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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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Cover Colour – Both editions have off-white covers, the UK edition has a whiter cover than the US edition.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Thickness – Due to the paper in the US edition being thicker (see point number 26), the book is thicker overall too.
- Weight – The UK edition weighs less than the US edition at 518g vs 542g. A 24g difference.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Printing Location – The UK edition is printed in China, the US edition is printed in the USA.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Treasure Hunt – Unlike most of Johanna’s previous book, there is no treasure hunt this time.
- 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!
Amazon UK – World of Flowers
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/World-Flowers-Johanna-Basford/9780753553183?/?a_aid=colouringitmom
Amazon UK – World of Flowers
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/World-of-Flowers/9780143133827/?a_aid=colouringitmom