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Maps – A Colouring Bookis published by the famous Geographer’s A-Z Map Company Limited who produce A-Z maps of the UK and very kindly sent me a copy to review and even included my name within one of the pages to thank me for helping them during production – I’m honoured to have helped and have my surname included! This book is probably the most unusual colouring book I’ve seen and with a market that is highly saturated now it’s really nice to see something so different. This book is square and a little smaller than the bestsellers by JB and MM. It is paperback, gluebound and printed single-sided with a 1cm border around each image so none of it is lost into the spine. The paper is bright white and medium thickness with a little tooth, enough for shading with coloured pencils, and I experienced bleed through when using water-based fineliners but this doesn’t matter because it’s single-sided. There are 40 images all created with the same, very thin line thickness which is the same as in their normal map books so this isn’t one for those of you with poor eyesight or fine motor control. Because of the nature of the material included, there are lots of detailed and intricate sections so this is definitely a book that requires concentration and focus to be able to colour it well.
In terms of mental health, this book is great for those of you that need to concentrate and focus in order to stave off anxiety or low mood. It is really unusual and ideal for those who like quirky artwork, patterns, mandalas and geometric designs. The images range from maps of cities to symbols found in maps and on road signs, to famous landmarks and object outlines of maps of areas associated with the shape, and mandalas created from sections of maps and so many more. There are also more abstract images of mountain contour lines and even a page at the end with a blank centre for you to add your own map if you want to! This book has a really cohesive image style and the subject matter means that you can colour it in whatever way you fancy. You could colour it in a similar way to printed road maps, do it all in neon, or even create a patchwork like I did in my sample image using rainbow colours to celebrate Gay Pride which is synonymous with Brighton, the City map I coloured. I personally didn’t find this book especially calming but it’s great for distraction and it would be suited to either gender because it’s not pretty or delicate and is very intricate so it will banish those racing thoughts. I would recommend this book for the colourist who has everything and wants to try something really new and different, and for those who want something less pretty or nature-inspired. If you’d like to get a copy then you can find it on Amazon here Maps – A Colouring Book
The image below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.