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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.

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Dromenvanger (Dream Catcher - Dutch edition of Zemlja Snova) click through to read the review, see photos, a video flick-through and my comparison to Zemlja Snova!

WORLDWIDE GIVEAWAY and Review – Dromenvanger (Dutch edition of Zemlja Snova)

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Dromenvanger is published and kindly sent to me to review by BBNC Utigevers and illustrated by Tomislav Tomic. They have also very kindly provided me with an extra copy 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 Dromenvanger is the Dutch edition of the original Croatian book, Zemlja Snova, the titles translate slightly differently with Dromenvanger meaning Dream Catcher and Zemlja Snova meaning Dreamland/Land of Dreams. There have been huge debates online ever since Dromenvanger was announced about whether it was the same book or a new one and I can categorically state that it is the same book with the same artwork, however, there will be a new book by Tomislav Tomic later in the year, due out in December, it currently doesn’t have an announced title but I will update you all as soon as I know anything further and if you join my Fan group for the artist then you’ll be the first to know as we have reps from the publisher in our group who make announcements from time to time. I have written a comparison post and recorded a comparison video detailing the 21 differences between Dromenvanger and Zemlja Snova, the written post can be found here and the video comparison here.

This book is one of the best I’ve ever seen. After reviewing over 300 books, there aren’t that many that manage to take my breath away, but this one still does, it’s stunning and the illustrations are just incredible! The book is just over 25cm square, the same size as the UK bestsellers, paperback, with flexible card covers and a partially coloured image from inside the book on the front cover and blank inside covers. The spine is lightly glue and string-bound and the binding is fairly tight on arrival meaning that it’s durable and hard-wearing but also a bit tricky to get to the very centre of some of the images. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads and are printed double-sided. The paper is cream, thick and lightly textured, as far as I can see it’s the same paper as is used in all Dutch edition colouring books published by this company, 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, fear not if your pens do shadow or bleed because the illustrations certainly lend themselves well to beautiful blending and shading of pencils. The book contains 81 pages of illustrations and they are genuinely incredible! The images are all fantasy-based and include lots of dragons, mermaids, unicorns, fairies, tree-men, and so much more. Over half of the spreads are double-page designs which are either scenes, depicting all manner of things from castles to sea voyages, gnome villages to woodland, dragons to underwater scenes, or paired images that can be coloured separately but are strongly linked with the opposite page (see photos below). I could go on for days describing the imagery, there is just so much to look at, when you first look at each image you start to get a feel for the general theme of the spread whether it be a castle, village or underwater scene, but as you look closer you discover lots of hidden things from gnomes to mermaid tails, working animals or birds’ nests, flowers growing off dragons and even hidden villages. The illustrations are just packed full with details and stories and they will take you ages to colour so this book is certainly good value for money! The ink is very permanent and doesn’t transfer even with very hard pressure from pencils and the paper doesn’t dent or curl either so it’s very good quality. The line print quality is good too with smooth lines throughout and no pixelation to be found! While a few of the spreads do enter the spine, care has been taken in the majority for them to not enter it, or for there to not be much detail there which is ideal for people who can’t bear to break the spine in order to colour the entire page.

In terms of mental health, wowee, I found this book exceptional! 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. The more you look at the images, the more you see and the more you get drawn in and it’s done wonders for my anxiety during what has been a very challenging and anxiety-filled week. 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 2 of our favourite things into one incredible book! The line thickness is consistent throughout and is thin with spindly thin details (it’s pretty similar to the linework in Johanna Basford’s books), the illustrations are very detailed and intricate so there are lots of tiny spaces which you can colour within or colour over if you prefer to use them as texture underneath your colour. You will need pretty good vision and fine motor control in order to enjoy this book and you’ll need some good sharp pencils so that you don’t go over the lines too much. I would highly recommend investing in a T’Gaal sharpener so that you can keep your pencils as sharp as possible! There are plenty of natural stopping points so this book is ideal for those with fluctuating conditions or concentration levels as you can colour one flower, all of the bricks or an entire dragon, you can also focus on a single page or go all out on a double-page spread. The pages for the most part are pretty busy and there’s loads to see so it can be a little tricky at times to identify all of the parts and sections so you will need good concentration for that part to ensure that you’re colouring a petal and not a foot accidentally! The content of the illustrations is totally absorbing and this book will look just incredible when it’s finished cover to cover. 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 genuine work of art and the new paper means that you can use pens or pencils with beautiful effects. The artwork would appeal to male and female colourists and is highly fantasy-based with a strong storybook theme and lots of natural imagery. The drawings are incredible and you’ll be hooked once you’ve seen inside! I’ve included lots of images from inside below as usual but this book really has to be seen to be believed so do check out my flick-through video below.

If you’d like to purchase a copy, it’s currently unavailable on Book Depository and Amazon UK but you can sign up for email alerts from Book Depository via the link below to be informed when it’s back in stock. Alternatively, you can order through Bol, a Dutch site which can be translated if accessed through Google Chrome. I will update details about availability as soon as I know more and the quickest and easiest way of finding out this information will be to join my fan group where 1500 avid fans of the book are eagerly awaiting its sale on Book Depository and will be sure to post as soon as they see it is.
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

Join my Fans of Zemlja Snova Facebook Group here.

You can see my videos of unboxing the book, a silent flick-through and my comparison to Zemlja Snova if you click on the relevant word.

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.

Click through to see my unboxing and video flick through of Dromenvanger, Dutch edition of Zemlja Snova by Tomislav Tomic

Dromenvanger (Dutch edition of Zemlja Snova) Unboxing and Video Flick Through

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Today I received two copies of Dromenvanger, the Dutch edition of Zemlja Snova. I will be running a Worldwide Giveaway for a copy soon (subscribe to my blog and to my FB page for updates about this) as well as reviewing it and posting a comparison about the similarities and differences between this and Zemlja Snova. Below you can see my unboxing video and a silent video flick-through of the book.

Pre-order a copy on Book Depository with free worldwide delivery – https://www.bookdepository.com/book/9789045321868/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Join my Fans of Zemlja Snova Facebook Group here.

Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.

Ivy and the Inky Butterfly: 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.
Ivy and the Inky Butterfly 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 3 titles – Johanna’s Christmas, Magical Jungle, and Lost Ocean.

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, if you’d prefer to watch a video where I talk through and show all of the differences then scroll all the way down to the bottom of the post. 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 size, image size and paper type so here goes with the most comprehensive list of similarities and differences that you’re likely to find online!

  1. Book Size – Both books are rectangular and not square, they are each the same height as their country’s other Johanna titles but both are 4cms narrower at the side. The UK edition is almost half a centimetre smaller in both directions than the US edition.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  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.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  3. Penguin Logo – The US edition has the Penguin Publishing logo subtly placed in the top right corner, the UK edition has a star in this space instead.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  4. Cover Colour – The UK edition has a bright white cover, the US edition is slightly off-white though this is only noticeable when placed next to something truly white or the UK copy of the book.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  5. Foiling Colour – The UK foiling is a subtle coppery/bronze colour, it’s not gold like previous titles or as shiny. The US foiling is in gold and green and is very bright and shiny (try to avoid scratching it as it does come off and it appears that the green is underlain with gold).
     Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  6. Foiling Aspects/Amount – There is much more foiling on the US edition than the UK edition, the foiling on the UK edition is quite subtle due to not being so shiny, bright, or abundant. The US edition has a lot of foiling and many more aspects are foiled including whole sections rather than hints.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  7. Colour Splashes – The title and subtitle on the cover of the US edition have a mint green background. The UK cover has no colour added.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  8. Capitalisation of Text on Cover – The subtitle on the UK cover is capitalised, the US subtitle is all lower case apart from the first A.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  9. Spine – Usually the book spines are black in the UK and white in the US. This time, both are white with black text, it’s printed a little blacker on the US edition. The UK spine has little bronze foil star accents, there is no foiling on the US spine. The motif between Johanna’s name and the book title differs with a butterfly on the UK edition and a side portrait of Ivy on the US edition. The US edition has the subtitle printed, the UK has replaced this with a key motif and foiled stars. Finally, the UK edition has the Virgin Books logo and the US has the Penguin Books logo.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  10. Thickness – The US edition is significantly thicker than the UK edition due to the paper being thicker, more on this later.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  11. Weight – The US edition weighs significantly more than the UK edition at 627g vs 564g.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  12. Blurb – The blurbs on both books are totally different. There is more text in the US edition, less in the UK edition. Info about Johanna and where to find her on social media is written on the US copy. The barcode is included in the space on the US edition but printed over some of the design on the UK edition. The design is printed exactly the same size on both books despite the difference in book size, therefore there is a larger border around the image on the US edition. NB The colour on the back of the US cover has been added by me when I was testing alcohol marker, the back cover of both editions arrives blank.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  13. Spelling – The UK edition uses British spelling throughout, including on the cover in the spelling of colour. The US edition uses American spellings throughout (I didn’t realise how many different spellings there were between the two versions of English until paying close attention to the text in this book!).
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  14. Dust Jacket – This is usually one of the biggest differences between the editions, with the UK version usually having a removable dust jacket and the US edition having it attached. Johanna’s Christmas broke with convention and neither edition had a removable dust jacket and this has remained the case, it’s probably sensible as they’re prone to getting damaged but I’m a little sad inside because I’ve always loved them, but there you go, neither has one this time. The covers are made of thick card folded into 1/2 French Flaps inside, the card used for the UK cover is significantly thicker and less bendy than the card used for the US cover.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  15. Cover Attachment to Front and Back Pages – The US cover is attached to a thicker strip of the front and back pages of the book than the UK cover and it also isn’t pre-folded meaning it doesn’t open as easily or as widely as the UK edition which opens much flatter.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  16. 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 being attached to more of the book, 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.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  17. French Flaps – Both editions have ½ size French Flaps, they have the same design but the US design is printed a little larger and is also taken from a slightly different section of the original illustration from the UK edition. On the back inside flap of both books is information, the US copy has images of 6 of Johanna’s books and on the UK copy is information about Johanna herself.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  18. Title Page Size – The title page in the US edition is much larger than in the UK edition, 24.1 x 19.1cm vs 22.9 x 18.1cm.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  19. Emblem on Title Page – Possibly the most pedantic difference I found; the leaf emblem underneath Johanna’s name on the title page is much bigger in the US edition than the UK edition.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  20. 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 Chirstmas, and now Ivy and the Inky Butterfly. 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 and Ivy and the Inky Butterfly. 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.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  21. Introduction – The introduction and Johanna’s signature in the UK edition are aligned centrally, the introduction in the US edition is aligned centrally and justified, Johanna’s signature is off to the right.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  22. Icons for Colouring Tips – The UK edition has leaves as bullet points and the US edition has flowers. The text is also larger on this page in the US edition.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  23. Text Layout – The text in both books appears to be the same font and size. Due to the difference in the size of the overall book and the sizing of some images (see point 25), the gaps for the text in the UK edition are sometimes smaller and therefore, while the text in both editions is always in the same spaces, it’s sometimes laid out a bit differently either starting or ending lines on a different word or sometimes taking up more or less space on the page. Some of the UK text is justified like a newspaper with varying space sizes between the words, this is much less obvious in the US edition, if it has in fact been justified in that edition.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  24. Image Quality – Previously, there have been slight issues with UK editions having pixelation of images (see third photo below of a section in UK Magical Jungle). There are no such issues in either edition of this book. Hoorah!
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  25. Image Size/Spacing – The US images are up to 1cm larger than those in the UK edition. Not all of the images are larger by any means 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.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  26. 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. Sometimes the UK page is slightly zoomed in and other times the US page is slightly zoomed in so that a little is lost off all edges, usually only a millimetre or two.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  27. Text Alterations – Very occasionally there are alterations to the text with a word added, removed or altered e.g. spring-clean/spring-cleaning. The most notable example is on the page below with two paragraphs beginning with “then” in the UK edition and not in the US edition.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  28. Typos – Sorry to be pointing these out, I did a lot of searching to find these so they’re not exactly noticeable, I only found them because I was looking for text differences. In the UK edition cloths has been replaced with clothes and in the US edition, cord has been replaced with chord. Apart from that, I’ve not noticed any others which is pretty impressive.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  29. Printing Location – The UK edition is printed in China and the US edition is printed in the USA.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  30. 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.
    Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions. Ivy and the Inky Butterfly by Johanna Basford, click through to read my review, see a video flick-through, photos and read my comprehensive comparison post detailing 31 differences between the UK and US editions.
  31. Publication dates – The US edition releases on the 10th of October and the UK edition on the 12th of October.

To sum up, if you’ve managed to make it this far, the biggest factors affecting your decisions are spelling, paper and image size. As a perfectionist, I would always want a copy with the correct spellings for the country I’m from and therefore when reading the book, I’ll be reading my UK copy. 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.

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 suggest it be that one though the UK edition really is lovely and I’m ever so glad to have both. 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!

You can read my review of the contents of Ivy and the Inky Butterfly, including my mental health recommendations here for the UK and here for the US edition. You can find my Unboxing videos for both books and silent video flick-throughs on my YouTube Channel here.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of Ivy and the Inky Butterfly it’s available to pre-order here:
UK Edition
Amazon UK – Ivy and the Inky Butterfly
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Ivy-and-the-Inky-Butterfly-Johann-Basford/9780753545652/?a_aid=colouringitmom
US Edition
Amazon UK – Ivy and the Inky Butterfly
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Ivy-and-the-Inky-Butterfly-Johann-Basford/9780143130925?ref=grid-view&qid=1507078323619&sr=1-2/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Mermaids in Wonderland 20 Postcards - Click through to read my review, see photos and a video flick-through of this gorgeous set!

Mermaids in Wonderland: 20 Postcards – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Mermaids in Wonderland: 20 Postcards is published by Harper Design and illustrated and kindly sent to me for review by Marco Chin. This is the second set of postcards by Marcos who previously illustrated the Fairies in Wonderland Postcards, this set is identical in format and therefore much of my review is the same, skip to the second paragraph for information about the content. This set of 20 postcards contains scaled down artwork from Marcos’s original Mermaids in Wonderland book which you can read my review of HERE. Each postcard is printed single-sided with a beautiful seahorse, a dotted stamp area and address lines on the back so that you can send them to family, friends and loved ones. The postcards are not perforated but are removable with a similar glue to that of note blocks which means they can be removed with a nice clean edge ready for sending or displaying, it also means the book lies nice and flat for colouring. The postcards are made of thick, white card which didn’t bleed at all with my water-based pens and only very lightly shadowed with alcohol markers! The line thickness remains spindly thin throughout which is somewhat problematic. I have very good vision for small, close things, and also have very good fine motor control but a few of the images on these postcards are so tiny that they’re almost impossible to colour and you’re certain to go over the edges. This is a shame because I’m a huge fan of the imagery and I just love the illustrations but scaling down the images to postcard size wasn’t the most sensible choice because it’s quite limiting. The postcards are beautiful to look at and would be gorgeous to send or display as they are but given that they’re sold as colouring postcards, I expect to be able to colour all of them and I will struggle to do that neatly with a few of them. That being said, the images are very beautiful and are definitely worth putting the time and effort into to get them perfect and if you don’t colour each section individually and colour over some off the pattern instead then a lot of the problem is alleviated.

The images chosen for these postcards are a good selection from the book and contain a number of beautiful mermaid images, as well as the crab, starfish, dolphins, shells and more, and unusually, 6 of the images have black backgrounds. There is a very good mixture of mermaids and creatures, though I would have liked to see a few more mermaids pictured, given the title, only 14 of the images actually contain mermaids. The riddles from the book aren’t added to this postcard book but a few of the images do contain letter keys which are fairly subtle and certainly don’t detract from the beauty of the images. The colouring book contains 4 removable postcards and these are identical to 4 within this set so if you have the book already you’ll be getting 16 new cards in this set and 4 that duplicate those in the colouring book.

In terms of mental health, I would recommend the majority of these postcards but you will need very good vision and fine motor control to enjoy them because they are extremely intricate and detailed. You will also need pretty good concentration and focus because these postcards take a surprisingly long time to colour given the size of them. They take less time to colour than the images in the book do but they’re still very time-consuming, however, this is great for distraction, each postcard is like a window into the mermaid world and if you let it, you can be really absorbed into it and away from any difficult symptoms or thoughts. All in all, I would recommend this postcard book to those of you with very good vision and fine motor control. The pictures are a challenge to colour because of the intricacy but they will look beautiful coloured and would be lovely to send to people, or frame and you could frame the uncoloured ones very nicely too. The card is lovely and thick and great for pens and pencils and it’s a nice format for these delicate images.

If you’d like to purchase a set they’re available here:
Amazon UK – Mermaids in Wonderland: 20 Postcards
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Mermaids-in-Wonderland-20-Postcards-Marcos-Chin/9780062565662/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you love the imagery but these are just too intricate why not take a peek at the original book:
Review – Mermaids in Wonderland Colouring Book
Amazon UK – Mermaids in Wonderland
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Mermaids-in-Wonderland-Marcos-Chin/9780062465603/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Silent video flick-through of the whole book below.

The image below was coloured with Bic Marking Alcohol Markers and Promarker Alcohol Markers.

Mermaids in Wonderland: A Coloring and Puzzle-Solving Adventure for All Ages – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Mermaids in Wonderland: A Coloring and Puzzle-Solving Adventure for All Ages is published by Harper Design and illustrated and kindly sent to me for review by Marcos Chin. This is the second book my Marcos who illustrated Fairies in Wonderland last year, this book is identical in format and therefore much of my review is the same, for information on the content in this book, please skip to paragraph two. This book is square, the same size as the bestsellers and paperback with a card cover with 2/3 French flaps which open out to reveal a white background mermaid design inside the front cover, and a black background mermaid design inside the back cover. The paper is bright white and medium thickness, it doesn’t bleed with water-based pens but does shadow sometimes so do be careful. The paper is smooth with no visible tooth at all, it is a bit tricky to blend and layer with pencil but if you work slowly and remain patient then it is possible to get some lovely effects, I have had to press harder for block colouring than I’m used to in most books but overall, it’s not too bad. The spine is glue and string-bound this time and the images are borderless so a little of each image is lost into it, the spine does ease up with use and unlike with purely glue-bound spines, the pages don’t fall out when they’re also stitch-bound which is a welcome change! The images are printed double-sided and a large number of them are double-page spreads but there are a large number of single pages too.

The book contains 96 pages and the images contain a number of written riddles with keys hidden throughout the illustrations which spell out the next clue when unscrambled correctly so this is kind of a treasure hunt, set of riddles and colouring book in one. The riddles cleverly arrange each section of images into a ‘chapter’ because they’re each set in a different place and also run from day to night, with a whopping 37 pages having black backgrounds to indicate night time. The images are beautifully drawn and pretty but not girly, they’re very delicate and contain lots of natural elements like sea creatures, plants and corals. The images are set in a variety of places including the sea bed, an underwater hair salon, a dance performance, a carousel, a Chinese dragon procession, an archery lesson, a cocktail party, and more! There is a whole heap of content with a huge variety of things pictured including winged mermaids, hot air balloons, starfish, lobsters, dolphins, whales, crabs, corals, shoals of fish, swordfish, jellyfish, just to name a few! The mermaids also vary throughout from beautiful mermaid ladies adorned in jewellery to dancing and gymnastic mermaids and those flying hot air balloons, the majority are female but there are a few males pictured too. The images are beautifully cohesive and stunningly drawn with a great deal of detail and thought. At the back of the book are two perforated half pages, each with two postcards on them which can be removed and coloured, these are a great addition to the book but sadly, they are identical to four of the postcards that are printed in the 20 set of colouring postcards that accompany this book, this isn’t a problem, it’s just a shame that they aren’t different.

In terms of mental health, this book is really calming and beautiful because it’s so grounded in nature whilst also being wonderfully fantastical. There is a huge amount of intricacy and detail so this is definitely a book for those of you with good vision and fine motor control as the line thickness is also thin, verging on spindly thin at points. There are some large spaces in the images including the hot air balloons, some fish and the mermaid tails if you colour over the scales rather than colouring each individually but mostly the images consist of lots of teeny tiny bits and most aspects are surrounded by a thin border so you will certainly need some fineliners or well-sharpened pencils for this book. Most of the images are of scenes and these don’t have a lot of space for you to add your own drawings or backgrounds, but a few of the images are of centralised illustrations with large spaces left around them where you could create your own backgrounds and scenes if you wished. There are no written hints so this is by no means obligatory and the artwork looks finished as it is but there is space to add your own bits if you wish. I found this book particularly calming and absorbing and the mermaid world really does draw you in and offers wonderful escapism. The illustrations are beautiful and you’re sure to spend hours lost in a faraway miniature land where symptoms of mental illness melt away and dark or anxious thoughts are left at the door.

I would highly recommend this book to all mermaid-lovers and those who like intricate and detailed pages to colour. You will need good vision and fine motor control and pencils and fineliners are a must for this book to be able to complete the stunning images. Get lost in Marcos’s Mermaid Wonderland, you may never want to leave!

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book, it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Mermaids in Wonderland: A Coloring and Puzzle-Solving Adventure for All Ages
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Mermaids-in-Wonderland-Marcos-Chin/9780062465603/?a_aid=colouringitmom

There is also a set of 20 accompanying postcards which are also currently available:
Review –
Amazon UK – Mermaids in Wonderland 20 Colouring Postcards
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Mermaids-in-Wonderland-20-Postcards-Marcos-Chin/9780062565662/?a_aid=colouringitmom

My video flick-through of the book can be found here.

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners, Stabilo 68 Fibre-Tips and Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils.

Exploratorium: A Search and Colour Mission – A Review

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Exploratorium: A Search and Colour Mission is illustrated by Lei Melendres and published and kindly sent to me to review by Michael O’Mara Books. This book is 25cm square, the same size as the bestsellers, paperback with black covers and coloured elements from inside the book on the covers. The spine is glue and string-bound and relatively tight but it does become more pliable with use so that you can reach the majority of the image to colour it. The images are printed double-sided and all of them are double-page spreads. The paper is bright white, medium thickness and lightly textured, it takes pencil well and water-based pens don’t bleed but do shadow a little so you may not want to use these but it should get covered when colouring the other side. This book is primarily aimed at children, however, the images are pretty detailed and packed with content and therefore plenty of adults will love it too. The book starts with a short introduction explaining the premise of the book, it’s a search and find colouring mission so there are a list of objects depicted which can be found within the pages. Following this, each double-page spread is dedicated to a different world and these drastically range in theme from space and future-themed to prehistoric and historical, there are heaps and heaps of scenes from a circus to haunted house, alien invasion to science lab, candy land to the North Pole, skate park to volcano and time travel to under the sea and so much more, there is a really wide scope to the content and something to suit everyone. Lei’s art style is most similar to Kerby Rosanes’s and is very much drawn in a doodle style, the images are packed with alien creatures and strange forms and the content is really quirky, whimsical and fun. The search and find aspect is surprisingly difficult for a book that’s aimed at children, my boyfriend spent ages searching for the items in one of the spreads and in the end had to give up on the last one and look at the answers, luckily there are thumbnail pictures of the spreads at the back that identify where the hidden creatures and objects are so there’s no need for frustration if one or two elude you.

In terms of mental health, this book is pretty good, the pages are packed with content and are very distracting, there’s loads to look at, to hunt down, and then to colour and this book really will keep you occupied for hours. It’s certainly not a calming book so those of you with anxiety or a racing mind may want to keep this book for calmer days but the content is quite invigorating so those suffering from low mood may well be perked up by the humour often depicted and added into the scenes. The line thickness is fairly consistent within each page but differs between them as do the intricacy and detail levels, all have a lot of content but some are much more detailed and fine-lined than others so do check out the photos and video flick-through as you’ll need fairly good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this book, it’s certainly not well-suited to young children, probably advanced 8 year olds and up. While the content isn’t nature-based, the fantasy elements and imagination of it all are great for absorbing you into a far off land in the past or future which is often better than the here and now and is great for keeping your mind busy and focused on the task at hand rather than any troublesome thoughts or symptoms you might be experiencing. A lot of the images are filled with wacky, surreal creatures and therefore don’t have a “real” colour scheme that you need to follow so you can really go to town and use any colour you fancy and it’ll look equally fabulous and even the realistic aspects can be spiced up by unusual colour schemes like trees with blue trunks and orange leaves, purple pumpkins or red rocks, just grab a pen or pencil and get colouring and you’ll soon be fully immersed in this intricate, doodle-filled world.

Overall, I would highly recommend this to older kids and adults, it’s great fun to hunt the hidden items and to colour and the different scenes make for a really varied colouring experience with each scene being different from the last and transporting you to a far off place. This book is surreal, wacky and a joy to colour for the young, the old, and everyone in between!

If you’d like to purchase a copy, it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Exploratorium: A Search and Colour Mission
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Exploratorium-Lei-Melendres/9781910552759/?a_aid=colouringitmom

You can see my silent video flick-through of the book here.

The page below was coloured using Staedtler Fibre-Tip Pens.