Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge – A Review

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Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge is illustrated by Kerby Rosanes, and published and very kindly sent to me to review by Michael O’Mara Books. This book is the most unusual and quirky book I’ve seen and while it’s not to everyone’s taste, it’s one that grows on most people. I found it really overwhelming when it arrived because it was just so different and such a mixture between realistic animals and quirky, cartoon aliens and other creatures and objects, that I just had no idea where to start, what colours to use, or whether I even liked it. Having had it for a couple of months I can now say with certainty that I love it and its quirkiness and unusual style is absolutely its selling point. The book is square, the same size as other bestsellers by JB and MM, it’s paperback with a black card cover with glowing orange lettering and a tiger in Kerby’s signature style which hints at what’s inside. The paper is bright white, very lightly textured and medium thickness, it does shadow with water-based fineliners but doesn’t bleed so you could use them very carefully but always check your pens somewhere inconspicuous to make sure you don’t ruin any reverse images. The paper is perfect for pencils and allows for plenty of layers for blending and shading. The ink does transfer a little so when you’re using pencils pop a scrap piece of paper behind to avoid transfer of images. The book contains over 80 images which are printed double-sided and include single and double-page spreads. The book has a glue-bound spine which is fairly tight on arrival and the images are borderless so you do lose a strip of each image into the spine and unfortunately a few of the images haven’t been designed very well for this type of spine, most notably the peacock image (photographed below). The images are all focused around a realistically drawn animal which then morphs (hence the title animorphia) into lots of different creatures and objects, this is done so seamlessly that it’s difficult to tell where the animal stops and the creatures start. A whole host of animals are featured from tigers to elephants, whales to toucans, butterflies to turtles, crocodiles to owls, cockerels to fish and so many more!

In terms of mental health, this is one that’s absolutely fantastic for distraction! It takes quite a lot of concentration to identify all of the parts of the picture let alone start choosing colours so this really is a book that will help you get through the days when your mind is racing and you need to be able to switch off. It’s not a book for the faint-hearted because each image takes a long time and a lot of work but it’s so worth it and the effects you can create are amazing! This is also an ideal book for the really creative amongst you because there are quite a number of images that just have outlines with large sections for you to add your own doodles to and a few written hints of what these could include. I’m personally not a fan of this because I really can’t draw but you could easily just colour those sections in blocks, or use them to practice your blending and shading or why not brave it and give doodling a go? You might just surprise yourself! The majority of the images are finished so if you’re not a fan of doodling, don’t let this put you off because there’s heaps that you can colour that only needs colour adding, no drawing talent needed! The images are really cohesive and aren’t “pretty” or girly so this is an ideal book for male and female colourers. The line thickness varies throughout but mainly sticks around the thin mark so you need fairly good vision and fine motor control, but definitely not perfect to enjoy this book! Some of the pictures are quite heavily shaded and dark which is just something to be aware of, most of the images have some shading and texture drawn in but not loads (check out the pictures below to decide if you like this feature or not). There is also a treasure hunt with 3 pages at the back of the book showing all of the items you can hunt for within the images. This book is ideal for those of you who have a fairly good attention span so that you can really get involved in the images and the content is so absorbing that you really do get out of your head and away from your thoughts and become immersed in what you’re colouring. The images have a variety of intricacy and detail levels so you can use simpler images on bad days and more detailed images on days where you’re able to focus better so it’s a great book for those of you with fluctuating conditions.

I would highly recommend this book for male and female colourers who love to doodle and draw, who love all things weird, wonderful, and quirky, and who love animals and nature mixed with alien creatures. This book is packed with amazing images that are great fun to colour and I was thrilled to hear that Kerby is currently working on a sequel called Imagimorphia which can be pre-ordered below. This book is stunning, overwhelming at times and one that really gets your creative juices flowing so grab your pencils and get colouring yourself quirky!

Animorphia can be purchased here:
Amazon UK – Animorphia: An Extreme Colouring and Search Challenge
Book Depository Worldwide –

If you can’t get enough of Animorphia then next month we’ve got some treats coming!
Animorphia Postcards
Amazon UK – Animorphia Postcards
Book Depository Worldwide –

Animorphia Notebook
Amazon UK – Animorphia Notebook

Imagimorphia can be pre-ordered here in both the US and UK versions which have different covers and publishing dates.
UK Edition
Amazon UK – Imagimorphia
Book Depository Worldwide –
US Edition
Amazon UK – Imagimorphia: An Extreme Coloring and Search Challenge
Book Depository Worldwide –

The image below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils and the background with Pan Pastels.

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