Calm

World of Flowers: A Colouring Book & Floral Adventure (UK Edition) – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
World of Flowers is the 7th book brought to us by colouring queen, Johanna Basford. She very kindly sent me the most wonderful box of goodies including the UK and US edition of World of Flowers so that I could review and compare the two, you can see my unboxing video and flip-through of the US edition here. This review is of the UK edition. You can find the US edition review here. I have compared the two in detail both via video and in a written post including photos, there are a lot of differences, most of which don’t affect enjoyment of the book but a few of which do including the cover/dust jacket, paper, image size, and whether they match your previous editions so do check out that post so that you purchase the right edition for you. The UK edition publishes on the 25th of October.

World of Flowers is a paperback, square book (25cm x 25cm) which is exactly the same size as the UK editions of Johanna’s previous square titles, Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest, Lost Ocean, Magical Jungle and Johanna’s Christmas. It has a black spine with white text, the same as the UK editions of previous titles and it looks beautiful with the other books on the shelf (see photo below). The UK edition has a removable dust jacket which has rose-gold foiling accents on the front, really adding to the luxurious feel of this book. The jacket is made of thick paper which you can colour and the inside of it is covered with a beautiful array of flowers and plants which has a waxy finish and can be coloured but only with certain mediums because most pens and pencils are repelled by the shine (alcohol markers are best for this and don’t bleed). Previous dust jackets have been a little loose but this one fits perfectly and looks really smart. It’s an off-white colour but much closer to white than cream, it’s the same colour as the Magical Jungle UK cover. Under the dust jacket, the book is paperback with pale pink card covers which have an inky black flower design on the outside and inside covers that can also be found inside the book. The spine is glue and string-bound which makes it very durable and easier to open out flat so you can reach the majority of the gutter and colour it. The paper is the same as that used in UK editions of Magical Jungle, Johanna’s Christmas, and Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, this paper was found through a global hunt and it’s beautiful, it is not the same paper as used in the US editions of these books which was created specifically for Johanna’s books and named after her. The paper is a very pale ivory colour, it’s a medium thickness and lightly textured and it’s perfect for pens and pencils; pencils are a dream to blend and shade with and pens go on really smoothly, they don’t bleed through unless you use alcohol markers and water-based pens only shadow if you colour too much in one spot, as always, do check all of your mediums on the colour palette test page to check how they behave.

Upon opening the book, you find the beautiful title page and then a “This book belongs to …” page where you can add your name, there is then an introduction and colouring tips from Johanna and then 80 pages of beautiful flower illustrations. There is no treasure hunt in this book and so there is also no key of images at the back either. The images are printed double-sided with no border, normally this would mean a little of each image was lost into it but Johanna has taken on board the concerns of us colourists and has deliberately left the spine as clear as possible in the vast majority of the images so this frustration is mostly gone! The book contains 80 pages of stunning images, the same number as in Lost Ocean and Magical Jungle, fewer than Johanna’s first two books (96 Secret Garden, 84 Enchanted Forest) but I have to say, I didn’t notice this at all until I looked at the specs on Amazon. This book is every flower-lover’s dream. If you don’t like flowers or aren’t that keen on them or leaves then this book is absolutely not for you because it really does what the title suggests and is jam-packed with large blooms, tiny blossoms, seedlings, potted plants, cut flowers, perfumeries, ponds, gardens, potting sheds, and visitors to flowers including bees, butterflies, beetles, snails and more. The designs range from patterns and mandalas to circular and wreath designs, ribbons and banners to single and double-page scenes, centred images with large open backgrounds and pages crammed with content where you couldn’t squeeze any more on if you tried. There isn’t a story feel to this book, it doesn’t create such a vivid sense of place like so many of Johanna’s previous books have done but it does very much take you to a garden and so although it doesn’t feel to me like a journey, it is much like visiting a garden, it’s filled with variety and will look truly incredible filled with colour. The detail and intricacy that we’re so familiar with is well and truly back. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of detail in Magical Jungle and a few of the images in Ivy and so I’m really glad to see it back because that’s what I’ve always loved so much about Johanna’s work. At the very end of the book is a double-sided fold-out poster with two different floral garden scenes to colour. This can be detached from the book as it is perforated but it seems quite well attached and therefore won’t accidentally fall out from the book as long as you’re careful with it. A number of the images in the book have large blank spaces where you can add your own inky leaves and creatures or just leave them blank if drawing isn’t your forte and unlike in Secret Garden there are no written hints so you’re free to create whatever your imagination can conjure up. If you need inspiration then head online to google, pinterest and Facebook colouring groups where there will be finished pages cropping up daily from people worldwide who are venturing into this garden of delights.

In terms of mental health, this book is brilliant because of its content and how beautifully the images are drawn. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is very thin so you will need very good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this book. The images are drawn with a range of intricacy and detail levels but mostly this remains high so again, you need good vision and dexterity. The nature of the imagery in this book is superb for calming you down and helping you to zone out. I find nature scenes the best thing for calming down my anxious racing mind and this book really does that. It’s great for keeping you occupied and distracted and because of the variety of image styles, it means that there is something for every concentration level as well as good and bad days of symptoms. There are ribbon images which could take you just a couple of hours to colour, centralised single images which will take a few hours, all the way up to jam-packed double-page spreads depicting perfumeries and potting shed shelves which will take days or even weeks depending on what mediums and techniques you use to colour them.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. A few comments I’ve seen online have criticised this book for being samey and unoriginal but I can’t agree. I’ve gone back through Secret Garden and although World of Flowers does remind me of it, the imagery really isn’t similar other than being drawn by the same person. Johanna has really developed her style since the first book, all of the spaces and designs are colourable for the majority of us whereas the intricacy level in Secret Garden is exceptionally high for most images and therefore quite a challenge to colour. There are many more types of designs in this new title and therefore much more variety even though the theme is more limited than any previous book has been. This book is certainly geared up for those who love colouring flowers and leaves and if that isn’t your thing then it absolutely isn’t for you but for those of us who do, it’s just perfect and stunningly beautiful!

If you’d like to purchase a copy, it’s available below. Do bear in mind that there are some significant publishing differences between this and the US edition and therefore you may want to read or view my comparison post/video before ordering if you haven’t already.
Amazon UK – World of Flowers
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/World-Flowers-Johanna-Basford/9780753553183

The image below was coloured with Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils.

Video Review

Video Flick Through

Advertisements

World of Flowers: A Coloring Book & Floral Adventure (US Edition) – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
World of Flowers is the 7th book brought to us by colouring queen, Johanna Basford. She very kindly sent me the most wonderful box of goodies including the UK and US edition of World of Flowers so that I could review and compare the two, you can see my unboxing video and flip-through of the US edition here. This review is of the US edition. You can find the UK edition review here. I have compared the two in detail both via video and in a written post including photos, there are a lot of differences, most of which don’t affect enjoyment of the book but a few of which do including the cover/dust jacket, paper, image size, and whether they match your previous editions so do check out that post so that you purchase the right edition for you. The US edition publishes on the 23rd of October.

World of Flowers is a paperback, square book (25.5cm x 25.5cm) which is exactly the same size as the US editions of Johanna’s previous square titles, Lost Ocean, Magical Jungle and Johanna’s Christmas. It has a white spine with black text, the same as the US editions of previous titles and it looks beautiful with the other books on the shelf (see photo below). The US edition doesn’t have a removable dust jacket and instead has card covers with rose-gold foiling accents on the front, really adding to the luxurious feel of this book. The card covers open out to reveal French flaps with a fully colourable floral design spanning the interior, this card is matte and therefore colourable with almost any medium you choose. The spine is glue-bound which isn’t ideal as these aren’t overly durable and often cause the pages to fall out as the spine breaks quite easily; it takes a bit of work to get the spine to lie flat but you can reach the majority of the gutter and colour it. The paper is a pale ivory colour (it’s Johanna’s new signature paper), and is exactly the same as that found in the US edition of Magical Jungle, Johanna’s Christmas, and Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, it’s a medium thickness and lightly textured and it’s perfect for pens and pencils; pencils are a dream to blend and shade with and pens go on really smoothly though they do spread sideways ever so slightly as the paper is a little absorbent so just mind that, they don’t bleed through unless you use alcohol markers and they only shadow if you colour too much in one spot. It is not the same paper as used in the UK editions of these books.

Upon opening the book, you find the beautiful title page and then a “This book belongs to …” page where you can add your name, there is then an introduction and colouring tips from Johanna and then 80 pages of beautiful flower illustrations. There is no treasure hunt in this book and so there is also no key of images at the back either. The images are printed double-sided with no border, normally this would mean a little of each image was lost into it but Johanna has taken on board the concerns of us colourists and has deliberately left the spine as clear as possible in the vast majority of the images so this frustration is mostly gone! The book contains 80 pages of stunning images, the same number as in Lost Ocean and Magical Jungle, fewer than Johanna’s first two books (96 Secret Garden, 84 Enchanted Forest) but I have to say, I didn’t notice this at all until I looked at the specs on Amazon. This book is every flower-lover’s dream. If you don’t like flowers or aren’t that keen on them or leaves then this book is absolutely not for you because it really does what the title suggests and is jam-packed with large blooms, tiny blossoms, seedlings, potted plants, cut flowers, perfumeries, ponds, gardens, potting sheds, and visitors to flowers including bees, butterflies, beetles, snails and more. The designs range from patterns and mandalas to circular and wreath designs, ribbons and banners to single and double-page scenes, centred images with large open backgrounds and pages crammed with content where you couldn’t squeeze any more on if you tried. There isn’t a story feel to this book, it doesn’t create such a vivid sense of place like so many of Johanna’s previous books have done but it does very much take you to a garden and so although it doesn’t feel to me like a journey, it is much like visiting a garden, it’s filled with variety and will look truly incredible filled with colour. The detail and intricacy that we’re so familiar with is well and truly back. I was slightly disappointed with the lack of detail in Magical Jungle and a few of the images in Ivy and so I’m really glad to see it back because that’s what I’ve always loved so much about Johanna’s work. At the very end of the book is a double-sided fold-out poster with two different floral garden scenes to colour. This can be detached from the book as it is perforated but it seems quite well attached and therefore won’t accidentally fall out from the book as long as you’re careful with it. A number of the images in the book have large blank spaces where you can add your own inky leaves and creatures or just leave them blank if drawing isn’t your forte and unlike in Secret Garden there are no written hints so you’re free to create whatever your imagination can conjure up. If you need inspiration then head online to google, pinterest and Facebook colouring groups where there will be finished pages cropping up daily from people worldwide who are venturing into this garden of delights.

In terms of mental health, this book is brilliant because of its content and how beautifully the images are drawn. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is very thin so you will need very good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this book. The images are drawn with a range of intricacy and detail levels but mostly this remains high so again, you need good vision and dexterity. The nature of the imagery in this book is superb for calming you down and helping you to zone out. I find nature scenes the best thing for calming down my anxious racing mind and this book really does that. It’s great for keeping you occupied and distracted and because of the variety of image styles, it means that there is something for every concentration level as well as good and bad days of symptoms. There are ribbon images which could take you just a couple of hours to colour, centralised single images which will take a few hours, all the way up to jam-packed double-page spreads depicting perfumeries and potting shed shelves which will take days or even weeks depending on what mediums and techniques you use to colour them.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book. A few comments I’ve seen online have criticised this book for being samey and unoriginal but I can’t agree. I’ve gone back through Secret Garden and although World of Flowers does remind me of it, the imagery really isn’t similar other than being drawn by the same person. Johanna has really developed her style since the first book, all of the spaces and designs are colourable for the majority of us whereas the intricacy level in Secret Garden is exceptionally high for most images and therefore quite a challenge to colour. There are many more types of designs in this new title and therefore much more variety even though the theme is more limited than any previous book has been. This book is certainly geared up for those who love colouring flowers and leaves and if that isn’t your thing then it absolutely isn’t for you but for those of us who do, it’s just perfect and stunningly beautiful!

If you’d like to purchase a copy, it’s available below. Do bear in mind that there are some significant publishing differences between this and the UK edition and therefore you may want to read or view my comparison post/video before ordering if you haven’t already.
Amazon UK – World of Flowers
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/World-of-Flowers/9780143133827/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Video Review

Unboxing and Flip Through

World of Flowers – A Comparison between the UK and US Editions

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
World of Flowers will be released worldwide in just one week and I have been lucky enough to be sent a copy of the UK and US editions by Johanna Basford in order to write this comparison post for you all. Every time Johanna releases a new book there are huge online debates about which edition is “best” to buy, what the similarities will be and what will be different so I’m here to hopefully clear up any questions and queries you may have after the success of my comparison posts of the last 4 titles – Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, Johanna’s Christmas, Magical Jungle, and Lost Ocean. I have reviewed the UK edition here and the US edition here.

This is a long post because there are so many pictures included to illustrate each point but please bear with me because a lot of time and effort has gone into being as thorough as possible. Most of the things I’ve noticed don’t affect the enjoyment or use of the book, they’re just differences but there are a few items that are fundamentally different and do affect use so keep an eye out for those, they’re summarised at the bottom. Some of the very noticeable differences include the cover format, size and paper type so here goes with the most comprehensive list of similarities and differences that you’re likely to find online! If you’d rather watch a video of this then click here.

If you just want to skip ahead to the most crucial differences then look at points 1, 12, 15, 17, 26, 28, and 37, and the summary section at the bottom.

  1. Book Size – Each edition is the same size as the previous titles from the same country but they are not the same size as each other. The UK edition is 25cm square, the US edition is 25.5cm square making it half a centimetre taller and wider.
      
  2. Cover Design – The cover design is very slightly zoomed in on the UK edition so the US edition has a little extra detail around the very edges that isn’t included on the UK copies.
     
  3. Penguin Logo – On the cover of the US edition, the Penguin publishing logo has been subtly placed in a tulip at the top right. There is no publishing logo on the UK edition cover.
  4. Cover Colour – Both editions have off-white covers, the UK edition has a whiter cover than the US edition.
     
  5. Foiling Colour – Both editions have a different colour foil on the cover and these are both different from any foils seen before on Johanna’s books. The UK edition has a very coppery colour rose-gold foil. The US edition has a pinker but still quite bronze rose-gold foil. Both are really pretty! The US foil is significantly shinier than the UK foil.
      
  6. Foiling Aspects/Amount – There is much more foiling on the US edition, both larger numbers of parts and larger areas are covered in foil. The UK edition has lots of teeny tiny sections foiled. The US title is entirely foiled, the UK title is partially foiled and also has some shiny but not foiled black accents too.
        
  7. Colour Splashes – The US edition has a pale pink splash of colour behind the title. The UK edition doesn’t have this but does have subtle pale pink accents added to the cover image in random places.
  8. Title Size – The title text is printed larger on the US edition than the UK edition, the Of is floral and the same size text as the rest of the title in the US edition, but not the UK edition.
      
  9. Spelling – As you’d expect, the UK edition has British spellings throughout and the US edition has American English spellings. The easiest way to tell which edition you’re looking at is to check the spelling of “Colouring Book” on the cover, if the ‘U’ is missing then it’s the US edition.
     
  10. Butterfly Placement – There is a little butterfly on both covers but it’s in a different place on each, it’s to the right of World on the UK edition and next to Of on the US edition.
     
  11. Blurb – The UK and US editions have completely different blurbs. There is far more text and information on the reverse of the US book than the UK. The barcode is contained within this section on the US edition but is covering part of the floral cover design on the UK edition.
      
  12. Spine – The UK edition has a black spine with white writing (the same as almost all of the previous UK edition titles) and the US edition has a white spine with black writing. The UK edition has the Virgin Books symbol and the US has the Penguin Publishing logo. The text is written in a different order on each but this matches the previous editions from each country. The UK spine has a flower added one third up from the bottom and the US has an orchid one third down from the top.
          
  13. Thickness – Due to the paper in the US edition being thicker (see point number 26), the book is thicker overall too.
     
  14. Weight – The UK edition weighs less than the US edition at 518g vs 542g. A 24g difference.
     
  15. Binding – The UK edition is stitched and glue-bound whereas the US edition is only glue-bound which will make it less durable and can lead to pages falling out. Because of the fixed cover, the binding is much tighter in the US edition, this will ease up with use, especially if you crack or break the spine (I always find this heartbreaking to do), but initially the US edition is much tighter and opens less flat than the UK edition.
  16. Cover Attachment to Front and Back Pages – The US cover is attached to a thicker strip of the front and back pages than the UK cover so it doesn’t open as easily or as widely as the UK edition which opens much flatter.
       
  17. Dust Jacket – This is one of the biggest differences between the editions. The UK edition has a removable dust jacket just like the UK editions of the first four books by Johanna Basford. It is a very pale ivory colour. The book itself has pale pink card covers with a black floral design (contained within the book) on the outside and inside covers. The US edition has a fully attached cover made of card with French flaps. The covers on both editions are fully colourable and matte in texture apart from the inside of the UK dust jacket which is waxy to the touch, this can be coloured with alcohol markers but water-based pens are repelled and some pencils don’t ‘stick’ to the surface either.
        
  18. French Flaps – The US edition has a card cover with two third French flaps. The UK edition’s removable dust jacket also has two third French flaps and both editions have the same design on these flaps but this is printed a bit differently on each with more or less showing when comparing the editions.
  19. Inside Cover Design – Again, the design is printed differently in both editions with a larger amount of the image showing on the UK dust jacket than the US inside cover.
      
  20. Title Page Size – The title page in the US edition is printed larger than the UK edition, it measures 23cm square instead of 22.5cm square in the UK.
       
  21. Butterfly and Of on Title Page – As with the covers, on the title page there is a butterfly that is differently positioned on the page, in the UK edition it’s next to World and in the US edition it’s next to Of. Also, as with the covers, the Of is floral and the same size as the rest of the text on the US edition title page but small and simple in the UK edition.
     
  22. Copyright Page Information – On the Copyright page there is far more information in the US edition than the UK edition, it is also laid out differently and takes up far more space on the page in the US edition.
  23. Copyright Page Design – The copyright page layout is also different with much more of the imagery showing in the US edition and a larger printed smaller section of flowers printed in the UK edition. The UK edition also has 4 butterflies added that don’t appear on the US copyright page.
  24. Printing Location – The UK edition is printed in China, the US edition is printed in the USA.
  25. Introduction and Tips for Colouring Pages – The text on the Introduction and Tips for Colouring pages is justified differently in each edition so the lines begin and end on different words. Apart from spelling, the text is exactly the same.
  26. Paper – This is one of the biggest differences between the two editions. The paper is not identical and is unique to each country. Johanna changed papers when Magical Jungle was published and her specially created ivory paper that was named after her is in all US copies of Magical Jungle, Johanna’s Christmas, Ivy and the Inky Butterfly and now World of Flowers. In the UK we have a whiter ivory paper which Johanna and her team scoured the globe for and this is in all UK editions of Magical Jungle, Johanna’s Christmas, Ivy and the Inky Butterfly and World of Flowers. The UK paper is equal in thickness to Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest and significantly thicker than Lost Ocean, it has a little tooth but does burnish after a few layers of Polychromos and Prismacolor Premiers. The US paper is ivory but a more cream colour though it’s still paler than the cream colour of Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. The paper is the thickest yet and has a more visible tooth, it takes far more layers for blending. In both editions water-based pens behave the same way and the paper in both is beautiful to colour on with pens as they glide really well with no feathering or spreading at all. The UK paper seems like it will shadow faster and more easily than the US edition and while I didn’t experience any shadowing in either, the UK paper did seem like it might with very dark colours if not using a light touch. I personally prefer the colour of the UK paper but the US paper is much easier to use pencils on and is less likely to bleed with water-based pens so I have to recommend that one.
     
  27. Image Quality – Previously, there have sometimes been slight issues with UK editions having pixelation of images. There are no such issues in either edition of this book. Hoorah!
  28. Image Size – Some, but by no means all, of the images in the US edition are up to 1cm larger than in the UK edition. Examples of these include the Succulent Page, Perfume Bottle, and Bell Jar. Not all of the images are larger and it appears to be quite random as to which images are larger and which are the same size but if you have any vision or fine motor control impairments then I’d suggest purchasing the US edition. Some of the pages in the UK edition have larger borders around the image due to them bring printed slightly smaller.
  29. Image Orientation – On some of the full double-page scenes, the image is shifted slightly showing a sliver more or less in one of the editions. This can be on any external edge of the image. In some UK pages the image is slightly zoomed in so a little is lost off all edges (a millimetre or two usually). Examples of this are the beetles being more centralised in the UK edition and the Flower Pattern as pictured below.
  30. Colour Palette Test Page Title – The title is centralised and placed at the very top of the page in the US edition and lower down the page in the UK edition.
  31. Page Ink Permanency – This is fairly similar in both, I tested the ink on the colour palette page with a Derwent Blender, a Derwent Burnisher and a Caran d’Ache Blender Pencil, the Derwent Blender did drag some ink pigment in both editions, more so on the US edition, the other two types of pencil didn’t move much pigment at all. You will need to be a little careful if using a hard blender pencil like the Derwent one and also, when pressing hard with any pencils you may experience image transfer on subsequent pages (this is erasable) so pop a sheet or two of paper behind your work to avoid this.
  32. Poster Page Size – The page size for the poster differs between the editions with the US edition being larger at 23.5cm x 25.3cm and the UK being 22.9cm x 25cm.
  33. Poster Image Size – The image on the reverse of the poster pull-out with the border is smaller in the UK edition measuring 20.7cm tall and 22cm tall in the US edition. The image on the inside of the poster is printed pretty much the same size in both editions.
  34. Poster Image Orientation – The image orientation is different in both editions but in slightly strange ways. The bottom of both pages is exactly the same. The left side where the perforations are has much more image showing on the poster in the US edition, the image is shifted right by just over half a cm. Because of this, the right side is cut off earlier in the image on the US edition than the UK edition. At the top, the image is fully shown in the UK edition but the lines run out on the US edition and there is a small gap at the top of some sections between them and the edge of the page.
  35. Poster Perforations – The perforations are cut completely differently on the two editions, they’re much larger and closer together in the US edition and much smaller and further apart in the UK edition. I’ve not tried to remove either of them but it looks like it’ll be easier to remove the US poster however, with both of them I’d exercise caution and possibly have a pair of scissors to hand to avoid any mishaps.
  36. Treasure Hunt – Unlike most of Johanna’s previous book, there is no treasure hunt this time.
  37. Publication Dates – The UK edition is due out on the 25th of October, the US edition is due out on the 23rd of October.

In Summary, the only differences between the two that will affect enjoyment are the dust jacket (or lack of in the US edition), binding, paper, image size and spine/book size matching your previous editions on the shelf. If you’re a fan of the dust jackets of previous editions, then you’ll be wanting the UK edition. A number of my followers have reported issues with the purely glue-bound US edition spines of previous titles so if you’ve previously had issues with pages loosening or falling out and you want to ensure that your book remains intact then I would definitely recommend the UK edition. The paper is lovely in both but if you’re wanting to really go to town with blending and shading pencils or using wet media then I’d suggest the US copy as the paper is thicker and holds up better to these types of colouring. The image size in some images is larger in the US edition and therefore anyone with any visual or fine motor control issues will be best purchasing the US edition so you’ve got that bit more wiggle-room. Finally, the spines and book size match the previous editions from each country so if them matching on the shelf matters to you then go with the same country’s edition that you’ve previously purchased.

Everything else I’ve listed is not a criticism and doesn’t impact use or enjoyment, I’ve just listed all of the differences to make people aware of what they are and to make it easy to identify which copy is which when looking at pictures of it online and elsewhere. In my opinion, the US edition offers a slightly superior colouring experience to the UK edition and if you’re going to purchase just one copy then I’d possibly suggest it be that one though the UK edition really is lovely and I’m ever so glad to have both, I would also really miss the dust jacket if I didn’t have the UK edition, I’ve always had a soft spot for those. If you notice any other differences then please do get in touch and I’ll add them to the list! Happy Colouring – You’ve definitely earnt it!

Please do let me know in the comments section below which edition you’ll be purchasing and why!

UK Edition
Amazon UK – World of Flowers
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/World-Flowers-Johanna-Basford/9780753553183?/?a_aid=colouringitmom

US Edition
Amazon UK – World of Flowers
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/World-of-Flowers/9780143133827/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Video Comparison

Sprookjesbos - written review, video review, and photos of the Dutch edition of Croatian book, Vilin San by Tomislav Tomic

Sprookjesbos (Dutch Edition of Vilin San) – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Sprookjesbos is published and very kindly sent to me to review by BBNC Uitgevers. Sprookjesbos is the Dutch edition of the Croatian book, Vilin San, a comparison post and video of the two can be found here. It is the second book by Tomislav Tomic, illustrator of Zemlja Snova. The title translates to Fairytale Forest. This book sadly only has half the number of images although they are equally, if not even more beautiful than Zemlja Snova. The book itself is 25cm square, paperback with flexible card covers, the cover shows a partially coloured image from inside the book and the inside covers are plain white. The spine is glue and string-bound and seems quite sturdy and durable and with a bit of work it’ll open up pretty flat, especially over time. The book has 68 pages (37 pages of images). The paper is cream, thick and lightly textured, it’s the same paper as this publisher always uses, it’s great for pencils though it can be a bit tricky with oil-based pencils like Faber-Castell Polychromos and Holbeins but Prismacolor Premiers work brilliantly. Water-based pens don’t shadow or bleed though do test in an inconspicuous area because we all colour differently and you don’t want to ruin a picture if there’s one on the reverse. The majority of the pages in this edition are printed single-sided; the double-page spreads are kept that way and therefore 12 of the pages (6 pairs) are printed double-sided but the rest are all printed single-sided meaning that you can use heavier mediums without worrying about bleed through, just pop a protective sheet behind your work to prevent any damage to the proceeding pages. Vilin San had a loose fold-out poster included but sadly, Sprookjesbos doesn’t include the poster or the imagery from it and so you’re only able to get that by purchasing Vilin San. The images themselves are very similar to those found in Zemlja Snova/Dromenvanger so if you liked that book then you’ll love this one too, all of the artwork is original and new to this book (its identical to Vilin San) though it feels familiar because of the content being similar. The illustrations contain fairies, dragons, mushrooms, butterflies, gnomes, birds, sea creatures, mice, palaces and more. The pages are all drawn as scenes and range from underwater scenes to dragons flying, fairies sleeping to hedgehogs being led through a mushroom-lined path, palace scenescapes to fantastical flying birds and so much more. Tomislav has created the drawings very considerately by leaving borders around many and those spanning a double-page having little content near the spine making it much easier to fully colour the page without any frustration of trying to access imagery in the book gutter. The illustrations are all very ornate and really beautiful to look at, this illustrator’s work really is some of the best in the world! As with Vilin San, there are no issues with images being incorrectly paired up, one of the double-page spreads is placed in a different place in the book compared to Vilin San but this has absolutely no impact on the enjoyment of the book.

In terms of mental health, this book is great for those with a good attention span. If you get overwhelmed by busy or intricate images then this won’t be for you but if you love immersive imagery that truly transports you to another place then look no further, this book is absolutely perfect. It offers so much to look at that it’s the perfect distraction for even the most persistent symptoms and it just draws you in to a magical fantastical world filled with mythical creatures, princes and princesses, castles, fairies and more. This book will be ideal for those of you who love fantasy colouring and also nature because so much of it is animal and scene-based so it’s combined two of our favourite things into one incredible book! The smaller number of pages means that it’s less daunting for those wanting to complete a whole book. The line thickness is consistent throughout and remains thin with some spindly thin details. The intricacy and detail levels remain very high throughout so you will certainly need very good vision and fine motor control to enjoy this book if you’re wanting to colour within each outlined section though it won’t need to be quite so good if you’re wanting to colour over some areas and leave the lines underneath as texture. I would highly recommend investing in a T’Gaal sharpener so that you can keep your pencils as sharp as possible! The illustrations are absolutely packed with detail and things to look at and notice, despite having Zemlja Snova for almost two years now, I’m still noticing new things and spot things I’ve never seen before when looking at other people’s finished pages and I’m absolutely certain this will be the case with Sprookjesbos too. The imagery is honestly spectacular, there aren’t many books I’m blown away by now but this one really is incredible, each image is a work of art, there are no filler pages, no random half-finished art, each page has clearly been painstakingly created and each will take hours, if not days to complete. The pages in this book aren’t quick to finish but there are lots of natural stopping points within each image so that you still get a sense of accomplishment without managing to finish a page in one sitting and these all range in size from a tiny bird or gnome all the way up to a forest of trees or giant dragon so you can pick a project of the right size for each colouring session! I adore this book, even just flicking through the pages gets me out of my head and calms my anxiety down and colouring it is just so much fun because you can use any colours you fancy from more natural colours to fantastical colours like blue for tree trunks and oranges or purples for leaves, in a fantasy world the only limit is your imagination and these images will look amazing no matter what colours you choose!

Overall, I can’t recommend this book highly enough, it’s a shame that it’s half the number of pages and even more of a shame that the poster imagery isn’t included this time and that the price doesn’t reflect this and is the same as Dromenvanger but those criticisms aside, the book and the artwork itself is truly perfect and gorgeous in every way. Tomislav’s artwork is some of the best I’ve ever seen and I really hope he’ll continue to make many more books because no matter how many times I flip through the same pages, I’m still as drawn in and transported as I was the first time I saw each illustration and that’s a really impressive feat!

If you’d like to purchase a copy then you can order it from the publisher’s site here or from any of the other Dutch sites below, not all of them ship everywhere so you might have to do a bit research. The easiest way to access these sites if you don’t read Dutch is to access them though Google Chrome and then hit the translate button on each page, it makes it really quick and easy to understand. It’s not currently available to purchase on Amazon UK but the listing can be found here and you can sign up for email alerts to be the first to know if it becomes available – Sprookjesbos
https://www.bbnc.nl/sprookjesbos?search=sprookjesbos
https://www.bol.com/nl/p/sprookjesbos/9200000095550239/?suggestionType=browse&bltgh=imC0m1ReS55T4YWuif5OWg.1.2.ProductTitle
https://www.bookspot.nl/boeken/sprookjesbos-tomislav-tomic-9789045323527
https://www.boekhandelsmit.nl/9789045323527/tomic-tomislav/sprookjesbos/
https://www.libris.nl/boek/?authortitle=tomislav-tomic/sprookjesbos–9789045323527/
http://www.dinternet.nl/Boek/Tomislav–Tomic/Sprookjesbos/9789045323527.html

Video Review and Flip Through

Sprookjesbos vs Vilin San – A Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian Editions

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Vilin San was published in January 2018 and illustrated by Tomislav Tomic, it’s the second book he’s illustrated and one of the most beautiful colouring books I’ve ever seen. It was published in Croatia by Fokus and has been notoriously difficult to get hold of, it has almost exclusively been acquired through the publisher’s website which my Facebook fan group runs international group orders from. This is no longer necessary for this book because Sprookjesbos will be available worldwide at a really reasonable price and with much cheaper Worldwide shipping and hopefully it’ll eventually be available on Amazon UK (and possibly other places) like Dromenvanger (the Dutch edition of Zemlja Snova) is now. The artwork is the same in both books but there are a number of subtle publication differences between the two editions which I’ve listed and detailed below, there are three very large differences too which definitely affect enjoyment of the book. If you’d rather watch a video version then scroll all the way to the bottom where the video is embedded at the end of this post.

    1. Covers – Sprookjesbos also has a soft-feel cover with glossy accents on the title, artist name and publishing logo. Vilin San has a soft-feel cover with glossy accents on the title, subtext, and artist name. 
    2. Cover Image – The cover images are the same but Vilin San is printed smaller and has a little colour added to the top and bottom. Sprookjesbos has a larger, more zoomed in version of the image with a lot more colour added to it.
    3. Publishing Logo – The publishing logo is bottom centre on the cover of Sprookjesbos and at the top right on Vilin San.
    4. Cover Card – Both books are paperback and both have equally thick card covers.
    5. Back Cover – The back cover of Sprookjesbos consists of the same image as the front cover, again, partially coloured and with the blurb in a ribbon across the centre. The back cover of Vilin San is completely black and white and the blurb is bordered by a frame from the introduction page inside the book.
    6. Inside Covers – Sprookjesbos doesn’t have French Flaps, and the inside covers are blank white. Vilin San has French flaps with black and white artwork and these open out to reveal a bluey-purple and white line drawn illustration front and back.
    7. Spine – The illustrator name and book title are differently ordered on the spines of the different editions, the subtitle is added on Vilin San. They both use completely different fonts. The Publisher logos at the bottom of the spine differ too.
    8. Book Size – Vilin San is slightly wider than Sprookjesbos because of its cover but the pages themselves are exactly the same size.
    9. Thickness – Sprookjesbos is significantly thicker than Vilin San, this is partially due to having thicker paper (more on this later) but also due to much of it being printed single-sided rather than double-sided. Sprookjesbos contains 68 pages whereas Vilin San contains 40 (plus poster).
    10. Binding – Both editions are glue and string-bound.
    11. Language – Vilin san is written in Croatian and Sprookjesbos in Dutch. I don’t read either of these languages so I’m therefore unable to comment on whether the text in each book translates the same, or whether it differs in meaning.
    12. Title – Obviously the titles differ due to language but they also slightly differ in meaning. Sprookjesbos translates as Fairytale Forest and Vilin San translates as Fairy’s Dream.
    13. Publisher – Both editions have been published by different publishing companies (hence all of these subtle differences), Vilin San is published by Fokus Na Hit and Sprookjesbos is published by BBNC Uitgevers.
    14. Paper Colour – The paper in Vilin San is bright white, the paper in Sprookjesbos is cream.
    15. Paper Thickness – The paper in both is quite thick but it’s definitely thicker in Sprookjesbos. Water-based pens heavily shadow in Vilin San but don’t shadow at all in Sprookjesbos. The paper used in Sprookjesbos is, as far as I’m aware, the same paper that BBNC Uitgevers use in all of their colouring books, it’s a little temperamental with oil-based pencils (though others have had great results with these so it may well be my technique or lack of patience) and beautiful for pens and soft pencils like Prismacolor Premiers.
    16. Copyright Page – The information is much more spread out on the page in Vilin San and is contained to the bottom half of the page in Sprookjesbos. The page is at the front, as usual, in Vilin San, but it’s the last page at the back of the book in Sprookjesbos.
    17. Image Order – The images in Sprookjesbos are printed in exactly the same order as Vilin San apart from one double-page spread containing a flying bird which has been moved from very near the end to the centre of the book, all other pages are in the same order. This doesn’t remotely affect the enjoyment or cohesion of the book.
    18. Image Size – The images in both books are exactly the same size throughout.
    19. Image Orientation – The images are spaced slightly differently between the books with a little more or less of the image shown at some edges on some pages when compared to each other, see photos for clarification.
    20. Weight – Vilin San weighs less than Sprookjesbos, it weighs 317g compared to 463g.
    21. Availability – Vilin San is extremely difficult to get hold of outside Croatia and is one of the hardest colouring books on the market to obtain. We have run international group orders through the publisher’s site for the last 9 months but this isn’t easy and has all but dried up recently. Sprookjesbos is easier to get hold of with cheaper shipping from the sites below and hopefully it’ll become easier still if it makes its way to Amazon UK like Dromenvanger has. It’s likely to take weeks or even months to get there but hopefully, eventually, it’ll be easier to purchase.
    22. Poster – Vilin San contains a beautiful 4-page poster that opens out into a huge scene. Sprookjesbos doesn’t include this or the imagery so sadly, you can only get that with Vilin San.
      Vilin San (Fairy's Dream) by Tomislav Tomic click through to read my review, see photos, see my video flip through and enter a giveaway for a copy!Vilin San (Fairy's Dream) by Tomislav Tomic click through to read my review, see photos, see my video flip through and enter a giveaway for a copy!Vilin San (Fairy's Dream) by Tomislav Tomic click through to read my review, see photos, see my video flip through and enter a giveaway for a copy!
    23. Book Layout – Vilin San is entirely printed double-sided. Sprookjesbos is printed single-sided for the majority of the book.

As you’ll have seen, there are a lot of subtle differences between the editions but hardly any of them affect use, in fact the only three that really do are the paper, the printing being single or double-sided and the lack of poster in Sprookjesbos. The single-sided printing really opens up your options for colouring because you can use so many different mediums that can’t be used when printing is double-sided. Although it’s a real shame that the poster artwork isn’t included in Sprookjesbos, and it’s a shame in some ways that the paper is cream, I know a lot of people love crisp, white paper, but this paper is thicker and ideal for water-based pens and pencils and with the (hopefully) increased accessibility, I will now forever be suggesting that people get a copy of Sprookjesbos. This new edition is beautiful and for those of you who already have Vilin San and are wondering about getting this new edition, or a second copy, I’d say definitely get a copy of Sprookjesbos, it’s beautifully produced, the illustrations look lovely on the new paper and it’s so much easier to get hold of and if you’re anything like me, you’ll want a copy of the new edition just because it’s a bit different, I truly am a colouring book hoarder!

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Sprookjesbos, it can be found at these sites:

Amazon UK – Sprookjesbos
https://www.bbnc.nl/sprookjesbos?search=sprookjesbos
https://www.bol.com/nl/p/sprookjesbos/9200000095550239/?suggestionType=browse&bltgh=imC0m1ReS55T4YWuif5OWg.1.2.ProductTitle
https://www.bookspot.nl/boeken/sprookjesbos-tomislav-tomic-9789045323527
https://www.boekhandelsmit.nl/9789045323527/tomic-tomislav/sprookjesbos/
https://www.libris.nl/boek/?authortitle=tomislav-tomic/sprookjesbos–9789045323527/
http://www.dinternet.nl/Boek/Tomislav–Tomic/Sprookjesbos/9789045323527.html

Video Comparison Post

Millie Marotta's Wildlife Wonders - Click through to see the written review, video flip through and images from inside the book

Millie Marotta’s Wildlife Wonders – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Wildlife Wonders is published by Batsford Books who very kindly sent me a review copy. This is the sixth book in Millie’s animal-centred adult colouring book series and this time it contains no new images and instead it’s a compilation of Millie and the colouring community’s favourite images from her first five books. It’s the same size and shape (25cm square) as her previous books, paperback, with flexible card covers with black and white line drawings that hint at some of the wonderful creatures within the pages and a few of the illustrations are coloured with gold foiling scattered across the cover and the title. The spine is a lilac colour which compliments the other spine colours really well and they look gorgeous on the shelf together (see photo below). The covers don’t have French flaps this time but the inside covers are a lovely teal colour with white line drawings of animals all over them (this isn’t colourable and is printed on quite glossy card). The spine is glue and string-bound so it’s very durable but it does mean that a little of some of the images is lost into it until it eases up with a bit of use. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads, none of them are mirror images this time. The paper is bright white and lightly textured, it’s the same paper as the previous titles and doesn’t bleed but does shadow a little with water-based pens; pencils work beautifully and blend and shade really well.

The book starts with a two-page introduction from Millie herself where she explains her illustration choices. Following this are a whopping 120 pages of the best illustrations from each of her 5 previous titles. This book really does contain absolutely everything from the common to the most exotic, animals you’ll easily recognise and those you’ll never have seen before, there is a mixture of all sorts! Everything is included from pheasants to an octopus, snakes to butterflies, chameleons to bats, jellyfish to parrots, elephants to mushrooms, seahorses to peacocks, crabs, bees, frogs, moths, snails, owls, and even an axolotl. This time there are no plain images; in the previous books there were a few pairs of images where there would be a detailed version and a simpler one that you could add your own details to if you wish, some of the detailed versions are included but no simpler ones this time. There also isn’t a list at the back of the book detailing the creatures of each page so you will have to guess a bit I’m afraid. Some people have criticised Millie’s previous books as being bird-heavy, this book really doesn’t feel that way with 40 of the images depicting birds and the other two thirds showing all manner of other creatures. The images are really varied but definitely feel more heavily detailed than some of her earlier books and with fewer scenery pages. As always, I’ve gone a bit extreme with this review and spent hours trawling through this book and all of the others to discover how many pages from each book are included and the totals are as follows: Animal Kingdom – 24; Tropical Wonderland/World – 27; Wild Savannah – 21; Curious Creatures – 24; Beautiful Birds and Treetop Treasures – 24.

In terms of mental health, yet again, this book is fantastic. There is so much to look at, so much to discover, that it’s incredibly distracting and really focuses your mind on the illustrations themselves rather than any difficult thoughts or feelings you may be having. The image content is totally absorbing and nature-based images are the best for relieving symptoms of mental illness. This book is very intricate, but don’t let that scare you, you can use pencils, fine-nibbed felt tips, fineliners and gel pens, all with great effects and most of the images aren’t so detailed that you’re put off or overwhelmed. Many of the patterns drawn onto the animals can be coloured over in blocks as well making them less intricate and giving your colouring texture and pattern rather than outlined spaces to colour, so the possibilities are endless. If you have vision problems or issues with fine motor control then you may struggle with this book but for any of the rest of you I’d suggest giving this book a go and persevering into a more intricate world. The natural scenes definitely create a sense of calm and this will be one of my go-to books when I really need to focus on something and be distracted. It’s detailed enough that you have to focus and concentrate and this lends itself wonderfully to drowning out any anxious or disturbing thoughts you may want to shift. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is very thin so I’d advise colouring during the day or near a very good desk lamp. The images are wonderful, as always and it’s great to have a second opportunity to colour your favourites in a different colour scheme

I can’t praise this book highly enough, I love Millie’s work and this book is a stunning compilation of the best images from her previous books. The illustrations lend themselves to whatever colour scheme you fancy whether that be realistic, rainbow, monochrome, black and white, mixed media, or anything else you can dream up, it really is beautiful and it would make a perfect first book if you can’t or don’t want to pick a themed one.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available to pre-order here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Wildlife Wonders
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marottas-Wildlife-Wonders-Millie-Marotta/9781849945134/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Video Review and Full Flip Through

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Pencils. A video tutorial for colouring the grasshopper can be found here.

Johanna Basford 2019 Colouring Day-To-Day Calendar in a Keepsake Box – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Johanna Basford 2019 Colouring Day-To-Day Calendar in a Keepsake Box is published and was very kindly sent to me to review by Andrews McMeel Publishing. This page-a-day calendar arrives in shrink-wrapped plastic which keeps the keepsake box clean and free from damage. The keepsake box is made of thick ivory card which is covered all over (including the bottom) with a black-heavy flower and leaf design that almost looks like it is drawn in white rather than black. The pattern is most similar to designs from Enchanted Forest and the top and all four sides of the box have gold foiling accents. The box opens with a hinge-style (the lid remains attached at the top) with two pieces of black ribbon holding it open at a >90degree angle; the inside of the lid and the box are lined with black paper with white flower and foliage designs drawn in Johanna’s signature style; the box is fully colourable if you wish. A black ribbon allows easy access to lift out all of the loose calendar pages which aren’t bound in any way so it’s easy to pick out which ones to colour, move them around, leave them out to dry if using wet media and so on. The pages are the same size and format as any other page-a-day calendar, the illustration is on the left and takes up two thirds of the page and on the right at the top is a leafy-lettered title of the month and at the bottom is the date and day, above this in small text are written the important festivals and celebrations and the country they’re celebrated in; as with all others, Saturday and Sunday share a page so there are approximately 313 pages of colouring for you to complete over the year. The pages are pale cream (just like the 2018 edition) rather than bright white (they are less yellow than the Secret Garden book paper and more cream than the new ivory paper in Magical Jungle and Ivy and the Inky Butterfly; see photo below of the different paper colours), thin (slightly thicker than copier paper), and lightly textured, pencils don’t build up many layers on this paper but I’m sure those of you who are more talented than me will have more luck with this and create wonderful masterpieces; water-based pens do heavily shadow and may bleed through if you’re particularly heavy-handed but the images are printed single-sided so really you can use whatever mediums you like, these pages would be ideal for testing out new mediums or trialling colour schemes.

The illustrations themselves are all taken from Johanna Basford’s six currently published colouring books, Secret Garden, Enchanted Forest, Lost Ocean, Magical Jungle, Johanna’s Christmas, and Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, I have carefully looked through all of the images and there are no new images, all are directly from the original books. Some of them are the whole page scaled down, others are sections of the page printed at the original size, others are zoomed in sections which are printed larger than the original so there is a really good mix of detailed sections, larger spaced illustrations to practice blending and shading on, and whole pages which you’ll need your finest of fineliners and sharpest of pencils to colour accurately. The lid is designed to display the current day’s page in but it will hold plenty more pages than this so you could easily place a month’s worth in there before having to move them under the proceeding days’ pages.

In terms of mental health, this page-a-day calendar is fantastic because it provides you with a manageable size of project to attempt each day, you could colour the page in a few minutes or really take your time to try out new techniques and spend much longer, it’s entirely up to you. You could colour the day’s page ahead of time or on the day itself, you could even spend the next few months colouring the whole thing ready to look at your beautiful work throughout the coming year, or even to gift to someone else (what a labour of love that would be and it would make an incredible present if you could bear to part with your work, perhaps you could start if off for them to finish?). The pages are a great size to practice colour schemes for your copies of the actual books, or even to try out colouring mediums on a smaller page. The loose pages make it easy to access the page you need without having to move the whole block around all the time and it means you don’t have to worry at all about bleed through. At the end of the year you could even cut out all of the images and create collages, small framed pictures or gifts or even add them to cards or craft projects so this is a really versatile product that goes way beyond just being a calendar! There isn’t a treasure hunt element in this calendar and there are no written hints for drawing though there are plenty of spaces on a number of images to be able to add your own details or backgrounds to really make the pages your own but this of course isn’t necessary and it’ll look finished without the need to draw at all. This page-a-day calendar is perfect for fans of Johanna’s work and it is a beautiful new way of using her illustrations. The line thickness varies a little throughout from thin to spindly thin and the intricacy and detail levels are often much higher than in the books because many of the images are shrunk down to fit the pages so you will most definitely need very good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this calendar if you’re wanting to colour it; you could of course leave it blank and just admire the illustrations because they really are beautiful to just look at with no need to add colour if that’s too challenging. The images aren’t arranged into any order and there are no duplicates, a number of the calendar pages show parts of the same original image but these are all of different aspects of it, with varying size or depicting different areas (see images below) and this is by no means the majority of the pages, most are of entirely separate illustrations or aspects within them, they also don’t appear to duplicate the images used in the 2017 or 2018 edition of this calendar so those of you who already have that won’t be disappointed by duplicates. The page size is much more manageable and less daunting to colour and this is ideal for those of you with fluctuating conditions or concentration levels because these pages are much quicker to finish and likely to cause less frustration, they’re also fantastic for trying out new things without worrying about ruining a whole page in your books.

I would highly recommend this page-a-day calendar to fans of Johanna’s work and to those who love to be organised. It’s a great size and format, ideal for those who find the full-size book pages too daunting. It’s also great for practising colour schemes or using new colouring mediums and it’ll be a lovely keepsake to work through from beginning to end and see how you’ve progressed over the year it runs for; you can even remove the images afterwards and frame or gift them or even use them in craft projects and the box will make a wonderful keepsake.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this page-a-day colouring calendar, it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Johanna Basford 2019 Colouring Day-To-Day Calendar in a Keepsake Box
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Johanna-Basford-2019-Coloring-Day-Day-Calendar-Johanna-Basford/9781449492434/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Can’t get enough of Johanna’s images? Below are my reviews of her new colouring planner and wall calendar so you can be fully organised and colour to your heart’s content for the coming year!
Ivy and the Inky Butterfly 2019 Colouring Wall Calendar
Johanna Basford 2018-2019 16-Month Weekly Colouring Planner

Video Review and Flip Through

The page below was coloured using Faber Castell Pitt Pens.