Disclaimer – I have not been paid or compensated for this review.
If you would like to purchase a copy, it is available from the Book Depository via this link.
An artists edition, featuring cardstock and single sided pages is available from the Book Depository for preorder via this link.
Publisher – Batsford
Illustrator – Millie Marotta
Pages – 96
This is a colouring book that feels and looks good. Square, like many of the colouring books on the market, and just shy of 25 x 25cm.
The cover is paperback, although lovely and thick, with an embossed image on the front.
The images are double sided, and I have had no problems with bleeding through using fineliners, textas or pencils.
The paper is a nice thickness, and it doesn’t feel like it is too heavy, although can hold a surprising amount of pigment. The paper is smooth and bright white, providing a lovely canvas to create your animal kingdom. There is some indentation on the next page from the pressure of colouring, but this doesn’t affect the next image.
Some of the images do enter the spine – the double page spreads are probably half of the images. The spine does become more pliable with use however.
There are such a variety of animals in this book, I don’t know where to begin. I would hit my word limit if I named them all. Butterflies, elephants, octopi, rhinoceros, a gorilla – all these are featured.
Marotta has a signature style of drawing, and after the first few images, this will be apparent to you as well.
One style that features heavily is the use of leaves and flowers to create an image of an animal – in my example, a fox. This is a fantastic compromise between patterns and real life colouring.
There is a nice variety of intricacies in the book – some images can be completed quite quickly, while others will require an investment of time and attention.
As the book is illustrated by one person, there is a theme of continuity throughout the pages. For myself, this is not a book I could colour from start to finish – while I love the images and the subject, I would get bored of colouring the same style for 96 pages.
As is featuring in many colouring books of late, there are images that contain a prompt to create – add embellishments to the elephant, decorate the butterflies, create your own kingdom etc and I know some people are not a fan – I am not, but this doesn’t interfere with my enjoyment of the book.
If you need to lose yourself in a book, this is a great one. The subject matter is a great one to make you smile and the images are a great way to focus in something for hours at a time.
The ability to create patterns will appeal to any who prefer repetition when they colour – there are ample opportunities for this within these pages.
I wouldn’t recommend this book to someone who has a low level of concentration. The images will require you to concentrate and focus. For those who have fluctuating levels of concentration, or require something to distract them, this book is wonderful!