Dutch

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

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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

WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY and Review – Winterkleurkaarten: 20 Ansichtkaarten & Enveloppen (Winter Colour Cards: 20 Postcards and Envelopes) by Julia Woning

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Winterkleurkaarten: 20 Ansichtkaarten & Enveloppen (Winter Colour Cards: 20 Postcards and Envelopes) are published and very kindly sent to me to review by BBNC Utigevers. They have also very kindly provided me with an extra set which I’m currently running a Worldwide Giveaway for on my FB page until 23.59 GMT on the 29th of November, and you can also win a copy of the Tiffany Glass Coloring Book, to enter please click here. This set of cards is illustrated by Julia Woning, a talented Dutch illustrator who’s previously published a number of books in the Netherlands. These cards arrive in a red card box with an image adapted from one of the cards on the front, this box is a little bit flimsy but does prevent the cards from getting damaged or lost. The box contains 20 cards, these are not greetings cards, they are square postcards that are single-sided with a design illustrated on the front, and text at the top on the back saying Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Dutch, along with the copyright information at the bottom. The 20 plain white envelopes fit the cards perfectly and will be ideal for giving or sending the cards to others. The cards are made of bright white, lightly textured, medium thickness card, it doesn’t bleed or shadow with water-based pens but will with alcohol markers so do be aware of this, pencils, especially oil-based ones or those with harder leads, are very difficult to colour with on this card and require a lot of patience as the lack of tooth makes it difficult to layer or blend, my Prismacolor Premiers worked pretty well but I really struggled with Holbeins which seemed to clump and not colour evenly. The images themselves are all drawn in Julia’s signature style which is often out of proportion with people having very large rounded bodies and very small faces with exaggerated features. The content is really varied but all is heavily winter and Christmas themed and include all sorts from snowflakes to Santa, robins to reindeer, candles to baubles, cocoa, to polar bears, stocking, angels and so much more, there is even a jumper-wearing elephant! Each picture is packed with imagery and many of them have spaces to write your own messages if you wish. Most of the cards contain scenes or snapshots of Christmas celebrations and each is different from the next from a woman drinking cocoa to Santa riding his sleigh, snowmen in a garden to a decorated Christmas tree and more. The cards are really beautiful and will be ideal for challenging yourself to try out new techniques including colouring skin, snow, shiny objects, glowing backgrounds and even glass. They’re all really beautiful and sure to spread some Christmas cheer whether you keep them yourself or gift them to others.

In terms of mental health, these cards offer a great, manageable project, they’re small enough not to be overwhelming, but large enough that they’re not coloured in seconds and you can take your time colouring each section without needing days to do so. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is thin. The intricacy and detail levels do vary across and within each card but mainly remain low to moderate so anyone with moderate vision or fine motor control will be able to enjoy these cards. You won’t need especially good concentration levels and will be able to colour these cards on good and bad days which is great! Colouring cards are a great project because not only do you get to enjoy colouring them, you can then send them to others and share the joy or even send them uncoloured to a friend who might need a little push to start colouring, they’re great for spreading some happiness and colouring love! The shape of them would make them ideal to frame if you wish, they could be a lovely added extra to your Christmas decorations or a really personal touch for your loved ones. They’re also the perfect project to start trying out some new colouring techniques without having to worry about ruining a whole page and you can use any medium you fancy because they’re single-sided.

Overall, I would highly recommend these colouring cards, they’re beautifully drawn and really varied in content and they’re a lot of fun to colour, you can try out new techniques or just enjoy getting in the festive spirit. These will appeal to colourist’s of all ages and be sure to get you feeling Christmassy!

If you’d like to purchase a set, they’re currently unavailable on the usual sites though they are listed there so do sign up for email alerts and they’ll tell you when they have them in stock, hopefully it’ll be soon!
Amazon UK – Winterkleurkaarten: 20 Ansichtkaarten & Enveloppen
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Winterkleurkaarten-Julia-Woning/9789045321851/?a_aid=colouringitmom
BBNC (Publisher site with very reasonable International Shipping) – http://www.bbnc.nl/kleurboeken/julia-woning-winterkleurkaarten

I’m currently running a Worldwide Giveaway for a set of these cards on my FB page until 23.59 GMT on the 29th of November, and you can also win a copy of the Tiffany Glass Coloring Book, to enter please click here.

The card below was coloured with Stabilo 68 Fibre-Tip Pens.

Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!

Dromenvanger vs Zemlja Snova – 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.
Zemlja Snova was published in 2016 and illustrated by Tomislav Tomic, it’s one of the most beautiful colouring books I’ve ever seen and still vies for the title of my most favourite colouring book ever. It was published in Croatia by Fokus and has been notoriously difficult to get hold of after it was quickly taken off Amazon and has almost exclusively been acquired since then through the publisher’s website which my Facebook fan group runs international group orders from. This is no longer necessary for this book because Dromenvanger will (hopefully) be available worldwide at a really reasonable price (around £12 or $15) with free worldwide delivery from Book Depository, when I originally wrote this post two days ago it was available for pre-order there, it’s currently showing as unavailable however, I’m hoping that this might just be a stock issue and that it will be rectified soon. The website allows you to sign up for email alerts of stock so do click through and sign up to be the first to hear when it’s available to order. 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. 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. 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. The publisher has very kindly provided me with an extra copy of Dromenvanger which I’m currently running a Worldwide giveaway for on my blog until 23.59 GMT on the 31st of October, to enter please click here.

  1. Covers – Zemlja Snova has a soft-feel cover with glossy accents on the title and subtext. Dromenvanger also has a soft-feel cover with glossy accents on the title and all of the stars.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  2. Cover Image – The cover images are totally different, Zemlja Snova has a partially coloured image on the front that is similar to the art in the book but isn’t a direct copy of a page. Dromenvanger has a partially coloured image from inside the book.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  3. Publishing Logo – The publishing logo is bottom centre on the cover of Dromenvanger and at the bottom right on Zemlja Snova.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  4. Cover Card – Both books are paperback and both have equally thick card covers.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  5. Inside Covers – Zemlja Snova has French Flaps with black and white artwork and these open out to reveal a purple and white line drawn illustration front and back. Dromenvanger doesn’t have French Flaps, and the inside covers are blank white.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  6. Back Cover – The back cover of Dromenvanger is partially coloured and shows a reverse version of the front cover image. The back cover of Zemlja Snova is completely black and white and the blurb is bordered by a frame from inside the book.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  7. Spine – The illustrator name and book title are differently ordered on the spines of the different editions. They both use completely different fonts. The Publisher logos at the bottom of the spine differ too.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences! Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  8. Book Size – Dromenvanger is slightly smaller than Zemlja Snova. The pages in both copies are the same width (the Zemlja Snova covers extend further), but not the same height with Dromenvanger being approximately 5mm shorter, possibly less.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences! Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  9. Thickness – Dromenvanger is thicker than Zemlja Snova due to having thicker paper (more on this later).
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  10. Binding – Both editions are glue and string-bound, Zemlja Snova is more heavily glued than Dromenvanger.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  11. Language – Zemlja Snova is written in Croatian and Dromenvanger 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.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  12. Title – Obviously the titles differ due to language but they also slightly differ in meaning. Dromenvanger translates as Dream Catcher and Zemlja Snova translates as Dreamland or Land of Dreams.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  13. Publisher – Both editions have been published by different publishing companies (hence all of these subtle differences), Zemlja Snova is published by Fokus Na Hit and Dromenvanger is published by BBNC Utigevers.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  14. Paper Colour – The paper in Zemlja Snova is bright white, the paper in Dromenvanger is cream.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  15. Paper Thickness – The paper in both is quite thick but it’s definitely thicker in Dromenvanger. Water-based pens heavily shadow in Zemlja Snova but don’t shadow at all in Dromenvanger. The paper used in Dromenvanger is, as far as I’m aware, the same paper that BBNC Utigevers 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.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  16. Copyright Page – The information is much more spread out on the page in Zemlja Snova and is contained to the bottom half of the page in Dromenvanger.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  17. Image Order – The pages in Dromenvanger are identically ordered to the correct, later editions of Zemlja Snova, the original editions had three double-page spreads that were split in the book, this issue has been rectified in later printings and in Dromenvanger.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  18. Image Size – Oddly, the first few frames on the ancillary pages at the beginning are larger in Zemlja Snova than Dromenvanger but the actual illustrations of the book are identical sizes on the many images I measured to check.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  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.
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  20. Weight – Zemlja Snova weighs less than Dromenvanger, it weighs 527g compared to 561g (ish, one of my copies was 565g).
    Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, a Comparison of the Dutch and Croatian editions, click through to see photos and read about the differences!
  21. Availability – Zemlja Snova 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 year but this isn’t easy. It was looking very hopeful that Dromenvanger was going to be much easier to access because it was listed on Book Depository, however, yesterday it changed to saying it was currently unavailable and some people who’ve pre-ordered it have been given refunds because Book Depository don’t know when they’ll get stock in. I’m really hoping that this issue will be resolved quickly and I will be sure to update this post asap when I know more. You can sign up for email updates about stock at the link below to book depository so that you’re the first to know when it’s back and if you can’t wait it’s available from Dutch site Bol. It’s definitely worth the wait for a copy because Book Depository will have free worldwide delivery and were charging a fraction of the price compared to getting a copy of Zelmja Snova out of Croatia and to your front door. We will still be running group orders for the new book (title unknown currently) and if you’d like to join these and know more then please do join my FB fan group where we will post any information as soon as we know it.

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 one that really does is the paper. It’s a shame in some ways that it’s 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 Dromenvanger. My fingers are now very tightly crossed hoping that BBNC Utigevers will acquire the rights to the next book by Tomislav Tomic so that it too becomes easily accessible. This new edition is beautiful and for those of you who already have Zemlja Snova and are wondering about getting this new edition, or a second copy, I’d say definitely get a copy of Dromenvanger, 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!

Amazon UK – Dromenvanger 
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/book/9789045321868/?a_aid=colouringitmom
Bol.com – https://www.bol.com/nl/p/dromenvanger/9200000080026444/?suggestionType=typedsearch#modal_open

You can see my videos of unboxing the book, and a silent flick-through of the book if you click on the relevant words.

Don’t forget, I’m running a Worldwide giveaway to win a copy of Dromenvanger by Tomislav Tomic, to enter click here by 23.59 GMT on October the 31st.

WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY and Review – Winterkleurkaarten: 20 Ansichtkaarten & Enveloppen (Winter Colour Cards: 20 Postcards and Envelopes)

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Winterkleurkaarten: 20 Ansichtkaarten & Enveloppen (Winter Colour Cards: 20 Postcards and Envelopes) are published and very kindly sent to me to review by BBNC Utigevers. They have also very kindly provided me with an extra set and an extra copy of Schemertijd Kleurboek by Maria Trolle which I’m currently running a Worldwide giveaway for on my blog until 23.59 GMT on the 10th of October, to enter please click hereThis set of cards is illustrated by Jessica Palmer, the hugely talented illustrator of Tangle Wood, Tangle Bay, and Tangle Magic. These cards arrive in a gold card box with an image of one of the cards on the front, this box is a little bit flimsy and did get a bit squished on its travels to me, however, none of the cards or envelopes were damaged. The box contains 20 cards, these are not greetings cards, they are square postcards that are single-sided with a design illustrated on the front, and text at the top on the back saying Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in Dutch, along with the copyright information at the bottom. The 20 plain white envelopes fit the cards perfectly and will be ideal for giving or sending the cards to others. The cards are made of bright white, lightly textured, medium thickness card, it doesn’t bleed or shadow with water-based pens but will with alcohol markers so do be aware of this, pencils, especially oil-based ones or those with harder leads, are very difficult to colour with on this card and require a lot of patience as the lack of tooth makes it difficult to layer or blend, my Prismacolor Premiers worked pretty well but I really struggled with Holbeins which seemed to clump and not colour evenly. The images themselves are all drawn in Jessica’s beautiful signature style and are really varied in content, some are winter-themed and the majority are Christmas themed. As always, none of them include people but rather beautifully anthropomorphised animals in humanesque scenes from ice-skating foxes to a mummy rabbit bearing cake and presents, badgers sharing a candlelit dessert to dancing herons, dogs decorating a Christmas tree to daddy bear reading a bedtime story to mummy and baby bear, each card is different from the last, they all feel similar because of Jessica’s drawing style but the content really does vary between each one. These cards are different from any imagery you’ll see on normal Christmas cards, or any colouring Christmas cards and they really are something special!

In terms of mental health, these cards offer a great, manageable project, they’re small enough not to be overwhelming, but large enough that they’re not coloured in seconds and you can take your time colouring each section without needing days to do so. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is thin and spindly thin. The intricacy and detail levels do vary a little across the images as well as within them but mostly they’re very intricate with lots of small details so you will need very good vision and fine motor control to enjoy these cards. You will need pretty good concentration to get the most out of them, some of the cards consist of lots of fine details that can be a little tricky to decipher if your focus is elsewhere so I’d suggest leaving those cards to colour on your better days. Colouring cards are a great project because not only do you get to enjoy colouring them, you can then send them to others and share the joy or even send them uncoloured to a friend who might need a little push to start colouring, they’re great for spreading some happiness and colouring love! The shape of them would make them ideal to frame if you wish, they could be a lovely added extra to your Christmas decorations or a really personal touch for your loved ones.

Overall, I would highly recommend these colouring cards, they’re beautifully drawn and really varied in content and they’re a lot of fun to colour, you will need good vision and hand control but these are really worth taking time over to make them perfect and they’re ideal for pen colourists! If you liked Jessica’s Tangle series of colouring books then you’re sure to love these cards!

If you’d like to purchase a set, they’re currently unavailable on the usual sites though they are listed there so do sign up for email alerts and they’ll tell you when they have them in stock, hopefully it’ll be soon! If you just can’t wait then you can order from Bol.com, below.
Amazon UK – Winterkleurkaarten: 20 Ansichtkaarten & Enveloppen
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Winterkleurkaarten/9789045322070/?a_aid=colouringitmom
Bol.com – Winterkleurkaarten

Don’t forget, I’m running a Worldwide giveaway to win a set of these cards and a copy of Schemertijd by Maria Trolle, to enter click here by 23.59 GMT on October the 10th.

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils  and Holbein Artist’s Colored Pencils.

WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY and Review of Schemertijd Kleurboek (Skymningstimman Målarbok)

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Schemertijd Kleurboek is published and kindly sent to me to review by BBNC Utigevers. They have also very kindly provided me with an extra copy of this book and an extra set of Winterkleurkaarten by Jessica Palmer which I’m currently running a Worldwide giveaway for on my blog until 23.59 GMT on the 10th of October, to enter please click here. This book is illustrated by Maria Trolle and was originally published in Sweden by Printworks with the title Skymningstimman which roughly translates as Twilight/Dusk Hour, the book reviewed here, Schemertijd, is the Dutch edition. This book is most similar to Maria’s first title, Blomstermandala (Published in English as Twilight Garden) and has the same format as that, therefore much of my review is the same, skip to paragraph two for information about the content of this title. I don’t have the Swedish edition of this book and am therefore unable to comment on any differences between the two though I would assume these are minimal based on what I’ve seen of the Swedish edition online from others.

The book itself is just a little smaller than A4, measuring 21.8 x 25.7cm, it’s hardback with very sturdy thick covers with a black background and partially coloured image from inside the book with gold foil accents on the front and back and the blurb also written in gold foiling. The spine is covered in black tape with beautiful debossed gold writing, it is glue and string-bound and attached to tape within the hardback binding so it’s very durable but a little tricky to get the book to lie flat and reach the very edge of the image in the gutter. The images are printed double-sided throughout and are mostly single page designs with some double-page spreads, a whopping 32 pages have black backgrounds, this is roughly every third double-page spread so those who like colouring ‘midnight’ pages will adore this book! The paper is cream, thick and very lightly textured, water-based pens don’t bleed or shadow but do always test in an inconspicuous area because we all colour differently. Pencils go on smoothly but oil-based pencils can be a little tricky to blend and layer due to lack of tooth, experienced colourists will manage to get stunning results though I’m sure and my Prismacolor Premiers worked very well.

This illustrations are all based in nature and consist of various different styles from wreaths to scenes, centralised images and portrait style pictures, the imagery is absolutely stunning and this book feels just a little more polished than Blomstermandala, it really is lovely! There is so much pictured within the pages that it’s hard to even begin to make a list but some of the things illustrated include: tree houses, nests, squirrels, butterflies, peonies, deer, fairies, frogs, rabbits, birds, mushrooms, owls, bees, ferns, foxes, pussy willow, snowdrops, waterlilies, spider webs, and even dragons. There are countless flowers and plants included and at the back of the book is a double-page spread with all of the pages numbered and a list of all of the flowers pictured in each so that you can easily identify them and colour them accurately if you wish which is a major plus point of this already fabulous book! The images are drawn in a mostly realistic style but some are slightly surreal in context with women pictured with nests in their hair, a girl sat in the centre of a sunflower, owls nestling in a peony’s leaves and lots more; these quirky scenes are lovely to look through and give a really whimsical feel to the book, some of the images have a beautiful childlike charm and this is aided by some of the cute and quirky characters included which we first saw in Maria’s book about Vivi finding a friend (Vivi Soker en Van and Dutch edition, Droomreis), but all are adult level colouring rather than basic or boring. Much of the imagery consists of anthropomorphised animals in humanesque scenes and situations. The sheer amount of different content means that you’re offered a huge variety of things to colour from practising skin tones and fur to feathers and water, if you want a book to challenge you out of your comfort zone then this is ideal. Equally though, this would look gorgeous block coloured or with minimal blending and shading, or with a touch of added sparkle from some glitter gel pens so don’t be put off if you’ve not mastered fur, I haven’t yet but I’ll be giving it a go in this book. A few of the images have dots on to indicate shading and these are very useful, especially for beginner colourists to learn where light and shade can be placed in an image.

In terms of mental health, this book is just fantastic because it’s so centred around nature and is inherently very calming and relaxing. Even just looking through the book soothes my mind and noticeably slows it down and it really helps distract you from any negative thoughts or difficult symptoms. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is thin but not spindly thin so there is a little leeway for slight issues with vision and fine motor control though you will need a fairly high level of both of these but not perfect! The intricacy and detail levels vary throughout from large open spaces all the way down to small spaces but nothing is teeny tiny and none of the sections would be impossible to colour separately if you wish. The imagery is just beautiful and I absolutely love it, there’s a lot of variety but all centred around the same floral garden theme which makes it feel really cohesive and it’ll look incredible coloured cover to cover! The images are often made up of lots of component parts which is ideal for those of you with poor concentration or symptoms that make completing a whole page too daunting or difficult and you can easily colour one mouse, hedgehog or daffodil and still get a sense of achievement. On better days you can tackle a whole page or even a double-page spread so this book is filled with lots of different size projects. A number of the images are centralised images with space around them where you could add your own backgrounds, there are no written hints so this is by no means obligatory but the option is there if you wish, the images do of course look finished without any additions though.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book to people who love Maria’s colouring books and who love nature. The illustrations are beautiful and they’re drawn in a mostly realistic style which makes them ideal for realistic or surreal colour schemes. If you like pretty images of flowers, animals and plants then you’re sure to love this book, it’s gorgeous and utterly charming from beginning to end!

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book, it’s listed below, it seems to be taking a while for Amazon and Book Depository to be getting stock (this also happened with Droomreis which is now available on Amazon UK) but it is available currently at bol.com (direct link below).
Amazon UK – Schemertijd Kleurboek
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Schemertijd-Mari-Trolle/9789045322674/?a_aid=colouringitmom
Bol.com – Schemertijd

Don’t forget, I’m running a Worldwide giveaway to win a copy of this book and a set of Winterkleurkaarten by Jessica Palmer, to enter click here by 23.59 GMT on October the 10th.

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils  and Pan Pastels for the background.

Droomreis (Dream Trip) Kleurboek by Maria Trolle - Click through to read my review of this Dutch edition and my comparison to the original Swedish edition, there are LOTS of differences and some new content!

Droomreis (Dream Trip) Kleurboek: Dutch edition of Vivi Söker en Vän (Vivi’s looking for a friend) – A Review and Comparison

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Droomreis Kleurboek is published and kindly sent to me to review by BBNC Utigevers. This book is illustrated by Maria Trolle and was originally published in Sweden by Printworks with the title Vivi Söker en Vän (Vivi’s looking for a friend), as many of you will already know this book was originally published as a full colour children’s book with an accompanying story (read the quote below from Maria herself describing the story and purpose of the book) and Maria created a colouring book of the uncoloured illustrations, this new Dutch version has the same beautiful images but quite a different publication format so read on to find out about the book itself and the similarities and differences between it and the Swedish edition.

“The story of the book in short is this: “When Vivi woke at dawn the walls were darker than usual and the house felt cramped. I want a friend, someone who is just mine, she thought. Vivi lives in a tree house in the woods. One day she goes on an adventure to find herself a friend.
Vivi takes a ride with a bird and fly up into the sky where she meets the Cloudbear. She goes deep into the ocean where she meets ta mermaid. In the oak, she becomes friends with the tree spirit. Vivi looks into hollows in the ground where the voles live. But who can be her very own friend who is hers always…
The Miniwolf are also looking for a friend. He is curious about Vivi and wonders if she’ll ever see him …
Vivi meets a friend is about finding your place in the world and to find yourself and meet the right person. A best friend.”

The book itself is 21.7 x 25.6cm, it’s hardback with a partially coloured image from inside on the cover and a black and white illustration on the back cover, also from inside the book with gold foil on Vivi’s dress. The spine is glue and string bound and attached to tape within the hardback binding so it’s very durable but a little tricky to get the book to lie flat and reach the very edge of the image in the gutter. The majority of the pages are printed single-sided and aren’t perforated, five of the pages span onto the left page either creating complete double-page spreads or partial ones where a third of the page is filled with illustration. The paper is cream, thick and very lightly textured, it doesn’t bleed with water-based pens but will bleed with alcohol markers so make sure you pop a protective sheet behind your work. Pencils go on smoothly but oil-based pencils can be a little tricky to blend and layer due to lack of tooth, experienced colourists will manage to get stunning results though I’m sure and my Prismacolor Premiers worked very well. The images themselves are a great mix of adult level colouring but with childlike charm. The illustrations tell the story of Vivi as she goes in search of a friend and she travels to different environments and meets different creatures which means you’re offered a huge variety of things to colour from practising skin tones and fur to feathers and clouds, if you want a book to challenge you out of your comfort zone then this is ideal. Equally though, this would look gorgeous block coloured or with minimal blending and shading, or with a touch of added sparkle from some glitter gel pens so don’t be put off if you’ve not mastered fur, I haven’t yet but I’ve given it a go in this book. A few of the images have dots on to indicate shading and these are very useful, especially for beginner colourists to learn where light and shade can be placed in an image. As with Maria’s other books, a total of 8 images have a black background which is a lovely touch and will make the colours really pop on those pages. There are almost 50 images which are really varied in content and there is a beautiful map at the back showing all of the different places Vivi travels to within the story.

In terms of mental health, this book is wonderful, the storytelling aspect is lovely because it offers escapism and Maria’s images are so evocative and charming that you can’t help but become immersed in Vivi’s world and your worries and symptoms soon melt away. The childlike quality of the images is very nostalgic and really transports you back to simpler times and happy days as a child. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is thin. The intricacy and detail levels vary from large open spaces of a fox or whale to much smaller details of leaves, flower centres and butterflies, and everything in between. You will need fairly good vision and fine motor control to keep within the lines but they don’t need to be perfect so don’t be put off, just check the images below to decide if they’re suitable or not. This book offers a huge amount of scope for the imagination, while the pictures do tell the story very well, you could easily add your own written story on the blank left-hand pages throughout the book and once coloured you could gift it to a child or read it to your own children. You could even colour Vivi to look like a little girl you know and get her to wear their favourite colour so that it’s like that child is in the story, this would make the most wonderful personalised gift! The variance in image content means that this book is ideal for those with fluctuating conditions and concentration levels, on bad days you can colour just one cloud or acorn and on better days you could colour a whole image, there are loads of natural stopping points so you can get the satisfaction of finishing something without it having to be the entire page which can often be quite daunting and off-putting!  This book really is another beautiful creation which is exactly what we’ve come to expect from Maria, it’s a really different premise from most adult colouring books but I personally love it and even though I don’t have children myself, or really anyone to gift it to, I’m still loving colouring in it and imagining myself on Vivi’s journey as she meets cloud bears, mermaids and woodland creatures.

Overall, I would highly recommend this book, it offers so much escapism and the artwork is just charming. It would make a wonderful gift fully coloured, with a written story added, or even a framed page and Vivi is sure to become a family favourite!

 

Comparison of Droomreis and Vivi Söker en Vän

  • Droomreis is hardback, Vivi Söker en Vän is paperback
  • Droomreis has glue and string-bound pages which are non-perforated, Vivi Söker en Vän has glue and string-bound pages which are perforated and therefore removable.
  • The paper is the same colour in both books and is a creamy off-white colour, it is thicker and almost card-like in Vivi Söker en Vän and the paper in the Dutch edition seems identical to the paper used in the majority of Swedish books.
  • The language throughout the book, including all text in images has been changed from Swedish to Dutch.
  • A few of the images in Droomreis are double-page spreads or partial double-page spreads where the image reaches across some of the left page, these images are all single pages in Vivi Söker en Vän so you do get a few unseen pages to colour in Droomreis and some of the single page spreads in Vivi have been slightly re-jigged to include a bit more content (see photos below for comparisons).
  • The front and back cover and the text on the spine of Droomreis has gold foiling accents, Vivi Söker en Vän has no gold foiling.
  • The covers are completely different and both depict different internal images that are partially coloured.
  • Droomreis is slightly larger than Vivi but the pages inside the covers are a little smaller overall.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book it’s available below though it is often out of stock on Book Depository so you may want to sign up for email alerts with them so you know as soon as it’s available again!
Amazon UK – Droomreis Kleurboek
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Droomreis-kleurboek-Mari-Trolle/9789045321875/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.