Artist– Kerby Rosanes
Pages – 128
Publisher – Michael O’Mara (Distributed in Australia by Hardie Grant)
The iconic Animorphia has now been turned into a notebook! Delighting the hearts of stationary lovers and colouring addicts – a surprising crossover between the two groups – it is wonderful.
At 19.5cm x 13.7cm it is perfectly sized for keeping at home, throwing in a bag, using at work or school, or keeping in your bag for notes and random colouring sessions. The cover is a soft, pliable very firm card – increasing its portability. There is a small (2-3mm) overlap between the cover and the end of the pages so there is less risk of dogearing or damaging pages. There is a neon orange elastic band to keep it closed. This notebook is built to be a perfect companion for any use.
The spine is glue and string bound, adding to the resilience of the pages. Images do enter the spine, as with the Animorphia colouring book, but the spine is quite pliable after minimal use.
The paper has improved from the colouring book, white and lightly textured, with pencils layering well, pastels laying down smoothly and various results with markers. Fineliners didn’t bleed, and only shadowed minimally, but any other markers bled to various degrees. I would recommend only fineliners and with a light hand if you must use markers. Alcohol markers will bleed through, and will render the following page useless.
The images are the same as the Animorphia colouring book, in various styles and layouts. The images and layout are incomparable to other colouring books, as the primary purpose is of course to be a notebook.
Pages are a mixture of blank and lined pages, with a variety of image shapes and sizes. A double page spread with lined pages has a strip of doodles on each page, a blank page is faced by the cheetah and doodles, another double page spread is surrounded by a border with doodles in each corner. I’ve tired to represent most of the variety of pages in the images, but there is a roughly equal spread of each type and layout within the book.
One difference from the colouring book is the addition of a few neon orange areas. About half of the pages have these, but they are unobtrusive. They are as simple as a doodled tree coloured neon orange, or Kerbys’ famous ghost doodles, or even a border around a blank page. These are a nice addition – they can be ignored easily without interfering with your image, or they can be incorporated and expanded on!
A handful of the pages do have black backgrounds, which is a great addition. These are becoming more and more popular. None of the lines are in black backgrounds, so there is no need to worry about which pen.you use.
The notes pages are a perfect size for any doodles, notes, lists, plans or ideas that you may need to jot down.
Intricacy varies a bit throughout the book. The images are primarily quite detailed, but the spaces aren’t terribly intricate. One concern with translating colouring books into things like postcards and notebooks is that making the images smaller will make the intricacy too difficult. The publishers have done a great job with this however. Some images are scaled down, but none to the point of insanely intricate. Others are sections of images, or clusters of doodles. Images have been adapted for this rather than copied into!
Line thickness remains consistently moderate, which suits both the notebook style and the image style.
The theme of this book, animals and doodles, is a cheerful one. Focussing on something whimsical like this can be a real mood booster, perfect for days filled with anxiety or depression, or distracting from pain or other symptoms.
The notebook format makes it perfect for a portable colouring kit, while waiting for appointments or travelling. The images are a variety of sizes, so suit fluctuating concentration levels. If you are struggling to focus, you can choose to colour one cluster of doodles or one element of a larger image. If you are able to concentrate, you can tackle a larger image. This notebook is a lot less intimidating than the original colouring book, and so colouring these is much easier.
The intricacy means that it may not be suitable for those with vision impairments, but as always, please check the images. As the line thickness remains moderate it could be suitable for those with fine motor impairments, but double check!
I think this is a perfect addition to your colouring collection, your handbag, work station , car, or a gift. It is a notebook that I personally love and will be ordering more of to keep on hand!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this review.
For more of Kerby Rosanes’ amazing work, read my review of Doodle Invasion via this link.