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A Christmas Carol: A Colouring Classic was published and very kindly sent to me by Little Tiger Press. This book is one in a series of five with four other titles already published (Romeo and Juliet, Pride and Prejudice, Dracula, and Wuthering Heights). This book is 25cm square, the same size as most bestsellers, paperback with a thick but flexible card cover which has a wallpaper style design printed on the inside of the dust flaps, the cover is predominantly shiny red, with black and white line drawings and text. The spine is glue and string bound and is fairly durable but does start to break if you’re particularly persistent with trying to flatten it. The images are printed double-sided and therefore a number of them do enter the spine a little which makes them tricky to colour. The paper is bright white, thick and lightly textured, I experienced no bleeding or shadowing with any of my water-based pens and I was able to get plenty of layers with my coloured pencils; alcohol markers will bleed through. The majority of the images are double-page spreads and a quote from the original book is printed onto each. The images themselves are arranged into chronological order to loosely tell the story and consist of a number of scenes, quotes, patterns and images depicting something mentioned in the displayed quote. There are images of Ebenezer Scrooge, Bob and Tiny Tim Cratchit, heaps and heaps of food, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, the Victorian streets and skyline and so much more. At the end of the book is a double-page spread titled A Very Victorian Christmas which briefly describes some of the traditions that we know today which were popularised by the Victorians. Illustrations that symbolise these things are cleverly pictured throughout the book to enhance the story which is a wonderful addition!
In terms of mental health, this book is ideal if you’re a fan of the original story and love all things Christmassy! The images are drawn in a consistent line thickness which remains thin, with spindly thin details throughout. There is a high level of intricacy and detail in many of the images though there are larger spaces in the images containing people, but mostly you’ll need fairly good vision and fine motor control in order to get the most out of this book. There isn’t a lot of leeway in the images to prevent you going over the lines or missing the details so do bear this in mind and check the suitability of the images below. The images are very pretty and quite ornate, they’ve got a real Victorian feel to them and they really create a sense of place and time and transport you back to Victorian England. The quotes are well chosen to be depicted in the images and to tell the basics of the story. The scenes depict the most crucial moments and are interspersed with images of objects, room scenes from Scrooge’s counting house, and patterns that all fit well with the other imagery and the story itself. Some of the images are busier than others so there is a bit of variance in the amount of time it’ll take to complete each page but mostly they’ll take a good few hours to complete and are therefore most suited to good days where your concentration is high and you can focus well. These images are very distracting and will need you to pay a fair amount of attention so that you stay within the lines so it’s great for absorbing you into the task at hand and would be really good for practising mindfulness as you focus on the here and now. However, it’s equally good at transporting you into the story and into the world of Christmas past. The images are beautifully drawn and very festive with lovely wreaths, Wintry foliage, and wonderful spreads of food shown on multiple pages.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of A Christmas Carol, and those who love Christmas generally, the imagery is beautiful and the quotes are well chosen and it’s a very good way of combining the classic story with symbolic illustrations that you can colour into your own bespoke book. You could even give a fully coloured copy to someone as a thoughtful and personalised gift, though with the amount of time it’d take to complete, it might be very difficult to part with your work!
If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book it’s available here:
Amazon UK – A Christmas Carol: A Colouring Classic
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Christmas-Carol-Charles-Dickens-Vladimir-Aleksic-Kate-Ware/9781848695412/?a_aid=colouringitmom
The image below was coloured using Sudee Stile Coloured Pencils 120 Set.