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Hidden Nature: A Colouring Escape for Grown-ups is published by Promopress and illustrated and kindly sent to me to review by Toc De Groc – a Barcelona based trio of ladies who run a design studio. This book is square (the same size as the bestsellers), paperback, with a card cover and removable paper dust jacket, and glue-bound meaning a little of each image is lost into the spine, though this does improve as the spine loosens up with use. The book contains 90 pages of double-sided images including single and double-page spreads. The paper is bright white and really thick, it’s not card-like but it’s the thickest paper I’ve seen in a colouring book and there isn’t even a hint of bleed-through or shadowing with water-based pens so it’s perfect with all of your water-based markers and with pencils whose colours will show up beautifully on the paper. The images are borderless and all contain nature-themed illustrations with lots of hidden features throughout. One of the things that stands out most about this book is the little cat who is hidden within each spread. He’s shown in various different sizes throughout and sometimes he’s the main feature of the image and other times he’s hidden somewhere for you to find. The image content is really varied, all nature-themed, but with loads of different objects and animals added in, all covered in florals. The items range from cameras to vehicles, typewriters to sewing machines, buildings to musical instruments and so much more. Great numbers of animals are also included from deer to elephants, peacocks to whales, butterflies to giraffes, and of course lots and lots of cats! Some of the images are of scenes, some are set up like still life, some are animal shapes made out of lots of flowers and leaves, and others have animals hidden within them.
In terms of mental health, this book is great, it’s filled with nature which is ideal for calming you down and helping you to relax and zone out but it’s all drawn in a cartoony style which brings character and whimsy to the images. The illustrations are drawn in a consistently thin line throughout so this isn’t an ideal book for those of you with poor vision or fine motor control issues, but the line isn’t spindly thin so it’s manageable to stay within the lines when you’re colouring. The intricacy and detail levels vary throughout but range from medium to high levels of intricacy and most of the images contain a lot of details meaning there are lots of different parts to colour on each page though you can of course colour over these in blocks if you choose. There are no written instructions in the book but some of the pages have spaces or unfinished pictures where you can continue on the drawings or add your own. I’m a particular fan of there not being text on the pages dictating what you should draw so if drawing isn’t your forte, then you can just leave those areas alone and colour as you wish without it looking or feeling unfinished. The images are quirky and fun and will be sure to bring a smile to your face, they don’t take themselves too seriously and this book doesn’t feel intimidating or too perfect to colour in like some others do. This is a friendly book that starts off with a page where you can write your name and continues into a beautiful, floral-filled world where you can get lost and colour in whatever colours you fancy without realism forcing you to colour everything a specific colour. I personally found this book very calming and relaxing and it really did cheer me up on some of my darker days while I was colouring it ready to review. The images are varied and often made up of lots of component parts so if you’re having a bad day and your concentration is poor you could colour just one flower, or cupcake, or type of sweet and then go back to it when you’re feeling better, or on good days you can plough your way through the pages that are filled with detail and intricacy.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone that likes nature based images, and anyone who likes cartoon-style drawings. The images are quirky and whimsical and are a great combination of objects and machinery intertwined with natural florals and animals and they’re drawn so beautifully that they’re just crying out for colour to be added. This is a fabulous book for pen fans who want to be able to use their water-based pens without having to worry about the dreaded bleed-through and want to colour pretty floral images.
You can purchase a copy here:
Amazon UK – Hidden Nature: A Colouring Escape for Grown-ups
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Hidden-Nature-Toc-de-Groc/9788415967729/?a_aid=colouringitmom
Happy colouring and if you have any coloured in pictures from this, or any other books that you’d like to share then head over to my facebook page, I’d love to see them!