Into the Wild: An Exotic Woodland Colouring Book – A Review

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Into the Wild: An Exotic Woodland Colouring Book is published and was kindly sent to me to review by Laurence King Publishing. This book is the second brought to us by artist Daisy Fletcher who illustrated Birdtopia last year which was one of the most unusually formatted books I’ve seen during my time reviewing. This second book, Into the Wild is formatted in the same way (detailed description of this below) but this time rather than being focused on birds, it’s a whole lot more exotic and wide-ranging in content – to illustrate this I’ve recorded a video flick-through which can be found HERE as well as a full written review and photographs as usual. This book is a little larger than A4 at 23.5 by 31cm, paperback with sturdy card covers with a gold foiled title. The paper is bright white, thick and lightly textured, the paper takes pencil very well and allows for lots of light layers which makes blending a breeze and even better, there’s absolutely no shadowing or bleed-through with water-based pens, unless you use very dark colours, which is a huge bonus! The really strange part of the formatting is that the paper is white and the colouring spaces are left white but all of the backgrounds are printed in a strong cream colour. These backgrounds don’t feel printed and there isn’t a weird surface to the paper so you can still add your own background with pencil or pastel or any other mediums you normally use, but it means the uncoloured pages look quite strange and different from any other book I’ve seen. The images are printed double-sided and some are full page images and others are small illustrations somewhere in the middle of the page. There is a mixture of single page and double-page spreads and the spine is glue and string bound and is very durable but a little of many of the images is lost into it though with some bending it does loosen up a lot.

The book starts with a This Book Belongs To… page and then contains 76 images of animals, flowers, and other wildlife and plants, the last two pages have a beetle printed on each and open out to reveal a fabulous four-page woodland scene including lots of deer, giant mushrooms, a griffin and even two unicorns! The images contain a huge number of different animals from hares to butterflies, deer to otters, fish to chipmunks, wolves to leopards, horses to lynx and lots more. Some of the images are drawn to scale with butterflies and flowers drawn in a realistic scale and others have varied scale with deer perching on flowers and owls sitting on mushrooms so there is a real variance in scale and realism in the scenes. Each double-page spread includes at least one animal, usually many more, and at the back of the book there are thumbnail pictures of each image with the names of each of the animals and many of the plants and flowers that are included which makes them easy to identify and research if you want to colour them realistically. In addition to the line drawings, there are also a few, quite strange, greyscale animals and background plants (this time there are no fully coloured elements), these greyscale items almost look photoshopped into the images (see photos below), these features can be coloured over if you wish, they certainly aren’t the majority and there are fewer in this book than in Birdtopia. None of this is a criticism of the features, and I don’t dislike it, it’s just very unusual and different from anything I’ve seen before (other than Birdtopia) and therefore worth commenting on.

In terms of mental health, this book is pretty good because of the information at the back of the book identifying what each animal is so that you can head to google and get searching for the accurate colour schemes if you wish. This means that colouring can be very relaxing and thought-free as you’ve got a ready created colour scheme that nature has handed you on a plate that can be found with a quick internet search. The natural images are lovely and relaxing and are sure to ground you and calm you down. The sometimes unusual arrangements are quirky and intriguing and these are almost energising as you ponder the surrealism of them. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is spindly thin so you will need very good fine motor control to enjoy and fully utilise this book. The intricacy and detail level varies throughout from large open spaces to teeny tiny sections so this book will only really suit those of you with good vision. The images themselves vary in size hugely so this a great book for those of you with fluctuating conditions because you can do some of the smaller images on your bad days or tackle the full four-page spread on your good days and everything in between. There are lots of large open spaces around the images where you could add your own drawings or backgrounds and there are no drawing hints so these images look and feel finished but you can add to them if you wish.

I would highly recommend this book to animal and plant lovers and those who love to colour nature and natural images, who don’t mind a bit of the surreal. This book is beautifully drawn and if the cream background doesn’t bother you then this book is sure to be a winner and the paper quality is great!

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, it’s available to pre-order here:
Amazon UK – Into the Wild: An Exotic Woodland Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Into-Wild-Daisy-Fletcher/9781786270849/?a_aid=colouringitmom

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

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Coloured Pencils.

2 comments

  1. I had no idea this author has a new book coming! I regularly look for new books, especially on Amazon, and I haven’t seen (or maybe just not noticed?) this one. I enjoyed Birdtopia, and this one looks equally great.

    I hope you’re doing ok. I have a “dumb moment” (you know, one of those moments where you say to yourself, “goodness, what happened there? How silly can I be?” I had to chuckle at myself though) that I hope might give you a smile, at least. I had come to see if you’d posted anything new a while back, just after you posted the unicorn punch out book. For whatever reason, I noticed your twitter/Facebook handle, and I read it as ‘colouring it mom’. I thought, “wait a minute, I didn’t know she was a mom! When did that happen?!” That thought stayed with me for a while, in the back of my head but kind of bugging me at the same time. A few hours later, I was cleaning the dishes from my meal and all the sudden, I said out loud to myself “oh my gosh, you are an idiot! It’s not ‘colouring it mom’, it’s ‘colouring in the midst of madness’ abbreviated, how in the world did you forget that?” And I actually hit my forehead with my soapy hand before I realized I had done it. Then I had to laugh at myself. I mean, I’ve only been reading the blog and Facebook for almost as long as you’ve had it, and I definitely know the name of the blog and your social media name. Sheesh. (I’m only in my 30’s, but I’m wondering if I need to get some ‘brain health’ supplements). Haha.

    Ps, are you still doing your photography? You could (should?) have a section for that, too, where you post a few pics every now and again. Those pictures you took of the squirrel and posted are still some of my favorites (you have such talent to be able to capture moments like that) but you did a really great job with all the photos you showed us. I enjoyed seeing the photos and I’m sure others did as well. Also, I’ve noticed that when you click on the pages of coloring books to see them better that the type of camera and some other information shows up too. I was curious if that has always been there or if it is a semi recent thing.

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    1. Hi Tammy, sorry for the delay in replying! Your comment made me laugh so much! Thanks so much for sharing! 😀 Into the Wild has remained quite well hidden, a lot of people haven’t known about it, I’m not quite sure why. I found out about it because I trawl through the publisher’s catalogues but I’m sure I’d have missed it without. I’m well impressed that you know I don’t have children, I have always worried that people would read my handle like that but my blog name is too long so I can’t have the whole thing, I think most followers of mine do know what it stands for or at least work it out eventually whilst covering themselves in soap! 😀 haha!

      I am still doing photography, I didn’t get out much in September at all but I went out last weekend with my mum and found some lovely mushrooms and autumn leaves and I went out the week before with my boyfriend and OMG you’d have been in heaven, we found SO many squirrels finding, eating and burying nuts! It was amazing! Have you followed my other blog, In The Midst Of Madness? That’s where I post about mental health and I did post 3 days ago with some photos for World Mental Health Day. The squirrels aren’t on that post but I will add them to something soon, I got some really cute photos of them. If you follow the FB page for that blog then that’s where I’m most likely to put them. This all sounds like I’m totally trying to just recruit subscribers, I promise I’m not, I’m just really disorganised and have put everything in different places and the only way of seeing all of it is to subscribe to everything! I hadn’t actually noticed it showing the camera info until you told me about it, it’s nothing I’ve done on my end so I’m not sure when or how it appeared but it’s not because of me. It’s really strange but thanks for letting me know! I will definitely try and be better about sharing photos more often. Usually it’s that I’m not very organised and don’t edit them enough and no one wants to see 600 photos taken in an hour and I don’t have space for that on my blog so I have to trawl through and delete heaps and then pick my faves and resize them so they’ll fit on the blog and not take up all my free storage. I’ll definitely try to get more up more often though, I’m so glad you like them and enjoy looking through them, do follow the other blog and FB page and you’ll be much more likely to see them! Hope you’re doing well! xxx

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