Colour In Classics: Alice in Wonderland – A Review

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Colour in Classics: Alice in Wonderland is published by Jumped Up Publishing and was kindly sent to me to review by Kevin Knight, one of the illustrators. The book is smaller than A4 and bigger than A5, paperback, thick and heavily glue-bound so the book is quite difficult to get to lie flat though this will ease up with use. The pages are single-sided with space on the back of each for you to draw your own scenes with a written hint at the top of each one to give you ideas of what you could draw. The paper is bright white and smooth so it’s not ideal for layering with pencils and water-based pens go on smoothly but do shadow and bleed through a little but this doesn’t matter as it’s printed single-sided. The 70 images each depict a scene from the Alice in Wonderland story or a character or abstract representation of some kind and each is titled at the bottom to help you identify who’s who or what’s going on. Despite the images depicting scenes from the original story, they are not in chronological order which I personally think is a shame and unnecessary however, it makes more sense to be this way when you look at the style of the images – a lot of them are quite formulaic and very similar to each other, for example the pictures of Alice falling down the rabbit hole, there are 7 of these all with Alice in a slightly different position and with different objects such as teacups, cakes or books falling around her, but these images are all, in essence, the same. There are also 7 images of characters as playing cards and 4 images of the Mad Hatter’s tea party with various different guests attending but again, these images are all quite samey and formulaic. As a huge Alice in Wonderland fan, I had high expectations for this book and it didn’t quite live up to those. There are some really great images of the trial, the White Rabbit, the Frog and Fish Footmen, and lots of scenes from within the book, but I was left a little disappointed.

In terms of mental health, the content of this book doesn’t have a lot of impact on it though if you’re an Alice fan and you like the image-style it’ll be sure to absorb you and brighten up your day. The images are a good size to complete in one sitting and they contain a wide variety of levels of intricacy and detail meaning there is something for good and bad days and everything in between. The line thickness varies within some of the images and throughout the book but mostly stays within the thin/medium range so you certainly don’t need perfect fine motor control or vision to enjoy this book. Because the images aren’t huge you don’t need great concentration but they’re mostly detailed enough that they’ll keep you occupied and focused away from your symptoms. The images are quite similar to those in children’s colouring books and while this may be charming to some, for others it won’t appeal as it is adult colouring after all and this feels a little basic and aimed at children, especially as it’s based on a much-loved children’s book. There are some great images that I’m really looking forward to colouring but I found there were just too many samey images and pictures of objects that I felt to be unnecessary.

I’d recommend this book for anyone who wants variety of detail and intricacy but similar images where you can have multiple attempts at creating a masterpiece. Some of the drawings are lovely and others feel like filler images but you’ll get a good idea of the image content from the photos below so that you can make an informed decision, this book would certainly appeal to some!

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Colour in Classics: Alice in Wonderland
Book Depository Worldwide –

The image below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils.

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