Where’s Wally? The Colouring Book – A Review

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Where’s Wally? The Colouring Book is illustrated by Martin Handford (the original Where’s Wally? artist), and published and kindly sent to me to review by Walker Books. Where’s Wally, also known as Where’s Waldo in the US, and all sorts of other names I discovered after a quick Google search, has been a staple children’s book since the 1980’s. Now, we’ve been offered the chance to colour the iconic scenes ourselves. People young and old will love this book, it would be perfect for older children (the spaces are way too small for young kids), parents to colour for, or with, their children, or big kids of any age who are young at heart and fans of Wally. Grab your bobble hat, walking stick, glasses and stripy shirt and let’s head off to find out Where’s Wally?!

This book is A4, paperback, with a bendy double-thickness card cover, and contains 64 double-sided pages. The paper is bright white, medium thickness, and doesn’t bleed but does shadow throughout when using water-based pens. The paper is very lightly textured so it’ll be fine for block colouring with pencils which is likely to be most appropriate because the spaces are mostly far too small for blending or shading of any kind. The images are all double-page spreads just like the original books and there are checklists on the last few pages listing items and people you can look out for in each scene. Unlike the story books, Wally’s friends and other named characters like Wizard Whitebeard, Odlaw and Wenda aren’t featured in every page of the book which is a shame but it doesn’t detract from the book. I assumed that it would be much harder to find Wally and the other people and items in black and white, and it states in the book that it’s harder, but I actually found it easier because you don’t have colour distracting you from finding him, that could just be me though! The images are almost all the same size as in the original books and they do all enter the lightly glue-bound spine so you will need to work on the spine to be able to get to the middle of each image. The majority of the pages have splashes of colour added in the form of a few coloured objects and/or backgrounds. This helps when choosing colour schemes and reminds you of the original books and their beautiful bright colours. The images are very similar to the original books and feel very familiar but I’m not sure if they’re actually colour-free book images or new images that have been specifically created for this book, either way, they’re fabulous and so much fun to colour!

In terms of mental health, this book is mixed. For those of you with good concentration, great vision and fine motor control, it will be brilliant because these images take SO long to colour! I always colour a full image for reviews but after spending hours colouring my image, I still wasn’t even half way through so I had to abandon ship and show you a work in progress. These images are great fun to colour – I love the nostalgic feel of hunting down Wally, the other characters, objects and his colouring pencils which are scattered through the images. I always used to get the Where’s Wally? books out of the library and I have three mini books still so I’m quite a fan and this book absolutely doesn’t disappoint. This definitely isn’t a book for those of you with any issues with vision, fine motor control or concentration because the images are almost exclusively incredibly intricate and detailed and this means that it’s best suited to older children and adults. It’s nostalgic, fun, and as it states on the cover “The Ultimate Colouring Challenge”, you get to colour, search, find (hopefully) and be transported back to your childhood or spending time with your children discovering where Wally is. The line thickness does vary a little with a few images in medium thickness with large open spaces, but the majority have thin and spindly thin linework with teeny tiny spaces that really need fineliners for neat colouring. The book is definitely geared towards children with lots of written hints at the bottoms of pages about characters to find and colours to use, these aren’t on the actual images though so they don’t interfere. There are a few pages where you can add your own doodles, but this is by no means necessary and these can easily be left blank or coloured in a solid block. This book really will last you ages and give you weeks and weeks of colouring fun! It would also make a great present for an adult to colour fully for a child to turn it into their own customised Where’s Wally? book.

I would highly recommend this to anyone, young or old, who loves Where’s Wally?! The book will provide weeks of colouring, could be a great project for families to work on together, and offers a fabulous nostalgic trip back to your childhood. Just make sure you have a decent red pen or pencil or you’ll be stuffed!

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Where’s Wally? The Colouring Book
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Wheres-Wally-Colouring-Book-Martin-Handford/9781406367300/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

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