pages followed by one block coloured page which is the back of the colouring page each time. The book only contains 16 colourable images (plus a repeat on the back cover and another printed on paper at the back too), so if you’re wanting this just as a colouring book then it’s probably not for you as it’s a pretty pricey book for just 16 usable pages; however, if you’re interested in fashion, particularly Matthew Williamson’s work, then you’ll love this and it’ll be a must-have for your collection as it shows his creative process from the conception mood board all the way through to the finished print being strutted down the catwalk cut into a stunning and eye-catching garment.

The content of the book is split into themed chapters, each has a title page with the real life inspiration for the print, following this are full single-page spreads of the mood board used as well as a short piece of written commentary from Matthew, the studio drawing, photograph of the catwalk/illustration of a model in the outfit, and finally the colouring page so you can become a fashion designer yourself and splash your colours in whatever way you see fit. The patterns and prints are very varied and most are nature-inspired, the content includes heaps of animals including butterflies, dragonflies, leopards, parrots, flamingos and more, plants, flowers and even fruit! There are also patterns inspired by places Matthew’s travelled to including Ibiza, the Bahamas, India, Costa Rica, Morocco and even the English countryside. This book contains something for everyone and if you’re a fan of Matthew Williamson’s work then you’ll love it because he’s chosen these prints himself due to each of them being most iconic of his brand or a personal favourite.

In terms of mental health, this book offers heaps of distraction and is packed full with bright colours which are great for lifting the mood and cheering up the darkest of days. There isn’t a lot of colouring to do though each pages is huge and therefore does take a long while to colour, even when block colouring with pens! The line thickness is consistent throughout and is spindly thin, the intricacy and detail levels vary hugely but there are intricate sections on the majority of the images so you’ll need very good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this book and not keep colouring over the lines. The size of the spaces does vary throughout so you can pick out some of the larger spaced designs for days when your concentration is poor and you want to colour larger sections, or on better days you can colour the more detailed illustrations and patterns. There is huge variety of content but most of the artwork is grounded in nature so it feels quite calming though it’ll be pretty energising too if you colour it in your brightest shades! While this book isn’t ideal just as a colouring book, as a one-stop-shop for fans of Matthew Williamson’s work, it’s fantastic; it’s fascinating to see and read about his creative process and the chapter layout works really well for showing the development of ideas and colour schemes from the mood board to the finished fabric. This is a must-have for any fashionistas!

Overall, I would highly recommend this book for fashion-lovers and specifically fans of Matthew Williamson’s work. There aren’t a huge number of colouring pages for such a long book, but this is so much more than a colouring book and is much more like a guide to fashion with added colouring pages to customise yourself.

You can purchase a copy of this book here:
Amazon UK – Matthew Williamson: Fashion, Print & Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Matthew-Williamson-Matthew-Williamson/9781780678979/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Sharpie Fine Point Permanent Markers.

If you’d like to see more or Matthew Williamson’s work, as well as download a free colouring page, click here.

princesses-and-fairies-colouring-book

Princesses and Fairies Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Princesses and Fairies Colouring Book is illustrated by Tomoko Tashiro, originally published in Japanese and is now published in English and kindly sent to me to review by Pavilion Books. This book is 25cm square, paperback, with flexible card covers with an illustration from within the book partially coloured on the front and the title written in gold foiling, the spine has pink and green stripes which makes it quite striking on the shelf. The spine is glue and string-bound and is fairly tight on arrival but it does loosen up with use. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads and a little of each image is lost into the spine gutter though as the spine becomes more pliable this will lessen. The paper is bright white, smooth and medium thickness, I found that water-based pens shadowed throughout and bled through at points too, pencils don’t blend or layer particularly well due to lack of tooth in the paper so block-colourers will love it but those who like to blend and shade may struggle a little.

The content of the book consists of various styles of image and various numbers of these for each princess and fairy with some being depicted in far more pages than others. The illustrated princesses and fairies include those from: Thumbelina, The Frog Prince, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Real Princess (The Princess and the Pea), Cinderella, Princess Minon-minette, The Little Mermaid, The Flying Trunk, The Moon Princess, and Tanabata (The Star Festival Story). The illustrations range widely and include wallpaper-style images and repeating patterns; images of collections of objects including jewellery, flowers, and birds; double-page spreads depicting famous fairytale scenes, oval-shaped portrait-style images, and double-page spreads of flowers. The images are very floral and busy and contain heaps to look at. The layout of the book is a little chaotic but is much more cohesive than the other book in the series (The Fairy Tales Colouring Book). Each story is pictured in turn with a double-page spread depicting the main characters in a famous scene with text stating the fairy tale it’s from, following this are slightly random collections of somewhat related images in a range of styles including wallpapers, objects, and patterns. These feel less like filler images and more like stand-alone images than those found in the other book which means this one flows much better though it is a shame that a large number of them don’t directly tie back in with each fairy tale.

In terms of mental health, if you want a book that will provide hours of distraction, heaps to look at and colour, and lovely nostalgic imagery, then this is your book! If you’re not a fan of wallpapers or collection images then you might want to give it a miss as there are a fair few of these throughout. This book is a little less cohesive than others but the images are really beautiful and extremely pretty. The line thickness is pretty consistent throughout and remains thin and spindly thin so you’ll need pretty good vision and fine motor control to stay within the lines. The intricacy and detail levels vary throughout from quite large open spaces to teeny tiny sections that would be best suited to fineliners or sharp pencils so again, you’ll need pretty good vision and co-ordination in order to get the most out of this book. Some of these princesses and fairies are well-known and others aren’t ones I’d heard of so this book offers a real opportunity to get researching and discovering some fairy tales you didn’t know existed. The illustrations are so busy that they offer a great level of distraction and escapism but this does mean that you’ll need to have fairly good concentration so I’d keep this book for your good days so that you can give it the attention it deserves. The book is pretty, cheerful, and good for keeping your spirits up, there are lots of repeated sections or lots of the same flower which is good for helping you zone out and calm down without having to keep choosing different colours or techniques.

Overall, this is a beautiful book, it’s a little chaotic and difficult to follow, however, the artwork is stunning and offers so many hours of colouring. The paper is quite poor quality which is a real shame because it isn’t well suited to pens or pencils. I would recommend this book to those of you who love intricate and detailed illustrations who don’t mind persevering with the paper because it’ll look stunning when finished!

You can purchase a copy of the book here:
Amazon UK – Princesses and Fairies Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Princesses-Colouring-Book-Tomoko-Tashiro/9781843653172/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Can’t get enough of this art? Check out my review of the second book in this series – Fairy Tales Colouring Book.

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tips.

fairy-tales-colouring-book

Fairy Tales Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Fairy Tales Colouring Book is illustrated by Tomoko Tashiro, originally published in Japanese and is now published in English and kindly sent to me to review by Pavilion Books. This book is 25cm square, paperback, with flexible card covers with an illustration from within the book partially coloured on the front and the title written in gold foiling, the spine has pink and purple stripes which makes it quite striking on the shelf. The spine is glue and string-bound and is fairly tight on arrival but it does loosen up with use. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads and a little of each image is lost into the spine gutter though as the spine becomes more pliable this will lessen. The paper is bright white, smooth and medium thickness, I found that water-based pens shadowed throughout and bled through at points too, pencils don’t blend or layer particularly well due to lack of tooth in the paper so block-colourers will love it but those who like to blend and shade may struggle a little.

The content of the book consists of various styles of image and various numbers of these for each fairy tale with some being depicted in far more pages than others. The illustrated fairy tales include: Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel, Swan lake, The Twelve Dancing Princesses, Cinderella, The Story of the Magic Horse, The Little Mermaid, The Snow Queen, and The Nutcracker. The illustrations range from a large number of wallpaper-style images and repeating patterns; to a couple of mandalas; images of collections of objects including jewellery, shells, and snowflakes; double-page spreads depicting famous fairytale scenes, and small motifs in the centre of the page with lots of space around them to add your own imagery or backgrounds if you wish (there are no written hints or prompts so the space can be left if you prefer). The images are very floral and busy and contain heaps to look at. The layout of the book isn’t very cohesive and it doesn’t flow well, the images are very lovely but rather than being properly split into each story, it seems quite randomly laid out. Each fairy tale is pictured in turn with a double-page spread depicting the main characters in a famous scene with text stating the fairy tale it’s from, following this though are seemingly random collections of images including wallpapers, objects, patterns etc; some of these are related e.g. snowflakes near the Snow Queen section and Christmas imagery near The Nutcracker section, but many seem quite random and a little like filler images. To be clear, the majority of these images are really beautifully drawn and absolutely deserve to be there but it would have been nice for the order to be more carefully considered and for more of the pages to actually directly tie back in with each fairy tale.

In terms of mental health, if you want a book that will provide hours of distraction, heaps to look at and colour, and lovely nostalgic imagery, then this is your book! If you’re not a fan of wallpapers or collection images then you might want to give it a miss as there are a lot of these throughout. The lack of cohesion bothered me a surprising amount and I’ve struggled to feel enthusiastic about this book because of this, however, as stand-alone images, they really are gorgeous and will look so lovely when finished so if cohesion doesn’t bother you then you’ll love it! The line thickness is pretty consistent throughout and remains thin and spindly thin so you’ll need pretty good vision and fine motor control to stay within the lines. The intricacy and detail levels vary throughout from quite large open spaces to teeny tiny sections that would be best suited to fineliners or sharp pencils so again, you’ll need pretty good vision and co-ordination in order to get the most out of this book. Some of these fairy tales are well-known and others aren’t ones I’d heard of so this book offers a real opportunity to get researching and discovering some fairy tales you didn’t know existed. The illustrations are so busy that they offer a great level of distraction and escapism but this does mean that you’ll need to have fairly good concentration so I’d keep this book for your good days so that you can give it the attention it deserves. The book is pretty, cheerful, and good for keeping your spirits up, there are lots of repeated sections or lots of the same flower which is good for helping you zone out and calm down without having to keep choosing different colours or techniques.

Overall, I’ve been a little disappointed by this book, it’s quite haphazard and difficult to follow, however, the artwork is beautiful and offers so many hours of colouring. The paper is quite poor quality which is a real shame because it isn’t well suited to pens or pencils. I would recommend this book to those of you who’ve not been put off by these negative points, the illustrations are delicate and will look stunning when finished by those of you brave enough to persevere.

You can purchase a copy of the book here:
Amazon UK – Fairy Tales Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Fairy-Tales-Colouring-Book-Tomoko-Tashiro/9781843653165/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Can’t get enough of this art? Or fancy a bit more cohesion? Check out my review of the second book in this series – Princesses and Fairies.

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tips.

wuthering-heights-a-colouring-classic

Wuthering Heights: A Colouring Classic – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Wuthering Heights: A Colouring Classic was published and very kindly sent to me by Little Tiger Press. This book is one in a series of four with three other titles already published (Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and Dracula) and one more to publish later this year (A Christmas Carol). This book is 25cm square, the same size as most bestsellers, paperback with a thick but flexible card cover which has a wallpaper style design printed on the inside of the dust flaps. The spine is glue and string bound and is fairly durable but does start to break if you’re particularly persistent with trying to flatten it. The images are printed double-sided and therefore a number of them do enter the spine a little which makes them tricky to colour. The paper is bright white, thick and lightly textured, I experienced no bleeding or shadowing with any of my water-based pens and I was able to get plenty of layers with my coloured pencils; alcohol markers will bleed through. The majority of the images are double-page spreads and a quote from the original book is printed onto each. The images themselves are arranged into chronological order to loosely tell the story and consist of a number of scenes, quotes, patterns and images depicting something mentioned in the displayed quote. There are images of Catherine and Heathcliff meeting, Heathcliff brooding in multiple images, Catherine dying, Heathcliff dying, inside and outside Wuthering Heights, plenty of objects from within the house and wallpaper-style images. At the end of the book is a double-page spread of The Symbolism of ‘Vanitas’ objects, these objects of life, death and sin are illustrated throughout the book and their symbolism is carefully matched to each part of the story which is a wonderful touch!

In terms of mental health, this book is ideal if you’re a fan of the original story, and actually even if you’re not, it’s still beautiful to colour, the extent of my knowledge of Wuthering Heights before reviewing this colouring book was the eponymous Kate Bush song but I have still really enjoyed colouring and reviewing it. The images are drawn in a consistent line thickness which remains thin, with spindly thin details throughout. There is a high level of intricacy and detail in many of the images though there are larger spaces in the images containing people, but mostly you’ll need fairly good vision and fine motor control in order to get the most out of this book. There isn’t a lot of leeway in the images to prevent you going over the lines or missing the details so do bear this in mind and check the suitability of the images below. The images are very pretty and quite fancy and floral throughout, they feel a little chaotic and indicate a lot of movement but from the synopses I’ve read of the story, this seems quite fitting. The quotes are chosen very well to tell the story from beginning to end. The scenes depict the most crucial moments and are interspersed with beautiful images of objects, jewellery, furniture and patterns that all fit well with the other imagery and the story itself. Some of the images are busier than others so there is a bit of variance in the amount of time it’ll take to complete each page but mostly they’ll take a good few hours to complete and are therefore most suited to good days where your concentration is high and you can focus well. These images are very distracting and will need you to pay a fair amount of attention so that you stay within the lines so it’s great for absorbing you into the task at hand and would be really good for practising mindfulness as you focus on the here and now. However, it’s equally good at transporting you off to a far off time and place where life was simpler and offers great escapism, especially if you’re a fan of the original book! Despite the content of the story being quite dark and depressing, the imagery doesn’t particularly portray this and the images don’t feel negative or like they’ll drag you down. As someone who doesn’t know the original story properly, I can’t attest to whether those of you who do may feel more affected by the images so please do check the selection below to be sure.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of Wuthering Heights, the imagery is beautiful, the quotes are really well chosen and it’s a really wonderful way of combining a classic story with stunning illustrations that you can colour into your own bespoke book. You could even give a fully coloured copy to someone as a thoughtful and personalised gift, though with the amount of time it’d take to complete, it might be very difficult to part with your work!

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Wuthering Heights: A Colouring Classic
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Wuthering-Heights-Emily-Bronte-Elisabett-Stoinich/9781848693289/?a_aid=colouringitmom

You can pre-order A Christmas Carol: A Colouring Classic here –
Amazon UK – A Christmas Carol (A Colouring Classic)
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Christmas-Carol-Charles-Dickens-Vladimir-Aleksic-Kate-Ware/9781848695412/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using AIVN Coloured Pencils (review coming soon).

dracula-a-colouring-classic

Dracula: A Colouring Classic – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Dracula: A Colouring Classic was published and very kindly sent to me by Little Tiger Press. This book is one in a series of four with three other titles already published (Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, and Wuthering Heights) and one more to publish later this year (A Christmas Carol). This book is 25cm square, the same size as most bestsellers, paperback with a thick but flexible card cover which has a wallpaper style design printed on the inside of the dust flaps, the cover is predominantly black with white line drawings and red foiling accents and text. The spine is glue and string bound and is fairly durable but does start to break if you’re particularly persistent with trying to flatten it. The images are printed double-sided and therefore a number of them do enter the spine a little which makes them tricky to colour. The paper is bright white, thick and lightly textured, I experienced no bleeding or shadowing with any of my water-based pens and I was able to get plenty of layers with my coloured pencils; alcohol markers will bleed through. The majority of the images are double-page spreads and a quote from the original book is printed onto each. The images themselves are arranged into chronological order to loosely tell the story and consist of a number of scenes, quotes, patterns and images depicting something mentioned in the displayed quote. There are images of Dracula, inside and outside the castle, forests, women being turned into vampires, vampire paraphernalia, scenes of Whitby, and Dracula’s death. As you’d expect in a book about vampires, there’s a fair amount of blood throughout but sadly the illustrator has decided to fill this in with black throughout the book meaning you’ll need to use a very opaque pencil or paint to make it red. I personally feel this was a real error in what is otherwise, a very well-illustrated book.  At the end of the book is a double-page spread titled The Folklore of the Fangs which describes historical beliefs about who’s at risk of becoming a vampire, how to ward them off, how to prevent the dead from being transformed and how to destroy them. Illustrations that symbolise these things are cleverly pictured throughout the book to enhance the story which is a wonderful addition!

In terms of mental health, this book is ideal if you’re a fan of the original story and love all things gothic and dark. The images are drawn in a consistent line thickness which remains thin throughout. There is a high level of intricacy and detail in many of the images though there are larger spaces in the images containing people, but mostly you’ll need fairly good vision and fine motor control in order to get the most out of this book. There isn’t a lot of leeway in the images to prevent you going over the lines or missing the details so do bear this in mind and check the suitability of the images below. The images are, as you’d expect, very dark and a little gory but they’re unlikely to upset anyone unless you’re particularly sensitive. I’d stick to colouring it on your good days as this book and its contents are certainly not uplifting or at all positive so they won’t help dark days or days when self-injury is in mind. That being said, if you like the story of Dracula, these things may not bother you so much and may impact your mental health less. The quotes are chosen very well to tell the story from beginning to end and the scenes depict the most crucial moments and are interspersed with images of objects, room scenes from inside the castle, and patterns that all fit well with the other imagery and the story itself. Some of the images are busier than others so there is a bit of variance in the amount of time it’ll take to complete each page but mostly they’ll take a good few hours to complete and are therefore most suited to good days where your concentration is high and you can focus well. These images are very distracting and will need you to pay a fair amount of attention so that you stay within the lines so it’s great for absorbing you into the task at hand and would be really good for practising mindfulness as you focus on the here and now. However, it’s equally good at transporting you into the story and into the gothic world of Transylvania. The images are very dark, both in content and colour, a large number of the images have black backgrounds or large blacked out parts so please be careful to only use this book on brighter days when you’re feeling resilient.

I would highly recommend this book to fans of Dracula, the imagery and quotes are well chosen and it’s a very good way of combining the classic story with symbolic illustrations that you can colour into your own bespoke book.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Dracula: A Colouring Classic
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Dracul-Bram-Stoker-Chellie-Carroll/9781848693296/?a_aid=colouringitmom

You can pre-order A Christmas Carol: A Colouring Classic here –
Amazon UK – A Christmas Carol (A Colouring Classic)
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Christmas-Carol-Charles-Dickens-Vladimir-Aleksic-Kate-Ware/9781848695412/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using AIVN Coloured Pencils (review coming soon).

millie-marotta-2017-diary

Millie Marotta 2017 Diary – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta 2017 Diary was published and very kindly sent to me to review by Batsford Books. This diary is a smidge over A5 size, hardback, with white covers with a beautiful scaled down version of the Wild Savannah book cover with hints of colour added and touches of gold foiling on the front. The diary is kept closed with a black elastic strap and there is no writing on the covers apart from 2017 in gold foil, there’s also a removable thick wrap-around slip of green paper with gold foil writing stating it’s the Millie Marotta Diary with the bar code on the back. Inside the diary the front and back are black double-page spreads with the publishing information printed at the front, followed by the diary pages and 26 illustrations taken from Millie’s third colouring book, Wild Savannah. The pages are bright white and medium thickness for a diary, the pages are unlined and consist of a week to view on the left page and a blank page on the right that just shows the dates of the current month in the bottom right hand corner leaving you plenty of space to write notes, doodle, jot down lists etc. Each week starts on a Monday and the dates are separated by a line with Saturday and Sunday sharing one. The diary begins with a Personal Details page where you can write your address, work details, and useful numbers, following this are year views of 2017 and 2018 both sharing a single page. At the beginning of each month is a pair of images from Wild Savannah, some are double-page spreads and others are two separate single images. Sadly, the paper isn’t very thick for colouring and doesn’t have much texture at all, water-based pens bleed through (see photo below) and pencils are pretty difficult to work with, especially if you’re wanting to blend or shade, my wax-based Prismacolor pencils worked fairly well but my Polychromos pencils were difficult to use. When writing in the diary, I’d advise using a pencil or biro to avoid ruining the reverse of the page, I’d personally stick to pencil and write lightly so that you don’t get pressure marks and indentations affecting the colouring pages. The images are all scaled down from the originals and are mostly full page designs shrunk to fit on the A5 pages with a few that are the centre sections of the image, also scaled down to fit the page.

In terms of mental health, this colouring diary is a great combination of colouring pages and useful diary so that you can colour and plan your year all in one place. There’s plenty of space for writing so you won’t run out of space to write your plans and you could colour the designs as and when it takes your fancy or at the start of each month where the colouring page appears, you could complete them in order or randomly, the choice is yours! The illustrations are all vastly scaled down from the originals so the intricacy and detail levels are through the roof on most of the images so you will need perfect vision and fine motor control and some mega sharp pencils to enjoy colouring these pages. The line thickness is spindly thin throughout so there’s no margin for error! This diary has fewer colouring pages than most others I’ve seen and it’s definitely much more diary than colouring book, it sadly hasn’t been printed on great paper for colouring but it’ll be fine to write on so fans of Millie’s work may want to just leave the line drawings as they are, they look beautiful just in black and white.

Overall, I would recommend this diary but it’s certainly not the best I’ve seen with thinner, smoother paper than I’d like and fewer colourable pages. It’s a lovely addition to any die-hard Millie Marotta collection and it’s beautiful to look at but the pictures are pretty tricky to colour well due to not being able to use pens without bleed-through or blend pencils particularly well.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta 2017 Diary
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotta-2017-Diary-Millie-Marotta/9781849943932/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-Tips.

millie-marotta-journal

Millie Marotta Journal – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.

Millie Marotta Journal is published and very kindly sent to me to review by Batsford Books. Colouring notebooks and journals are becoming increasingly popular as people are wanting to combine their love of colouring with their desire to write, many people associate journaling or writing a diary with adding doodles but for those of us with no drawing or doodling talent, the colouring notebook solves the problem of wanting to be creative but not being able to draw. This journal is a smidge over A5 size, hardback, with white covers with a beautiful black and white line drawing of some of Millie’s birds with hints of colour added and touches of gold foiling on the front. The journal is kept closed with a black elastic strap and there is no writing on the covers, just a removable thick wrap-around slip of green paper with gold foil writing stating it’s the Millie Marotta Journal with the bar code on the back so there is nothing printed on the journal itself other than the bird pattern. Inside the journal the front and back are black double-page spreads with the publishing information printed at the back, followed by 192 pages of ruled paper and 15 illustrations taken from Millie’s third colouring book, Wild Savannah. The pages are bright white and medium thickness for a notebook, the ruled lines are narrow so you can get loads of writing on each page. 15 illustrations are placed evenly throughout the book and these take up a full single page, interspersed between each image is a small bird drawing in a corner of a page which is also colourable. Sadly, the paper isn’t very thick for colouring and doesn’t have much texture at all, water-based pens bleed through (see photo below) and pencils are pretty difficult to work with, especially if you’re wanting to blend or shade, my wax-based Prismacolor pencils worked fairly well but my Polychromos pencils were difficult to use. When writing in the journal, I’d advise using a pencil or biro to avoid ruining the reverse of the page, I’d personally stick to pencil and write lightly so that you don’t get pressure marks and indentations affecting the colouring pages. The images are all scaled down from the originals and are mostly full page designs shrunk to fit on the A5 pages with a few that are the centre sections of the image, also scaled down to fit the page.

In terms of mental health, this colouring journal is a great combination of colouring pages and lined notebook so that you can colour and journal all in one place. There’s heaps of space for writing so you won’t run out for months and you could colour the designs as and when it takes your fancy or each time you’ve written up to a colouring page, you could complete them in order or randomly, the choice is yours! The illustrations are all vastly scaled down from the originals so the intricacy and detail levels are through the roof on most of the images so you will need perfect vision and fine motor control and some mega sharp pencils to enjoy colouring these pages. The line thickness is spindly thin throughout so there’s no margin for error! This journal has fewer colouring pages than most others I’ve seen and it’s definitely much more journal than colouring book, it sadly hasn’t been printed on great paper for colouring but it’ll be lovely paper to write on so fans of Millie’s work may want to just leave the line drawings as they are, they look beautiful just in black and white.

Overall, I would recommend this journal but it’s certainly not the best I’ve seen with thinner, smoother paper than I’d like and fewer colourable pages. It’s a lovely addition to any die-hard Millie Marotta collection and it’s beautiful to look at but the pictures are pretty tricky to colour well due to not being able to use pens without bleed-through or blend pencils particularly well.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta Journal
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotta-Wild-Savannah-Journal-Millie-Marotta/9781849943802/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Pencils and the bird was tested with Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners which bled through.

escape-to-oz

Escape to Oz: A Colouring-book Adventure – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Escape to Oz is published by Puffin Books and is from my personal collection. This book is illustrated by Good Wives and Warriors who are a creative partnership of two Glasgow School of Art graduates – their Facebook page can be found here. This book is the fourth in the Escape to… series, first was Escape to Wonderland, second was Escape to Christmas Past and third was Escape to Shakespeare’s World, they’ve also illustrated a beautiful book with a German Publisher called Exotischer Urwald which is in a different format. Escape to Oz is based on The Wizard of Oz story documenting Dorothy’s trip from Kansas to Oz, her quest to find the wizard, and the characters she meets on the way. This is a wonderful book, essential for fans of the original story, but also for those who love GWAW’s work and who love imaginative and beautiful illustrations. It is the same size and shape as the others in the series at just over 18cms square, it’s a little smaller than other bestsellers but I think this adds to the charm and it means the images are a manageable size and the book is a perfect size for travelling and colouring on the go. The book has a softback cover which is almost all double thicknesses of cardboard as it folds in on itself and when opened up it reveals a beautiful green background with white line-drawn images of flowers and gems. The cover has silvery-gold foiling accents which really add to the luxury of the book and are a lovely bit of extra detailing. The book contains 96 pages of double-sided, borderless images and is glue and string-bound meaning a little of each image is lost into the spine. I found the spine pretty tight when it arrived but with some work it has now loosened up a lot and lies flatter than it did. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads and a few of them have black backgrounds which is a really nice feature. The paper quality is very good and hasn’t bled or shadowed at all when I’ve been using water-based fineliners or fibre-tips. The paper is a creamy off-white which adds to the vintage feel of the book and is very lightly textured which I thought would be ideal for pencils but I did find it a little hard to get many layers as the tooth seemed to disappear quicker than I’d have liked or expected. However, it’s not impossible to layer and I did manage to get some nice blending. Do be sure to test the pens you’re using beforehand to avoid any disasters. Alcohol markers are a definite no because they will bleed terribly and ruin the reverse images.

The images themselves are drawn in a thin line that is pretty consistent throughout so the difficulty level doesn’t change, meaning this is not a book that will adapt to differing levels of concentration but this does lead to a really cohesive feel to the book. The images are arranged into chronological order to tell the story and a few pages contain quotes from the book to help guide you through. These quotes are helpful for letting you know where in the story you’re at, as well as hinting at what’s in the picture if you’re not quite sure. The illustrations include everything you’d expect from Dorothy and Toto, to the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, to the Wicked Witch of the West and East, the Wizard of Oz himself, and even the munchkins and flying monkeys. Iconic scenes are pictured including the tornado that transports Dorothy and Toto from Kansas to Oz, the squashing of the Wicked Witch of the East, starting off on the yellow brick road, meeting the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, arriving at the Emerald City, meeting the Wizard of Oz, arriving back in Kansas, and so much more.

In terms of mental health, I found this book great because it’s just so beautiful, charming, and instantly transported me back to my childhood and happy memories of watching the film countless times. The illustrations are very pretty and most are of real things, that have colour schemes that you could copy realistically if you wish, or in any colours you choose. Good Wives and Warriors have done a wonderful job of bringing huge amounts of charm to their illustrations of even the darkest scenes and they’re all dispersed with flowers and other pretty things meaning the book doesn’t feel negative or sad at all and just lifts your spirits, even when the witch is trying to kill Dorothy and her friends! I really enjoyed just looking through the book and reliving the story of my childhood and poring over each image, all exquisitely drawn and waiting to be coloured. The images are quite detailed and intricate but they’re not overwhelming so you don’t need perfect vision or fine motor control, though it will need to be fairly good, and the size of the book means you don’t need really good concentration levels either. If you love The Wizard of Oz, or GWAW’s work then this book is sure to be beneficial to your mental health with its positive content and detailed images filled with hundreds of things to look at and colour. I adore the work of these talented illustrators and squealed with excitement when looking through this beautiful new instalment that they’ve created!

I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who are fans of The Wizard of Oz story, or Good Wives and Warriors’ work because this book really doesn’t disappoint, not only is this a beautiful colouring book, it’s also a wonderful pictorial retelling of a classic story that so many of us love. The book is really cohesive and I found it great for my own mental health so hopefully it’ll be just as good for yours too as it transports you back to your childhood and off to the land of Oz.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Escape to Oz
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Escape-Oz-Colouring-Book-Adventure-Good-Wives-Warriors/9780141375489/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The picture below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.

National Trust Colouring Cards Christmas

The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Christmas – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Christmas are published and very kindly sent to me to review by Nosy Crow Publishing. These cards are the fourth of five sets, with one more publishing later in the year with a Year of Celebrations theme (I already can’t wait for these)! This book is fantastically well made and everything has been thought of, matched and produced with quality in mind. The book itself is large at 28cm square, it’s paperback with a flexible card cover with red foiling lettering and detail. Inside the front cover are instructions detailing how to fold the envelopes for the cards. Following this are pages of colourable cards with two on each page connected by tabs on perforated pages which are very easy to remove from the book with no issues or bending and a thin strip that the perforation is attached to that you can cut off with scissors to neaten up the card edges. There are 24 cards, each with a unique design, and all 4 sides of the cards have illustrations on that you can colour including a “Coloured For You By…” section on the back, they measure 13.5cm square when folded. Following the card pages are 24 unique envelope designs that match the cards perfectly and are printed in the same order as the cards so it’s very easy to match up the paired cards and envelopes together. The envelopes have illustrations on the front, each of the four flaps, and the whole of the back of the page which makes up the inside of the envelope has a repeating design on it that can be coloured if you wish. The folding instructions are very clear and easy to follow and the pre-scored lines on the cards and envelopes allow for a perfect fold every time. On the very last page of the book are 24 circular stickers with matching designs to seal the envelopes with. One small gripe I have is that these stickers are arranged in a random order and it’s not clear which card many of them are designed for, with many being suitable for a number of cards which just irks the perfectionist in me.

The card itself is bright white, medium thickness and lightly textured. I experienced absolutely no bleeding or shadowing when using water-based pens; alcohol markers will bleed through. Pencils would be ideal for these cards if you’re wanting more subtle colours, or wanting to blend and shade. The envelopes are printed onto bright white, thick paper which I didn’t experience any bleed through of water-based pens on but did get the lightest of shadowing when I coloured too slowly and the ink saturated the paper a bit much so do please be careful if you’re wanting the inside of your envelopes to remain pristine for colouring too. Sadly, the space left on the front of a few of the envelopes is pretty small and not exactly suitable for a normal length postal address and there is also no space for a postage stamp (I have been contacted by the publisher who has explained that this may well be changed in future reprints so there is a larger space for addresses). You could add an address label, and simply stick the postage stamp over the design but for perfectionists like me this isn’t an option and it is a shame this wasn’t quite thought through. When posting these cards to friends and family I will be popping the whole thing inside a normal envelope so that I can keep the envelope design intact. A larger number of the envelopes have just one image on the front so there is plenty of address-writing space so just pick your cards carefully if you’re wanting to be able to post them.

The designs themselves are utterly charming and absolutely adorable. This set is a great combination of super sweet animals, wreaths and heaps of holly, they’re just a delight to colour. The illustrations include lots of birds, bears, mice, squirrels, mistletoe, holly, baubles, presents, poinsettias, Christmas trees, stockings, penguins, Santas, and much more! Every aspect of every card, envelope and sticker is unique, there are no doubled up/rearranged designs, and no corners have been cut. The cards feel luxurious and are extremely well made, I couldn’t ask for more from a set of colouring cards, and they’re an absolute bargain, I’m sure I’ll be purchasing set after set of these.

In terms of mental health, I personally found these cards absolutely fantastic. I’ve been having a stressful week with anxiety and these cards have really helped me to calm down, zone out, and focus on a manageable project which I could colour in sections or larger bits when I was feeling better and despite it being the hottest week of the year, they’ve reminded me that my favourite time of year is on its way! The line thickness is thin throughout and the images are mostly very intricate and detailed with a few larger spaces on leaves and animals but predominantly each image consists of lots of teeny tiny elements so these cards are definitely for those of you with pretty good vision and fine motor control. The image content is really natural and has a childlike quality which adds so much charm and character to the illustrations and is sure to brighten the darkest of days and spread a little Christmas cheer, no matter how low you’re feeling. The cards take a surprisingly long time to colour so you get hours and hours of enjoyment from this book and you can really spread the colouring love by posting them coloured or even uncoloured to family and friends.

I would highly recommend these cards to anyone looking for Christmas cards to colour and send, or anyone wanting to persuade their friends or family into starting colouring, these cards are so charming that the recipient surely can’t help but start colouring them if they’re sent uncoloured! You’ll need pretty good vision and fine motor control to enjoy them but if you have those then you’re sure to love these cards, they’re genuinely perfect!

If you’d like to purchase a set, they’re available here:
Amazon UK – The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Christmas
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/The-National-Trust-The-Colouring-Book-of-Cards-and-Envelopes—Christmas-Rebecc-Jones/9780857637260/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Can’t get enough? Check out my reviews of the other available sets here:
Nature
Flowers and Butterflies
Summertime

Pre order the Year of Celebrations set here:
Amazon UK – The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes: A Year of Celebrations
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/The-National-Trust-The-Colouring-Book-of-Cards-and-Envelopes—Year-of-Celebrations-Rebecc-Jones/9780857638564/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The card and envelope below were coloured using Stabilo 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tips.

The Aquarium

The Aquarium: Marine Creatures to Colour – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
The Aquarium is published and was kindly sent to me to review by Michael O’Mara Books. This is the third book created by the super talented illustrators Richard Merritt and Claire Scully, known for The Menagerie and The Aviary. This book is exactly the same size and format as the predecessors (it’s non-perforated like The Aviary) but in case you missed those here are the specs. The book is huge at 29cm square, it’s paperback and has beautiful blue and magenta foiling on the cover. The pages are not perforated but they are easy to remove by cutting as close to the spine as possible so you can still frame them if you wish. There are 31 images, all printed single-sided and very little of the image enters the spine so hardly any of it is lost. The paper is bright white, fairly thick and lightly textured. My water-based pens barely shadowed and didn’t bleed through at all and there was no sideways bleeding so these images are ideal to be coloured with fineliners or fibre-tipped pens as well as coloured pencils, you could also use alcohol markers as long as you pop some protective sheets of paper behind your work. Each image is just like a portrait of a person but each one is of a fish or sea creature instead, some are zoomed in a little, some are drawn side on and others are pictured front on or even in pairs or shoals. The images are beautiful and if you are a fish or underwater creature fan then you’ll love this book! Michael O’Mara are incredibly proud of this new title and quite rightly so, it’s just gorgeous and a worthy sequel to The Menagerie and The Aviary, this series is really different from any other books I’ve seen in the way it’s presented and the content of the images, I think this might actually be my favourite so far because you can use such an array of bright colours.

Each picture (except the walrus, clown fish and seal) has a bit of colour added to the background in the form of blue or purple bubbles, red seaweed, turquoise waves and lilac jellyfish silhouettes but the animal itself is always colour-free ready for you to make your mark. These images would look stunning framed on their own or as a set and I’m already making grand plans for some of my favourites! I have put a photo below of the list of sea creatures included but some of my personal favourites are the orcas, lined seahorses, chambered nautilus, and common octopus, but that’s just to name a few. Unlike in the previous books where a few of the animals were naturally black which made it difficult to colour them realistically if you so chose, in this book only the orcas and penguins are naturally black and as you can see from my finished page, I decided to go all out and use as many colours as possible to create rainbow orcas which I really wish were a real thing!

In terms of mental health, this book is fabulous! As seasoned readers of my reviews will know, I think natural images and those of things in nature are by far the most relaxing to colour and animals are absolutely top of my list for that so this book is ideal! I found it really calming to colour ready for review and this is sure to be one of my go-to books when my anxiety peaks and I need to get control of it quickly. Because the images are of something real, you can either colour them realistically meaning you can have a quick google and find out exactly what pens and pencils to use to make it come alive and practice your blending and shading, or you can do what I did and really spice things up with your brightest pens and wildest colour schemes. There’s no right or wrong way of colouring this book and having seen other people’s finished versions of the pictures online, I’m still not sure which I prefer out of realistic or outlandish and I’m intending to mix and match through my copy! The sea creatures themselves are drawn with a varying line thickness which ranges from thin to medium but none of it is spindly thin which is ideal. The intricacy and detail levels also vary throughout but mostly these images are pretty intricate and are made up of lots of teeny tiny sections. However, because the images are of fish, you don’t have to colour in each section a different colour and could easily colour whole chunks and just use the black lines as texture behind that rather than guides for where you must colour within. A number of the images really lend themselves to beautifully blended pencils and I most certainly won’t be colouring within every section and will instead be using those to colour over and look like scales through my coloured pencil. There are loads of possibilities with these images so this is one book that you don’t need to be put off from just because at first glance it looks too intricate. You will need a moderate level of fine motor control and good-ish vision but neither need to be perfect for you to be able to create a scaly, tentacled masterpiece! These images will take ages to colour so they’re great for keeping you distracted from difficult thoughts and calming you down when your mind is racing and your anxiety is off the chart. The size of the images means that you’ve really got something to get your teeth into and you can just colour small sections on bad days when your concentration isn’t so great, or the whole image on days where you’re feeling more focused.

I would highly recommend this book if you love sea creatures, like colouring natural things, or if you really like intricate, detailed books with plenty of different sections to colour. This is one of the nicest colouring books of fish and marine life that I’ve seen. The Aquarium is a fantastic book for keeping you focused and distracted from mental illness and I found it really helpful for calming down my anxiety and slowing down my thoughts so I could focus again.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available for less than the RRP here:
Amazon UK – The Aquarium
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Aquarium-Richard-Merritt/9781910552322/?a_aid=colouringitmom

A Fourth book has also been announced called The Labyrinth which will be filled with mythical creatures and can be pre-ordered here but you’ve got a long wait as it doesn’t publish until May 2017!
Amazon UK – The Labyrinth
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/The-Labyrinth-Richard-Merritt-Claire-Scully-Sabine-Reinhart/9781910552612/?a_aid=colouringitmom

I scoured the internet looking for places that sold frames that fit these images and found these ones on Amazon were perfect and are available in various colours to suit your image no matter how it’s coloured.
White 11 inch square frame
Oak 11 inch square frame
Beech 11 inch square frame

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tips.

Millie Marotta's Curious Creatures

Millie Marotta’s Curious Creatures: A Colouring Book Adventure – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Curious Creatures is published by Batsford Books who are very kindly sending me a review copy. After discovering that it had been released early in the UK in some Waterstone’s stores, I sent my boyfriend out on a mission and he dutifully delivered me a copy as I just couldn’t wait to see inside, this might seem excessive to some but I’m sure the die-hard colouring fans will understand the need to have a book the first moment you possibly can, normally I’d feel a bit silly for being so uncontrollable but this book is so beautiful that all guilty thoughts have gone out the window and I’m just thrilled to have an extra week to look through this stunning book. Everyone has their own favourites of Millie’s images and we all debate about which of her previous books is our favourite or the best, well for me, this is without doubt, the best book of hers by a big margin! So, before I get so enthusiastic that I forget to tell you all the important information, here’s my actual review.

Curious Creatures is the fourth book in Millie’s animal-centred adult colouring book series. It’s the same size and shape (25cm square) as her previous books, paperback, with flexible card covers with black and white line drawings that hint at some of the curious creatures within the pages and these illustrations have highlights of colour added as well as gold foiling on them and the title. The spine is a beautiful purple colour which compliments the other spine colours really well and they look gorgeous on the shelf together (see photo below). The covers have French flaps which each have a paired down version of the front cover on the outside and inside is a pale blue background with white line drawings of moths (this isn’t really colourable and is different from the format of Millie’s three previous titles). The spine is glue and string-bound so it’s very durable but it does mean that a little of some of the images is lost into it until it eases up with a bit of use. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads, and while I felt like there were more double-page spreads in this book, I counted and it’s actually the same number as the previous titles, some single-pages must just pair up very well and feel like they’re double pages without actually being so. The paper is bright white and lightly textured, it’s the same paper as the previous titles and doesn’t bleed but does shadow a little with water-based pens; pencils work beautifully and blend and shade really well.

The book starts with a two-page introduction from Millie herself where she explains her illustration process and how hard she found it to narrow down the choice of animals to be included. Following this are heaps of illustrations of the strangest, weirdest, most beautiful and downright curious creatures. The images include a hermit crab, Bactrian camel, chambered nautilus, sea slugs, moths, flying fish, poison dart frog, tufted puffin, jewel beetles and so much more. There are five matching spreads where there is a more detailed version on the left and a less detailed copy of the same image on the right where you can add your own details and patterns if you wish but there are no written hints so it’s entirely up to you what you do with these pages. A fabulous new feature at the back of this book is a two-page list of all of the creatures in order of their inclusion in the book. This list has the English and scientific name (Latin name) for each creature and it makes identifying them super easy and also means that you can quickly google images of each creature so you can find out what they look like if you’re keen on the natural look in your colouring; it’s also a great way of finding out more information about some of the stranger creatures on the planet and I’ve already learnt loads of interesting facts! These images feel a little fuller and more finished than Millie’s previous books, there’s a little more scenery and a little more added to backgrounds such as clouds or bubbles so the blank spaces are a bit less empty, this isn’t intrusive for those wanting to create their own backgrounds though, it just helps it look a bit more finished for those who don’t want to create their own.

In terms of mental health, this book is fantastic. There is so much to look at, so much to discover, that it’s incredibly distracting and really focuses your mind on the illustrations themselves rather than any difficult thoughts or feelings you may be having. The image content is totally absorbing and nature-based images are the best for relieving symptoms of mental illness. This book is very intricate, but don’t let that scare you, you can use pencils, fine-nibbed felt tips, fineliners and gel pens, all with great effects and most of the images aren’t so detailed that you’re put off or overwhelmed. If you have vision problems or issues with fine motor control then you may struggle with this book but for any of the rest of you I’d suggest giving this book a go and persevering into a more intricate world. The natural scenes of animals, flowers and trees definitely create a sense of calm and this will be one of my go-to books when I really need to focus on something and be distracted. It’s detailed enough that you have to focus and concentrate and this lends itself wonderfully to drowning out any anxious or disturbing thoughts you may want to shift. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is very thin so I’d advise colouring during the day or near a very good desk lamp. The images are really cohesive in their curiousness and they are truly fascinating to look through.

I can’t praise this book highly enough, I love Millie’s work and this book is absolutely stunning and just enthralling. The illustrations lend themselves to whatever colour scheme you fancy whether that be realistic, rainbow, monochrome, black and white, mixed media, or anything else you can dream up. This book has by far the most varied, interesting and intriguing content and I’m sure that it will become a firm favourite just like her previous titles, possibly even exceeding them!

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Curious Creatures
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marottas-Curious-Creatures-Millie-Marotta/9781849943659/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip Pens.

Press Out and Colour Birds

Press Out and Colour: Birds – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Press Out and Colour: Birds, is published and very kindly sent to me to review by Nosy Crow. This book is aimed at children but actually, it’s ideal for anyone who’s young at heart and I really enjoyed colouring my bird ready for the review. This book is hardback, a little larger than A5 and spiral-bound. The covers are a bright glowing red and the spine is pale blue with silver foiling on the spine and the front cover. On the inside covers are white line drawings on a gorgeous turquoise colour background showing 5 of the birds fully assembled and named on each. The book contains 10 models of birds which you can press out (before or after colouring), colour and assemble and then hang around the house. The pages are made of very thick card/hardboard and are covered in silver foil throughout. The birds are white with silver line-drawn patterns all over them which you colour within and these catch the light beautifully when you hang up your assembled bird and it moves against the light. The birds are printed double-sided with the same design on both sides so that you can colour it identically and have a 3D bird at the end. The cuts around the little sections that need to be removed in order to slot the bird together and hang it up are really well cut so that you can push the unneeded bits out with your fingers or something a bit pointier if needed. The pieces slot together really well and are very sturdy and will remain so if you don’t disassemble and reassemble them a lot so they won’t fall apart by accident and they shouldn’t need gluing. Each bird has a small hole that you can tie some thread through (the hole is a little small for string) and you could either hang the birds separately or together, or even create a mobile or ceiling centrepiece. If you don’t want to keep the birds hung up then they can be disassembled and the pieces can be popped back into the guides in the book for safekeeping. The guides can also be used as stencils to draw within (or you could draw around the pieces but be careful to only use pencil so you don’t accidentally damage your finished bird) so that you can create flocks more than the original 10 you’re getting. Simply draw within the slots and holes on the pieces to make sure it’ll slot together just like the original or, if you’re using thinner card, make them thinner and adjust with scissors as you go if it’s a bit too tight a fit! The birds included are: dove, blue tit, cardinal, cockatoo, goldfinch, hummingbird, owl, peacock, robin and swallow.

As mentioned before, the card is very thick hardboard and therefore you can use whatever mediums you fancy. I used alcohol markers on mine as they’re much more fade-resistant than water-based pens and they didn’t shadow at all. The patterns are quite detailed so you may struggle with pencils and little people almost certainly would so I’d stick to pens for this (do put down some protective stuff on the table if letting your child loose with Sharpies or it may not just be the bird that gets permanently subjected to their creative flair). These birds would make a perfect family project, you could do one each or even do a piece each and see what you come out with, I’m sure you could create some very tropical birds! It would be a lovely activity to do for or with your children and once you’ve completed all 10 you could hang them at different heights in their bedroom so that you and they are constantly reminded of the fun you had creating them together. The hardboard is really durable and will hold up to a fair bit of bashing, scrubbing, and over-colouring (children can get a little over-enthusiastic with pens sometimes) so these birds would be ideal for children of almost any age, if they can hold a pen and colour, they can colour these birds! The parts are all fairly big so it’s advised on the book that you don’t give it to a child under the age of 3 but above that you’ll be good to go!

In terms of mental health, what could be better than an activity that you can share with your children? The process of colouring them together will be sure to lift your mood and if you’re ever having a bad day or feeling anxious, go and check out your handiwork and lie on the floor gazing up at the masterpieces you and your children have created and imagine you’re a bird soaring through the sky and away from your problems; it can’t just be me who’s always wished they could fly?! The intricacy and detail level is surprisingly high for a book that’s aimed at children but the silver lines can either be coloured within by adults, or over by children, it really won’t matter either way and you’ll get some very unique birds regardless of the way you colour them. If you want the birds to look realistic then you could find some images of the bird to show your child so they can have a go at matching it or you can let their creativity loose and have a rainbow robin, pink peacock, or green goldfinch. All of the birds are made of 3 or 4 pieces so they’re really easy to assemble and they don’t take hours and hours to colour, even if you do colour each section separately (like I did) so they’re a great quick project to create something beautiful and displayable for your home!

I would highly recommend this book to those with children, or the young at heart. These birds are super cute and great fun to colour and they look even better once assembled, a fully coloured flock hung up in a room will look fabulous and be sure to delight your child and brighten up the darkest of days be those due to weather or mental health. Get colouring yourself a flock of brightly coloured birds!

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Press Out and Colour: Birds
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Press-Out-and-Colour-No1-Zoe-Ingram/9780857637673/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The bird below was coloured using Sharpies.

Winter Dreams Postcards

Winter Dreams 20 Postcards – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Winter Dreams Postcards are illustrated by Hanna Karlzon, published by Gibbs Smith and are from my personal collection. These postcards are not taken from a book and have been published as a standalone postcard set and Hanna has categorically stated that there are no plans to turn these into a full length colouring book. This postcard book contains 20 postcards, it’s paperback with thick card covers and a black tape binding. The cover is a midnight blue with an illustration from inside the book with beautiful silver foiling accents and writing on the spine. The book has a lay flat binding meaning there is no spine to contend with so you’re able to reach and colour the entirety of the image; the postcards are easy to remove if you wish so they can be sent or gifted or even framed but they’ll stay in the book as long as you’re careful not to twist the spine. The cards are a cream colour which looks quite vintage, it’s fairly smooth with a light texture and is perfect for blending and shading with pencils but pens glide over it seamlessly too. Alcohol markers won’t bleed if you’re careful and they don’t spread. The postcards are printed single-sided and on the reverse are printed three address lines and space for a stamp with one of 3 little doodles within it. The drawings are either centralised or those that are full-page have a line border around them that’s just a couple of millimetres thick which would make framing them nice and easy without losing any of the image. The illustrations are all very similar to those used in the Daydreams postcard set in terms of intricacy level and content, none are impossible to colour and all will look beautiful when finished. The images are very nature-based and none of Hanna’s signature human drawings have been included. There also aren’t many gems at all. The illustrations include birds, reindeer, baubles, stars, a gingerbread house, snow globe, candles, lanterns, snowflakes and more. They’ve all got a bit of added whimsy and fantasy which is a huge part of what gives Hanna’s images such charm and sets them apart from others. These images are all winter and Christmas themed with a real Nordic style to them so you won’t find Father Christmas or Rudolph in sight but you will find some equally enchanting images inspired by Hanna’s homeland of Sweden.

In terms of mental health, these postcards are just perfect! Postcards offer a perfect smaller project which is less daunting to start and takes far less time to make progress on or finish than a full book page. The card is ideal for using any mediums and because they’re single-sided they’re perfect for framing so you can brighten up your darker days by just looking at all of the wonderful pages you’ve created, a great way of lifting your spirits. These postcards are nature-based and I find this the best thing for mental health as they’re very calming and peaceful and if you struggle to conjure up colour palette ideas you can just go with the one nature already created or spice things up a little if you’re feeling brave. The line thickness is consistently thin throughout but it’s not spindly thin. The intricacy and detail levels are pretty high but none of the spaces are impossible to colour. You will need fairly good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of these postcards. As for concentration level, these pages are ideal because their smaller size means they take less concentration and you can focus on individual aspects if you prefer and colour just one star or bauble rather than focusing on the whole picture at once. These postcards are ideal for good and bad days, they’re a manageable size and I personally find them very inspiring and easy to get into without having to stress over colours for hours, I can just dive right in. If you need any inspiration then just search online using Hanna’s name or the book title and you’ll find heaps of ideas to get you going!

Overall, I would highly recommend these postcards, they’re all beautifully illustrated and they’re perfect for days when you’re feeling poorly, down, or your concentration is waning. They make an ideal project to send to others, to frame, or to keep in the book and they’re truly beautiful even just to look through uncoloured!

If you’d like to purchase a set they’re available here:
Amazon UK – Winter Dreams Postcards
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Winter-Dreams-20-Postcards-Hann-Karlzon/9781423645603/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip pens.

Daydreams Postcards

Daydreams 20 Postcards – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Daydreams 20 Postcards are illustrated by Hanna Karlzon, published by Gibbs Smith and are from my personal collection. These postcards are taken from Hanna’s original colouring book Daydreams (reviewed by me here), there is also an artist’s edition available, reviewed by me here. This postcard book contains 20 postcards, it’s paperback with thick card covers and a black tape binding. The cover is the same colour and design as the original book but printed on a smaller scale with the same luxurious gold foil accents and writing on the spine. The book has a lay flat binding meaning there is no spine to contend with so you’re able to reach and colour the entirety of the image; the postcards are easy to remove if you wish so they can be sent or gifted or even framed but they’ll stay in the book as long as you’re careful not to twist the spine. The cards are a cream colour which looks quite vintage and matches the original book pages well, it’s fairly smooth with a light texture and is perfect for blending and shading with pencils but pens glide over it seamlessly too. Alcohol markers won’t bleed if you’re careful and they don’t spread. The postcards are printed single-sided and on the reverse are printed three address lines and space for a stamp with one of 5 little doodles within it. The drawings are either centralised or those that are full-page have a line border around them that’s just a couple of millimetres thick which would make framing them nice and easy without losing any of the image. The illustrations are all scaled down from the original book and while they are drastically decreased in size (see comparison photos with the book below), none are impossible to colour and all will look beautiful when finished. The image content is very nature-based and none of Hanna’s human drawings have been included. There also aren’t many gems at all. The illustrations include birds, insects, plants, flowers, leaves, buildings, rabbits and lots of underwater scenes and creatures. They’ve all got a bit of added whimsy and fantasy which is a huge part of what gives Hanna’s images such charm and sets them apart from others.

In terms of mental health, these postcards are just perfect! Postcards offer a perfect smaller project which is less daunting to start and takes far less time to make progress on or finish than a full book page. The card is ideal for using any mediums and because they’re single-sided they’re perfect for framing so you can brighten up your darker days by just looking at all of the wonderful pages you’ve created, a great way of lifting your spirits. These postcards are nature-based and I find this the best thing for mental health as they’re very calming and peaceful and if you struggle to conjure up colour palette ideas you can just go with the one nature already created or spice things up a little if you’re feeling brave. The line thickness is consistently thin throughout but it’s not spindly thin. The intricacy and detail levels are pretty high due to these images being scaled down from the book but none of the spaces are impossible to colour. You will need fairly good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of these postcards. As for concentration level, these pages are ideal because their smaller size means they take less concentration and you can focus on individual aspects if you prefer and colour just one bird or one dragonfly rather than focusing on the whole picture at once. These postcards are ideal for good and bad days, they’re a manageable size and I personally find them very inspiring and easy to get into without having to stress over colours for hours, I can just dive right in. If you need any inspiration then just search online using Hanna’s name or the book title and you’ll find heaps of ideas to get you going!

Overall, I would highly recommend these postcards, they’re a lovely new format using Hanna’s original illustrations and they’re perfect for days when you’re feeling poorly, down, or your concentration is waning. They make an ideal project to send to others, to frame, or to keep in the book and they’re truly beautiful even just to look through uncoloured!

If you’d like to purchase a set they’re available here:
Amazon UK – Daydreams 20 Postcards
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Daydreams-20-Postcards-Hanna-Karlzon/9781423645597/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.

Magical Jungle

Magical Jungle: An Inky Expedition and Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
This review is of the UK edition of Magical Jungle published by Virgin Books. I also have a US edition published by Penguin and have written a comparison post about the differences between the two which can be found here. Both copies of the book were purchased by me as I was unable to secure review copies, I purchased the UK edition from Amazon UK and the US edition from Book Depository. This UK edition of Magical Jungle was printed in Italy.

Magical Jungle is a paperback, square book (25cm x 25cm) which is exactly the same size as Johanna’s previous three titles, Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest, and Lost Ocean. It has a black spine with white text, the same as Secret Garden and Lost ocean and it looks beautiful with the other titles on the shelf (see photo below). The UK edition has a removable dust jacket which has gold foiling accents on the front, really adding to the luxurious feel of this book. The jacket is made of thick paper which you can colour and the inside of it is covered with a beautiful jungle foliage pattern which has a waxy finish and can be coloured but only with certain mediums because most pens and pencils are repelled by the shine (alcohol markers are best for this and don’t bleed). This dust jacket is a little looser than the first two and feels a little thinner, it is off white and not cream (see the photo below to see the difference) so it does look a little different from the first two and is similar to Lost Ocean but not quite white. Under the dust jacket, the book is paperback with bright grass green card covers which have an inky black orchid and leaf design on the outside and inside covers. The paper is NOT the same as any previous titles or editions of Johanna’s books and also IS NOT the same as the US edition of Magical Jungle. The paper is most similar to the Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest paper but instead of being a yellowy-creamy colour, this is much whiter and more of an ivory hue. It feels equally as thick as the SG and EF paper and has a good level of texture so it’s not difficult to cover the gaps but you can layer and blend well with coloured pencils. I didn’t experience any bleeding or shadowing with water-based pens but everyone colours differently so do make sure you test them on the brand new colour palette test page at the back of the book (a very handy feature where you can not only check for how your mediums behave on the paper but also test colour combos on the new ivory paper).

The images are printed double-sided with no border and the spine is glue and stitch-bound, normally this would mean a little of each image was lost into it but Johanna has taken on board the concerns of us colourists and has deliberately left the spine as clear as possible in the vast majority of the images so this frustration is mostly gone! The book contains 80 pages of stunning images, the same number as in Lost Ocean, fewer than Johanna’s first two books (96 Secret Garden, 84 Enchanted Forest) but I have to say, I didn’t notice this at all until I looked at the specs on Amazon. The style of the images has somewhat changed and Johanna has added more double-page spreads and ribbon pages (those with an illustration running across the middle but not filling the entire page) and put in fewer patterns and mandala-style images though there is a running theme of images with symmetry which I know are a bit like Marmite within the colouring community. One issue specific to the UK edition is the print quality, I have checked with a couple of friends of mine who also have a UK edition printed in Italy and all of us have pixelation throughout the images. This is very subtle and is only noticed when you look very closely at the lines but nevertheless, it’s there and the lines aren’t crisp and neat as the original drawings would have been or as they are in the US edition (see comparison post for more information on this). This pixelation doesn’t particularly affect the enjoyment of the book but it is there and is present on all colouring pages throughout the book, see photos below for clarification.

The book starts with a “This book belongs to …” page where you can add your name and then goes on to show all of the animals that are hidden within the pages for you to find (at the back of the book all of the items are listed under a miniature image of each page they are contained within). You are then transported into Johanna’s Magical Jungle where you will encounter turtles, snakes, monkeys, parrots, and butterflies galore. The images range from double page jungle scenes, to mandala style images of insects, fruity repeating patterns, to single creatures taking centre stage in bordered images, and so much more. Your journey into the jungle starts with a double-page spread where you encounter a waterfall and a croc-infested lake. Walking through the jungle you discover tigers, pandas, tropical birds and tree frogs. There are scenes of gigantic leaves, jungle pools, monkey-filled canopies, jungle houses, ponds and so much more. Finally, at the very end of the book are 4 single-sided perforated pages printed on the same paper as the rest of the book with beautiful images that you can colour and then remove and frame. These pages would be perfect for wetter, more-likely to bleed mediums like watercolours or alcohol markers. These perforated pages have replaced the fold-out spreads of Enchanted Forest and Lost Ocean and while some people have been disappointed by this and in some ways I am too, they’re also really beautiful illustrations that will be wonderful to frame and I’m pretty sure this was Johanna’s way of appeasing the people who’ve been consistently asking for removable pages (which can’t be done throughout the book due to cost) and not have to wait until the Artist’s Edition is published next year in order to colour with alcohol markers or be able to frame some of our work. A number of the images in the book have large blank spaces where you can add your own inky leaves and creatures or just leave them blank if drawing isn’t your forte and unlike in Secret Garden there are no written hints so you’re free to create whatever your imagination can conjure up. If you need inspiration then head online to google, pinterest and Facebook colouring groups where there will be finished pages cropping up daily from people worldwide who are venturing into the foliage and colouring their own leafy jungle.

In terms of mental health, this book has different benefits from Johanna’s previous titles. This book is definitely less distracting and requires much less concentration because there are fewer elements on the majority of the pages and these are larger and less detailed. The line thickness is the same as her previous books and is very thin however the intricacy and detail levels are drastically decreased and this is her least detailed book to date which means it will suit far more of you, especially those of you with poorer vision and fine motor control who were just overwhelmed with the teeny tiny sections of her previous books. Fineliner colourers may be quite disappointed as there are very few images in this book that specifically lend themselves to colouring with fine nibs and if you’re wanting to use pens you’ll be much better placed using gel pens or fibre-tips (steer clear of alcohol markers, they’ll bleed through). The illustrations in this book are ideal for pencil colourers because there is so much space to blend and shade; there is also plenty of space to add your own backgrounds if you wish. The images aren’t arranged into a storyline and are more of a collection of jungle-themed illustrations, this means that the book doesn’t especially take you on a journey though it does definitely transport you to a far off place and offers a good level of escapism. The variety of image styles means that there is something for every concentration level as well as good and bad days of symptoms. There are ribbon images which could take you just a couple of hours to colour, centralised single images which will take a few hours, all the way up to jam-packed double-page spreads depicting jungle scenes which will take days or even weeks depending on what mediums and techniques you use to colour them and whether or not you add a background. The nature of the imagery in this book is superb for calming you down and helping you to zone out. I find nature scenes the best thing for calming down my anxious racing mind and this book really does that. The lack of intricacy is a shame for some of us but I know this increases anxiety in some colourers and for those of you who experience this, this book will be ideal for you! You can always add your own intricate patterns and details if you wish meaning you can combine colouring and zentangling if you choose.

Magical Jungle is a huge step away from the detail and intricacy of Lost Ocean and is most similar to the larger more open-spaced designs of Enchanted Forest. The content is very plant-heavy and is filled with leaves and flowers with lots of animals featured throughout; there have been some complaints from people who were expecting it to be animal-centric and who were disappointed so please do check out the images below and Johanna’s flick-through here. I personally really love this book, the print quality issues with the lines being pixelated in the UK version are a real shame and I do miss some of the detail of Johanna’s previous titles but in general this book is beautiful, I do wish there was more of a storyline with the images rather than it being a themed collection but overall it’s gorgeous and will be so lovely to colour and I can’t wait to get started on my next page.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Magical Jungle it’s available here:
UK Edition
Amazon UK – Magical Jungle
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Magical-Jungle-Johann-Basford/9780753557167/?a_aid=colouringitmom
US Edition
Amazon UK – Magical Jungle
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Magical-Jungle-Johann-Basford/9780143109006/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.

Magical Jungle Comaprison

Magical Jungle: A comparison between the UK and US editions

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Magical Jungle was released in the UK and US last week and after the huge online debates surrounding the differences between the UK and US editions of Lost Ocean last year and the popularity of my comparison post of that (found here), I thought I’d do the same for Magical Jungle. I was unable to get review copies so I have purchased the US edition from Book Depository and the UK edition from Amazon UK (purchase links below). I have heard that there are issues with some UK editions which have been printed in China, my copy was printed in Italy (more info below). You can find my review of the UK edition, including the image content etc here.

This is a long post because there are so many pictures included to illustrate each point but please bear with me because a lot of time and effort has gone into being as thorough as possible. Most of the things I’ve noticed don’t affect the enjoyment or use of the book, they’re just differences but there are a few items that are fundamentally different and do affect use so keep an eye out for those, they’re summarised at the bottom. Some of the very noticeable differences include size, print quality and paper type so here goes with the most comprehensive list of similarities and differences that you’re likely to find online!

  1. Dust Jacket –  This is one of the biggest differences between the editions. The UK edition has a removable dust jacket just like the UK editions of the first three books by Johanna Basford. It is a little looser fitting than the first two books and is ivory and a little thinner too (very similar to Lost Ocean but not white like that was). The book itself has bright grass green card covers with a black orchid and leaf design on the outside and inside covers. The US edition has a fully attached white cover made of card which has half size flaps inside that open out revealing the foliage design that is also on the inside of the UK dust jacket. The covers on both editions are fully colourable and matte in texture apart from the inside of the UK dust jacket which is waxy to the touch, this can be coloured with alcohol markers but water-based pens are repelled.
    Magical Jungle 1 Dust Jacket (1) US Magical Jungle 1 Dust Jacket (2) US Magical Jungle 1 Dust Jacket (3) UK Magical Jungle 1 Dust Jacket (4) UK Magical Jungle 1 Dust Jacket (5) UK
  2. French Flaps – The inside flaps of the dust jacket of the UK edition and the cover of the US edition have the same white line foliage drawing but this is printed much larger on the US edition than the UK edition.
    Magical Jungle 2 French Flaps
  3. Spine – The UK edition has a black spine with white writing (the same as Secret Garden and UK Lost Ocean) and the Virgin books symbol. The US edition has a white spine with black writing and the Penguin books symbol.
    Magical Jungle 3 Spine
  4. Book size – The UK edition is exactly the same size as Johanna Basford’s first three UK titles – 25cm square, the US edition is slightly larger (just like the US Lost Ocean) at around 25.5cm square making it about half a centimetre taller and wider.
    Magical Jungle 4 Book Size (1) Magical Jungle 4 Book Size (2) Magical Jungle 4 Book Size (3)
  5. Foil on cover – Both editions have gold foiling on the front but both have different aspects foiled. The UK edition has the tiger, chameleon, orchid and aspects of all three birds covered in foil, the title is partially foiled; the US edition has a few leaves, flowers and the whole toucan foiled instead and the title is fully foiled.
    Magical Jungle 5 Foil on Cover (1) US Magical Jungle 5 Foil on Cover (2) UK Magical Jungle 5 Foil on Cover (3) Magical Jungle 5 Foil on Cover (4) Magical Jungle 5 Foil on Cover (5)
  6. Foiling colour – The foiling is also a different colour and texture – the UK edition has gold foiling that is a darker colour, it’s difficult to describe but it’s more silver and bronze than specifically gold and is smoother to the touch, the US edition has much yellower gold foiling that is slightly rough to the touch.
    Magical Jungle 6 Foiling Colour (1) Magical Jungle 6 Foiling Colour (2)
  7. Spelling differences – As you’d expect, the UK edition has the British spellings throughout of colour etc, the US edition has color (always check your cover as it’s the easiest way of telling if you have a UK or US edition by the spelling of “colouring book”).
    Magical Jungle 7 Spelling Differences
  8. Cover design – The image on the cover of the UK edition is shifted up approximately half a centimetre compared to the US edition.
    Magical Jungle 8 Cover Design (1) Magical Jungle 8 Cover Design (2) Magical Jungle 8 Cover Design (3)
  9. Blurb – The UK and US editions have completely different blurbs.
    Magical Jungle 9 Blurb
  10. Paper quality – This is one of the biggest differences and one that has concerned me. We were promised by Johanna Basford herself that the paper in the UK and US editions would be identical however I can categorically state that it is NOT. The colour is different, the thickness is different and the surface texture is different. The UK paper is ivory and a much whiter hue, it is a little thinner but feels equally thick as Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest and significantly thicker than Lost Ocean. There is a little tooth but the paper does burnish after a few layers when tested with Polychromos and Prismacolor pencils. The US paper is ivory but a more cream colour though it’s still paler than the cream colour of Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. The paper is the thickest yet and has a more visible tooth, it took far more layers for blending (see direct comparison below with identical numbers of layers with two polychromos pencils on the red and yellow leaf) and still isn’t totally burnished. In both editions water-based pens behave the same way and the paper in both is beautiful to colour on with pens as they glide really well with no feathering or spreading at all. The UK paper seems like it will shadow faster and more easily than the US edition and while I didn’t experience any shadowing in either, the UK paper did seem like it might with very dark colours if not using a light touch. It is unclear which edition has the official Johanna Basford paper but I’m guessing it’s the US edition. I’m working on finding this out and will update the post if and when I find out the answer. I personally prefer the colour of the UK edition but the US paper is easier to use pencils on and is less likely to bleed with water-based pens so I have to recommend that one.
    Magical Jungle 10 Paper Quality (1) Magical Jungle 10 Paper Quality (2) Magical Jungle 10 Paper Quality (3) Magical Jungle 10 Paper Quality (4) Magical Jungle 10 Paper Quality (5) Magical Jungle 10 Paper Quality (6)
  11. Page ink quality – Both books have equally permanent ink when tested with Derwent blender and burnishing pencils. Both smudged ever so slightly but I was pressing hard and there was very little ink transfer behind the image I fully coloured in the UK edition. My suggestion would be to use a scrap piece of paper behind your colouring in either edition of the book just to be safe.
    Magical Jungle 11 Page Ink Quality (1) Magical Jungle 11 Page Ink Quality (2) Magical Jungle 11 Page Ink Quality (3)
  12. Image size – The images in the UK edition are printed a little smaller than the US edition (up to 1cm overall and yes I measured a number of them with a ruler to check) meaning there is a larger white border around the images in the UK book compared to the US book. This difference isn’t especially noticeable but those of you with poorer vision or fine motor control would be best purchasing the US edition as the images are slightly larger throughout.
    Magical Jungle 12 Image Size (1) Magical Jungle 12 Image Size (2) Magical Jungle 12 Image Size (3) Magical Jungle 12 Image Size (4)
  13. Image orientation – The images in the UK edition are shifted upwards slightly when compared to the US edition, it looks as if both have had a section taken from a slightly larger original image and the UK edition takes the upper part and the US edition takes the lower part, this is very marginal, up to half a centimetre difference, but I noticed it and felt it worth mentioning. This only affects full page designs not any of the centralised images.
    Magical Jungle 13 Image Orientation (1) Magical Jungle 13 Image Orientation (2)
  14. Printing – The UK edition is printed in Italy (predominantly, some much whiter versions seem to be appearing and these have apparently been published in China) and the US edition is printed in the US.
    Magical Jungle 14 Printing (1) Magical Jungle 14 Printing (2)
  15. Image Quality – This is another major difference and issue between the two editions. The US edition has beautifully printed smooth lines which look as crisp as I imagine Johanna’s original drawings look. Sadly, the same can’t be said for the UK edition and before you ask, no I don’t have a bad copy, I’ve checked with a couple of friends and they have the same issues as I do in their UK edition. The lines are slightly pixelated and not smooth. This is the case throughout the book. A relative of mine has a history in book printing and after looking at the two books he said that this difference in print quality is because of the printing method used for the two books. The UK edition has been printed lithographically which often causes slight pixelation and this is present throughout and while it’s not noticeable from a distance (you may not have even noticed it yet in your copy, sorry if I’ve just ruined your enjoyment of it), it does become noticeable when you get closer to the page. It’s a real shame that Johanna’s images haven’t been printed with a completely crisp line. I’ve now looked through my copies of her other titles and this was also present on a few pages in Enchanted forest. This would again lead me to advise purchasing the US edition.
    Magical Jungle 15 Image Quality (1) Magical Jungle 15 Image Quality (2) Magical Jungle 15 Image Quality (3) Magical Jungle 15 Image Quality (4) Magical Jungle 15 Image Quality (5) Magical Jungle 15 Image Quality (6)
  16. Introduction page – The text on both editions is justified ever so slightly differently and there is an extra comma in the US text.
    Magical Jungle 16 Introduction Page
  17. Binding – The UK edition is stitched and lightly glue-bound whereas the US edition is only glue-bound and because of the fixed cover the binding is much tighter in the US edition. This will ease up with use, especially if you crack or break the spine (I always find this heartbreaking to do), but initially the US edition is much tighter and opens less flat than the UK edition.
    Magical Jungle 17 Binding
  18. Images in key – The key gives the locations of all of the hidden items throughout the book, these are listed in a completely random order in the US edition but in the UK edition they are listed numerically (from largest to smallest number) and alphabetically.
    Magical Jungle 18 Images in Key (1) Magical Jungle 18 Images in Key (2)
  19. Perforated Pages – The four perforated pages at the back of the book are 1cm wider in the US edition than the UK edition.
    Magical Jungle 19 Perforated Pages (1) Magical Jungle 19 Perforated Pages (2)

To sum up, if you’ve managed to make it this far, the two biggest factors affecting your decisions are these:

  1. Matching set – If you want your copy of Magical Jungle to match Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest and the UK edition of Lost Ocean as much as is currently possible (bearing in mind the difference in paper colour and thickness and level of intricacy), then you want the UK edition because it is exactly the same size and also has the distinctive removable dust jacket that we all know and love.
  2. Larger, easier to colour images, thicker paper and crisp linework – If your vision or fine motor control aren’t perfect then I’d definitely advise purchasing the US edition of Magical Jungle because the extra (up to) 1cm in the images will be useful. The paper is thicker and toothier making it best for pen and pencil users and the linework is printed more crisply and neatly so overall, apart from the dust jacket and slight difference in book size, the US edition is superior in almost every way.

Everything else I’ve listed is not a criticism and doesn’t impact use or enjoyment, I’ve just listed all of the differences to make people aware of what they are and to make it easy to identify which copy is which when looking at pictures of it online and elsewhere. In my opinion, the US edition offers a superior colouring experience to the UK edition and if you’re going to purchase just one copy then I’d suggest it be that one. If you notice any other differences then please do get in touch and I’ll add them to the list! Happy Colouring – You’ve definitely earnt it!

You can read my review of the contents of Magical Jungle, including my mental health recommendations here.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Magical Jungle it’s available here:
UK Edition
Amazon UK – Magical Jungle
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Magical-Jungle-Johann-Basford/9780753557167/?a_aid=colouringitmom
US Edition
Amazon UK – Magical Jungle
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Magical-Jungle-Johann-Basford/9780143109006/?a_aid=colouringitmom

 

Millie Marotta's Wild Savannah Deluxe Edition

Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: Deluxe Edition – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: Deluxe Edition is published and was kindly sent to me to review by Batsford Books. This book is a genuine work of art and reviewing it has been really enjoyable because it is so beautiful to look through and to colour. You can read my review of the original edition of Wild Savannah here, I will be making comparisons to that version in this review for those of you who already have the original edition and for those of you who want to know the differences. The Deluxe Edition is a hardback book with a gorgeous fiery orange linen cover and a white screen-printed antelope on the front. The writing on the cover and spine is covered in beautiful gold foil and the book itself is very thick (see comparison photo below of original and deluxe editions) and hefty and just oozes luxury. The book arrives covered in thin plastic wrap to keep the cover safe which is a great idea so that it doesn’t get damaged or marked in any way. The book is a little larger than the original because of the hardback cover but the pages and images themselves are exactly the same size (I measured to check). The spine is stitched and lightly glue-bound so some pages are easier to colour into the spine than others. The images are printed single-sided on the right-hand pages and are borderless meaning a little is lost into the spine in the full-page images but it really is only a little. The pages are not perforated but could be carefully removed with a scalpel to frame or gift to others. The paper is thicker than the original (180gsm) and bright white, I used Stabilo water-based fineliners and they didn’t bleed or shadow at all. The paper is a good thickness but it cannot be described as card-like and is thinner than the paper found in Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden original edition and Artist’s Edition. The paper is very smooth and gives a fairly good surface for colouring with pencils but does burnish quite quickly so you don’t get a lot of layers. Unlike the Animal Kingdom Deluxe Edition, there are no gold ribbon ties or bookmark, I’m not sure why they’ve been removed but I thought it worth noting that they have been.

The book contains almost every image from the original and all are exactly the same apart from one bird image which has been reversed so that less of it is lost into the spine (see photo below). The images are almost all in the same order as the original book, a few of the images are swapped slightly or broken up by the fold out double-page spreads. The majority of the double-page spreads from the original book have been printed onto double-width paper which folds outwards to the left of the book so that the full image can be coloured without the spine running down the middle of the image like in the original. There are 14 of these double-page gatefolds. At the end of the book is an envelope attached to the back cover containing 5 square prints, all from the book with no new additions (these are all pictured below), these images include the lion, bird on a branch, panther, gazelle with a bird on its nose, and the jackal on a rock. These images are printed on the same paper as the rest of the book and would be ideal for framing so you can display your beautiful artwork. As with the original book, there are spaces on a number of the images to add your own backgrounds and details but there are no written hints which keeps the pages nice and neat. The line thickness is the same throughout and the same as the original and the lines are very thin so this is definitely a book for those of you with good vision and fine motor control.

This book has exactly the same content and mental health benefits as the original and the recommendations about that are also the same for this one so I won’t repeat it here but my review of the original Wild Savannah book can be found here. I personally feel that the price tag of £25 is a little steep but it is a genuine work of art and would make an excellent present or coffee table book, as well as the perfect book to display your artistic talent. Because the images are printed single-sided, I did find that this edition feels a little less cohesive than the original and feels a little more stilted rather than telling a story, however, it also really showcases your work because you only see one image at a time meaning you can really give it your time and attention when colouring and looking through it afterwards.

This is a stunning book which is a true work of art. I felt quite intimidated by it at first because it’s so perfect and I was worried about ruining it. At this price, I can’t afford multiple copies if I make a mistake so my advice would be to practice in a copy of the original book, found on Amazon for just £5 (link below), and then when you’re happy, colour your best version in the Deluxe Edition. If you’re a fan of Millie’s work or are new to it and wanting a luxurious colouring book then this book is ideal for you. It’s just gorgeous and definitely the most luxurious colouring book I’ve encountered so far and for fans of Millie’s work, it’s an absolute must-have!

You can purchase a copy here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: Deluxe Edition
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Wild-Savannah-Millie-Marott/9781849943871/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you’d like a copy of the original version of Wild Savannah, it’s available below:
My Review
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Wild-Savannah-Millie-Marott/9781849943284/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 fineliners.

Millie Marotta's Wild Savannah Postcards

Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: 50 Colouring In Postcards – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: 50 Colouring In Postcards is published and kindly sent to me to review by Batsford Books. As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Millie’s work and this set of postcards doesn’t disappoint! They come in a lovely presentation box made of very thick card and covered in the same green colour inside and out as the spine of the original edition of Wild Savannah (you can read my review of that book here) and a scaled down version of the cover, complete with gold foiling, on the front. There are two sets of postcards, one including 30 postcards and the larger set containing 50 which is the set I’m reviewing here (do check listings carefully to make sure you’re getting the set you want). As stated before, this set contains 50 postcards, I expected there to be some duplicates but they’re all different and all beautiful! Some of the postcards are portrait, others are landscape. Some are of the whole original image scaled down and others are of sections of the original image at the original size so there is a real variety of intricacy levels from intricate to VERY intricate – the majority of the postcards are the same size as the originals or thereabouts. A few of the images do look incredibly challenging to colour, especially those that are whole animals filled with flowers and leaves because they’re so teeny tiny. The postcards are all standard postcard size and are printed onto bright white, smooth, thick card which didn’t bleed or shadow at all when I used my water-based pens. The back is left completely blank with no address lines or anything and just the name of the book in the bottom left hand corner. These postcards would be ideal to send or frame or even be used for craft projects!

In terms of mental health, as with all of Millie’s illustrations, they are really calming and great for dealing with anxiety and low mood. Because all of the images are natural and animal based, they are great for relaxing you and the intricacy and detail levels are perfect for keeping you absorbed in the task and distracted from any difficult thoughts or feelings you may be having. The images used are a wonderful selection from the original images and I didn’t notice any of my personal favourites missing. The size of each image means that colouring one doesn’t have to take days and you could easily finish one in a couple of hours with pens or take a little more time with pencils and really get blending and shading. You could even practice some backgrounds on some of the images with larger open spaces. These postcards are definitely for those of you with good vision and fine motor control, as with Millie’s books, they’re very detailed and the linework is thin so there isn’t much room for error however, the majority are perfectly colourable for those of you that can cope with detail and thin lines and they’re ideal for those of you who are already fans of Millie’s work as they absolutely don’t disappoint. The postcards have a multitude of uses and can be coloured and kept in their beautiful presentation box, sent to friends and family (in an envelope to protect them whilst in the post), framed coloured or even uncoloured in single or multiple frames and could be incorporated into craft projects. They’re much more versatile than a book and there’s no need to worry about bleed-through because not only are they printed on thick card, they’re also single-sided. If you already have Millie’s books, these are the same illustrations as Wild Savannah, with no new additions, however, they don’t feel samey and are a really beautiful, new way of presenting the images and their versatility means that they’re almost given a new lease of life. These postcards were sent to me to review but even if they hadn’t been, I’d have bought them out of my own pocket (like I did with the Animal Kingdom postcards) despite already having a copy of the Wild Savannah book because they’re so lovely and have their own merits and uses.

I can’t recommend these postcards highly enough. I don’t know the difference between the 30 set and 50 set so I can’t advise whether getting both would be a good idea because it may be the case that the 50 set has 20 new images in comparison to the 30 set or they could both be completely different. My personal recommendation would be to get this, the larger set, because you’re getting so many more postcards for not a lot more money. The whole product feels luxurious from the gold foiling on the front to the green coloured inside and the golden ribbon that you can lift out the postcards with. The postcards are printed very crisply and no corners have been cut in production. This is a beautiful item that I’m so pleased I got to review because they’re just gorgeous!

If you’d like to purchase a set of postcards, they’re available here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: 50 Colouring In Postcards
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Wild-Savannah-Millie-Marott/9781454710103/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Staedtler Triplus Fineliners.

Millie Marotta's Animal Kingdom 2017 Colouring Calendar

Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom 2017 Colouring Calendar – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom 2017 Colouring Calendar is published and very kindly sent to me to review by Batsford Books. The calendar itself is the same size as most others at 12 inches square, making it significantly larger than Millie’s books. It includes 12 of Millie’s signature and most well-known designs from her first colouring book, Animal Kingdom, reviewed by me here (this calendar doesn’t include any new images though the January image is the cover image of the book which isn’t pictured in the original and is a print from the Animal Kingdom Deluxe Edition). I have included pictures of all of the calendar pages below so that you can decide if this is for you, as well as comparison photos of the book and calendar size. The covers are made of thick card with gold foiling accents just like the book cover, it is slightly shiny so it won’t take water-based pens if you want to colour the cover but you could use alcohol markers. The pages are made of thick white paper which is good quality – I thought it was going to bleed with water-based pens but there was no bleed-through at all and only very slight shadowing when using my darkest fineliners and none with my lighter colours. Do bear in mind, when writing on the calendar I’d strongly advise using pencil so that you don’t get bleed through onto the next month’s image, or indentation from using a biro. The images are printed a little larger in the calendar than in the book so this is a great purchase for those of you who found Millie’s books just a little too detailed and small. You definitely can’t use alcohol markers because the images are all printed double-sided with the dates for the previous month on the back of the page which will get ruined by bleed-through if you colour ahead but would be fine if you colour month by month. The paper is quite smooth but has a little tooth and I didn’t have any issues with getting a few layers built up with my Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils. The calendar is staple-bound so it’s easy enough for you to fold it back on itself for easier colouring as it’s a little unmanageable when it’s not folded in half. Each page has a small hole at the top so that the calendar can be hung and displayed on the wall easily. The date pages are smart, clear and easy to use, each is within a box so there’s space for you to add your appointments, anniversaries etc. The week starts on Sunday and international holidays are marked.

In terms of mental health, this calendar is ideal because not only does it give you hours of colouring fun and distraction, you can also easily display it on your wall to brighten up even the darkest of days and you’ll get satisfaction every day looking at all of your beautiful hard work. The slightly larger image size means it’s more suitable to those of you who don’t have perfect vision or fine motor control. It’s a great project that will help motivate you with a deadline of making sure each image is ready for the first day of the following month. The pages could also be removed at the end of the year once you’re done with the calendar and could be easily framed or gifted to others to bring enjoyment for years to come. As with all of Millie’s images, they are intricate and detailed and do require a fair amount of concentration which is great for keeping you occupied when you’re feeling anxious or low, they’re nature-based so they’re very calming and really lovely to look at. Millie’s images are really good for practising mindfulness techniques because they require a lot of focus and time to complete meaning this calendar is ideal for those of us who are mentally ill and needing to zone out. The line thickness is thin throughout but it’s not spindly so there is a little leeway when colouring.

I would highly recommend this for any colouring fan who needs a calendar in their life. Millie fans won’t be disappointed with this calendar, it’s beautiful with a lovely selection of designs and great paper quality and it will brighten up the darkest of rooms and moods. It would make a fabulous gift either as it is, or fully coloured for someone and it’s not only useful for the coming year as a calendar, but for years to come when you can frame your pictures to continue the joy.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it can be found here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom 2017 Colouring Calendar
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Animal-Kingdom-2017-Calendar-MAROTT-MILLIE/9781849943925/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and PanPastels.

Harry Potter Poster Colouring Book

Harry Potter Poster Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Harry Potter Poster Colouring Book is published and very kindly sent to me to review by Studio Press. This book is huge at a whopping 28x35cms, it’s paperback with a flexible card cover that matches the original Harry Potter Colouring Book and has the same gold coloured spine and a picture of Buckbeak on the front. The spine has a lay-flat binding and the pages are removable if you wish but they’ll stay put in the book if you’re careful not to twist the spine too much. The posters are made of bright white, medium thickness card which is lightly textured so it’s ideal for use with pens or pencils and would be fine to use alcohol markers on too. The posters are single-sided and a mixture of portrait and landscape orientation. The majority of the images have a border around them so they’d be ideal for framing with minimal effort involved. The book contains 20 posters, most of these are images found in the original Harry Potter Colouring Book with a couple from the other two titles, 2 appear to be completely new and another is a new rendering of the four House crests and the Hogwarts crest in the centre, all of which have been pictured separately before but not all together. Sadly, three of the images are wallpaper-style designs which I always think is a shame in postcard and poster books because it feels like a waste but we all like to colour different things and these may be your favourite pages. Many of the images are the same as those pictured in the Harry Potter Postcard Colouring Book. The pictures include Harry and Hedwig; Aragog; Centaurs; the Crests; Harry, Ron and Hermione on Buckbeak; Dobby, Fluffy, Cornish Pixies and loads more. There is a good selection of different characters, objects and scenes depicted but do check the images below to decide if these image choices are ones you’re happy with.

In terms of mental health, this book will be ideal for Harry Potter fans who want some escapism and who love the idea of being able to frame or gift their work, or even just to work on a larger-scale project. The images are all upscaled so the intricacy and detail level is decreased from the original book and is easier to colour for those of you with poorer vision or fine motor control; there is a huge variance in these levels with some images having large open spaces and others having much finer detail to colour within. The line thickness also varies throughout from thin to thick and also varies within some of the images so this is certainly a book that would be ideal for those of you with fluctuating conditions or concentration levels. The image content doesn’t have much of an impact on mood or symptoms of mental illness or other conditions, however, it does offer escapism and would be ideal to colour while watching the films or listening to the audio books so that you can truly be transported off to Hogwarts and be fully immersed in the wizarding world.

I would recommend this book to those who are fans of Harry Potter and those who have already been enjoying the colouring books and postcard books. This is a great continuation of the series and while a few of the image choices are a little disappointing, it’s a very solid addition to the collection and one that’s sure to be a hit with those of you wanting to frame, display or gift your work, or to just try out wetter mediums on single-sided images.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this poster book, it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Harry Potter Poster Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Harry-Potter-Poster-Colouring-Book-Warner-Brothers/9781783705962/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip Pens and Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.