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Secret Garden: 20 Postcards is illustrated by Johanna Basford, published by Laurence King Publishing and are from my personal collection. This book of postcards contains 20 scaled down images from Johanna Basford’s hugely successful Secret Garden adult colouring book. Each postcard is printed single-sided with a beautiful leaf-outlined stamp space 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, off-white card which didn’t bleed at all with my water-based pens but will bleed with alcohol pens. The line thickness varies because the scale of the images varies and ranges from thin (the same thickness as the original book) to spindly thin and sadly, this is where the problem is. 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 was a major problem in the Enchanted Forest postcard book which I reviewed here and these aren’t as bad as those but there are at least 3 images that I am unlikely to even attempt because they’re the whole original images scaled down onto a postcard. This is such a shame because I’m a huge fan of Johanna’s images and I just love her books but scaling down the images to postcard size really wasn’t a sensible choice because it’s so 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 just won’t find that possible with a few of them. That being said, in this postcard book, the majority of the images are full-size (or near enough) zoomed in sections of the original images so that you can still blend and shade with pencils and use felt-tips or fineliners quite happily.
In terms of mental health, I would recommend the majority of these postcards and I’d advise abandoning the three that are miniscule to avoid stress and anxiety about messing them up. You will need very good vision and fine motor control to enjoy these postcards 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 books do but they’re still very time-consuming and the image below took me a good few hours just to do with pens! I didn’t find them especially calming to colour in and I’d suggest leaving them for your better days when you can get stuck in and not be overwhelmed by the detail. They are beautiful when finished though and they’re definitely worth the effort!
All in all, I’m much less disappointed with these postcards than the Enchanted Forest ones. I’d recommend these as long as you know what you’re getting and realise that at least 3 of the 20 images are pretty much impossible to colour. The others however, will look beautiful coloured and would be lovely to send to people or frame and you could frame the uncoloured ones very nicely too. For the prices these and the books are available for, it makes much more financial sense to buy the book instead (links below), but I’m certainly not regretting buying these, especially if you find them reduced like I did. The card is lovely and thick and great for pens and pencils and it’s a nice format for Johanna’s images.
If you’d like to purchase a set of postcards they can be found here:
Amazon UK – Secret Garden: 20 Postcards
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Secret-Garden-20-Postcards-Johanna-Basford/9781856699464/?a_aid=colouringitmom
If you’d like to purchase a copy of the book of Secret Garden, it can be found here:
Amazon UK – Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide (UK Edition) – http://www.bookdepository.com/Secret-Garden-Johanna-Basford/9781780671062/?a_aid=colouringitmom
An Artist’s Edition of Secret Garden is also available printed singled sided on thick card. I’ve reviewed this below and it can be bought directly from the links below:
Review – Secret Garden Artist’s Edition
Amazon UK – Secret Garden Artist’s Edition: A Pull-Out and Frame Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Secret-Garden-Artists-Edition-Pull-Out-and-Frame-Colouring-Book-UK-Edition-Johann-Basford/9781780677309/?a_aid=colouringitmom
The images are also available in a beautiful calendar which I’ve reviewed below or can be purchased straight away from the links below:
Review – Secret Garden 2016 Colouring Calendar
Amazon UK (UK Edition) – Secret Garden 2016 Colouring Calendar
Book Depository Worldwide (US Edition) – http://www.bookdepository.com/Secret-Garden-Johann-Basford/9781449478407/?a_aid=colouringitmom
For the image below I used Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.