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