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Harry Potter Magical Places and Characters Colouring Book is published and kindly sent to me to review by Studio Press. This book is the third in the Harry Potter Colouring Book series, you can find my reviews of the other two here: Harry Potter Colouring Book and Harry Potter Magical Creatures Colouring Book. A fourth title is due later in the year called Artefacts. Grab your wand, bring a lantern, swat up on your incantations and let’s get delving into the classrooms of Hogwarts and the nooks and crannies of Diagon Alley. This book is paperback with a glossy accented cover and a red spine, it’s A4 in size and glue-bound meaning that a little of some images is lost. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads with many of the single pages having a thin border meaning that they’re not lost into the spine. The book contains 96 pages which are printed double-sided. The paper is bright white and thick (they’ve sorted out the paper issues since the first book), and didn’t bleed or shadow when tested with water-based pens, it’s lightly textured and perfect for pencils, you can get plenty of layers for blending and shading! N.B. The US edition is published by Scholastic and has creamy-yellow paper which is lightly textured and does bleed and shadow with water-based pens, this seems to be the same paper as was used in the first print runs of the first book (more information about this can be found here). I would strongly advise all colourists to order a UK edition to avoid disappointment with paper, these can be purchased via Book Depository (link below).
The images are drawn by multiple illustrators so they’re cohesive in content but some are drawn quite differently from each other. The images themselves include many stills from the films which are drawn very realistically so it’s very obvious who each character is and they look just like the actors in costume playing them. There are also images based on concept art for the films and a few patterns are included which do feel a bit like “filler” images but there are fewer of these in this book than the previous two (about 5 versus 15+). A huge number of different places and characters are pictured from obvious inclusions of Hogwarts, Dumbledore’s office and various classrooms, to less familiar places such as the Weasleys’ shop, the Hogwarts Express, and the library. There are single and double-page spreads of film scenes such as Harry and Hagrid visiting Diagon Alley, the Sorting Ceremony in The Great Hall, Delores’s introduction in The Great Hall, Transfiguration class, repotting the mandrakes in Herbology, Delores’s office including her many plates of cat portraits, a Quidditch match, Hagrid’s cottage, and even scenes from inside Gringotts. All of your favourite characters are pictured too including all of the main students and teachers, portraits of the Fat Lady and Dumbledore, Voldemort, Fred and George Weasley, the Dursleys, and even Professor Trelawney. At the end of the book are a number of full colour pages of the images included in the book meaning you can either copy the colour schemes in those or pick your own, they’re also great for helping you re-live the magic of the films and get yourself back into the world of Hogwarts – as if any of us ever left!
In terms of mental health, this book doesn’t have an awful lot of impact on it unless you’re a Harry Potter Mega Fan in which case it’s likely to considerably lift your mood and give you hours and hours of distraction and enjoyment. The images take a long time to colour if you want them to look realistic so you will need fairly good levels of concentration. The line thickness varies from very thin to thick but mostly it remains thin so you will definitely need good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this book. The best part of this book is that it has coloured pages at the back which can be used to copy or give inspiration for colour schemes, you can also easily google the scenes, objects or creatures to find images of them from the films to work out exactly how to colour them so they look true to the film, or you can go it alone and try out your own colour schemes with bright pink robes, green snow and yellow broomsticks – it doesn’t have to be realistic, remember it’s a magical world! Some of the illustrations are very intricate and detailed and others are much simpler with larger open spaces so this book does have a variety of difficulty levels to accommodate your good and bad days.
All in all, this is a good book, it’s better than the last because it’s more specific with fewer gaps in content and fewer “filler” images however I do find it less cohesive and a little more random. If you liked the first two Harry Potter colouring books then you’re sure to like this one and if you weren’t so keen on them then check out the photos of inside this one below before writing it off. The paper quality is better than the first and it’s great that you can use pens and pencils in it to really go to town! I would recommend it for any Harry Potter fans but do look at the images below so you can see if you’ll like it. A number of people have stated online that they were deeply disappointed with the content of the first book and I have to say I was a little disappointed myself, I expected more scenes and few, if any, patterned or object-focused images, with the focus of this book being on places, there are a lot more scenes so you’re more likely to like it if that was what you were hankering for. Pop on your robes, wrap up in your scarf (house colours of course), hop on your broomstick and fly straight to Hogwarts and get colouring the magical places and characters that reside there and beyond.
If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Harry Potter Magical Places and Characters Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Harry-Potter-Magical-Places-Characters-Colouring-Book-Warner-Bros/9781783706006/?a_aid=colouringitmom
The image below was coloured using Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip Pens.