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Colour in Classics: Sherlock Holmes 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 an aspect from the Sherlock Holmes books, 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. A lot of the images are quite formulaic and very similar to each other, for example the pictures of the smoking pipe, there are 7 of these all with different patterns in the smoke and slightly differently drawn pipes, but these images are all, in essence, the same. There are also 7 images of a body outline each with a different discarded murder weapon and background. In addition to this there are 7 images of characters on trains with different scenery shown through the window and 7 images of groups of objects that are evidence in cases, again, these images are all quite samey and formulaic. If you like similarity and repetition then this book is ideal but if you’re wanting 70 original and varied images then this probably isn’t the book for you. That being said, the aspects that you’d expect from the stories are depicted from Sherlock Holmes to Dr Watson, items of evidence, murder weapons, violins, deerstalker hats, pipes, magnifying glasses and more are all contained within.
In terms of mental health, the content of this book doesn’t have a lot of impact on it though do be aware that most of the characters are drawn in quite a stern style and therefore aren’t very cheery. 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.
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: Sherlock Holmes
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Colour-in-Classics-Sherlock-Holmes-null/9780955364136/?a_aid=colouringitmom
The image below was coloured using Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip pens.