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.