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The National Trust: The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes – Summertime (Colouring Cards and Envelopes) are published and very kindly sent to me to review by Nosy Crow Publishing. These cards will be published on the 2nd of June and are the third of three sets, with one more publishing later in the year with a Christmas theme (I already can’t wait for these)! This book is fantastically well made and everything has been thought of, matched and produced with quality in mind. The book itself is large at 28cm square, it’s paperback with a flexible card cover with copper foiling lettering and detail. Inside the front cover are instructions detailing how to fold the envelopes for the cards. Following this are pages of colourable cards with two on each page connected by tabs on perforated pages which are very easy to remove from the book with no issues or bending and a thin strip that the perforation is attached to that you can cut off with scissors to neaten up the card edges. There are 24 cards, each with a unique design, and all 4 sides of the cards have illustrations on that you can colour including a “Coloured For You By…” section on the back, they measure 13.5cm square when folded. Following the card pages are 24 unique envelope designs that match the cards perfectly and are printed in the same order as the cards so it’s very easy to match up the paired cards and envelopes together. The envelopes have illustrations on the front, each of the four flaps, and the whole of the back of the page which makes up the inside of the envelope has a repeating design on it that can be coloured if you wish. The folding instructions are very clear and easy to follow and the pre-scored lines on the cards and envelopes allow for a perfect fold every time. On the very last page of the book are 24 circular stickers with matching designs to seal the envelopes with. One small gripe I have is that these stickers are arranged in a random order and it’s not clear which card many of them are designed for, with many being suitable for a number of cards which just irks the perfectionist in me.
The card itself is bright white, medium thickness and lightly textured. I experienced absolutely no bleeding and very minimal shadowing when using water-based pens; alcohol markers will bleed through. Pencils would be ideal for these cards if you’re wanting more subtle colours, or wanting to blend and shade. The envelopes are printed onto bright white, thick paper which I didn’t experience any bleed through of water-based pens on but did get the lightest of shadowing when I coloured too slowly and the ink saturated the paper a bit much so do please be careful if you’re wanting the inside of your envelopes to remain pristine for colouring too. Sadly, the space left on the front of a few of the envelopes is pretty small and not exactly suitable for a normal length postal address and there is also no space for a postage stamp (I have been contacted by the publisher who has explained that this may well be changed in future reprints so there is a larger space for addresses). You could add an address label, and simply stick the postage stamp over the design but for perfectionists like me this isn’t an option and it is a shame this wasn’t quite thought through. When posting these cards to friends and family I will be popping the whole thing inside a normal envelope so that I can keep the envelope design intact.
The designs themselves are utterly charming and absolutely adorable. This set is a great combination of super sweet animals, beautiful flowers and there are a large number of underwater themed cards too, they’re just a delight to colour. The illustrations include lots of flowers, butterflies, fish, lobsters, crabs, puffins, seagulls, coral, dolphins, bumblebees, shells, turtles, and much more! Every aspect of every card, envelope and sticker is unique, there are no doubled up/rearranged designs, and no corners have been cut. The cards feel luxurious and are extremely well made, I couldn’t ask for more from a set of colouring cards, and with an RRP of just £7.99, often being found for under £5 they’re an absolute bargain and I’m sure I’ll be purchasing set after set of these.
In terms of mental health, I personally found these cards absolutely fantastic. I’ve been having a rough few weeks jam-packed with anxiety and these cards have really helped me to calm down, zone out, and focus on a manageable project which I could colour in sections or larger bits when I was feeling better. The line thickness is thin throughout and the images are mostly very intricate and detailed with a few larger spaces on leaves and petals but predominantly each image consists of lots of teeny tiny elements so these cards are definitely for those of you with pretty good vision and fine motor control. The image content is really natural and has a childlike quality which adds so much charm and character to the illustrations and is sure to brighten the darkest of days and spread a little cheer, no matter how low you’re feeling. The cards take a surprisingly long time to colour so you get hours and hours of enjoyment from this book and you can really spread the colouring love by posting them coloured or even uncoloured to family and friends.
I would highly recommend these cards to anyone looking for greetings cards to colour and send, or anyone wanting to persuade their friends or family into starting colouring, these cards are so charming that the recipient surely can’t help but start colouring them if they’re sent uncoloured! You’ll need pretty good vision and fine motor control to enjoy them but if you have those then you’re sure to love these cards, because apart from the address section being a little small, they’re genuinely perfect!
If you’d like to purchase a set, they’re available here:
Amazon UK – The National Trust: The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes – Summertime (Colouring Cards and Envelopes)
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/The-National-Trust-The-Colouring-Book-of-Cards-and-Envelopes—Summertime-Rebecc-Jones/9780857637390/?a_aid=colouringitmom
Pre order the Christmas set here:
Amazon UK – The National Trust: The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes – Christmas (Colouring Cards and Envelopes)
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/The-National-Trust-Colouring-Book-of-Cards-and-Envelopes-Christmas-Rebecc-Jones/9780857637260/?a_aid=colouringitmom
The card and envelope below were coloured using Stabilo 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tips.