Kiss and Tell – A Review

Kiss and Tell is illustrated by Kristina Hultkrantz and published and very kindly sent to me by Swedish publisher Pagina Forlag. Swedish colouring books have taken the world by storm and there’s no sign of them going anywhere, in fact, many of the favourites are finally starting to be picked up by US publishers and brought to the international community so that we can all enjoy these books. As yet, this book hasn’t been picked up by a UK or US publisher but I’m hoping it’s only a matter of time because this is one not to be missed!

The book is 25cm square, paperback with flexible card covers that are a delicate peachy pink colour with rose-gold coloured foiling accents on the front making it a really pretty and luxurious looking book. The spine is glue and string-bound so it’s fairly durable but this does mean a little of each image is lost into it. The paper is cream, thick and lightly textured, it doesn’t bleed or shadow with water-based pens unless you press too hard in one spot, it works well with pencils and you can build up a good number of layers for blending and shading. The book contains 96 pages of double-sided images with a mixture of single and double-page spreads. The image content is very pretty and girly and has a strong jewellery theme as well as including flowers, makeup, lingerie, clothing, women and an assortment of pretty objects. The images are very well drawn and realistic with a very slight cartoon style with highlights pre-drawn on some. The illustrations look like still-life or staged scenes for magazine photo shoots of jewellery scattered on a table or the contents of a makeup bag or handbag. They’re really pretty and this book is absolutely ideal for anyone who likes fashion, glitz, glamour, and prettiness, all with a hint of luxury. The images are also really cohesive and I didn’t feel that any of the pages contained filler images, each has definitely earnt its place and they look beautiful together.

In terms of mental health, this book is lovely because the images are all of real things so you can use your own imagination, experience, or even images online to inspire your colour choices if you wish. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is medium/thin so it’s perfectly colourable for almost anyone and there is a little leeway to prevent you accidentally going over the lines. The intricacy and detail levels vary hugely throughout from teeny tiny pearls and jewels to large expanses of women’s legs and handbags and everything in between so this book will suit most people apart from those with particularly poor vision or fine motor control. The variance in difficulty level means that there is something suitable for your good days, bad days, and everything in between so this is an ideal book for those or you with fluctuating conditions or changeable concentration levels. It’s also fantastic for mindfulness because a lot of the images have repeating items, like hundreds of pearls, which can all be coloured in the same way if you wish and you can therefore really focus on the here and now and stay in the moment with your breathing. This book is a great one for distraction and zoning out, though it might inspire you to go shopping for that next statement necklace or latest shade of nail polish, but you can justify those as ‘inspiration’ for your colouring! There is plenty of space to add your own background or details if you wish but all of these pages look finished and there are no hints or written suggestions so there’s absolutely no need to be able to draw if you don’t want to.

I would highly recommend this book to the girly and fashion-conscious among you, to those who love painting their nails, meticulously applying their makeup, and who have more jewellery in their possession than they could ever possibly need, or to those of you who just want to colour those things. This is a really pretty book with plenty of detail and interesting imagery, the paper is ideal for pen and pencil lovers and it really has a good feel about it. As I mentioned before, it’s unfortunately not currently available in English but it can be ordered worldwide from the Pen Store here –

The image below was coloured using Stabilo 68 Fibre-tips and the white highlights were drawn using a white Sakura Gelly Roll Gel Pen. The Gold and Silver jewellery were coloured using metallic gel pens from my local supermarket.

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