Batsford Books

Gulliver’s New Travels: Colouring In a New World – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Gulliver’s New Travels: Colouring in a New World (Colouring Books) was published and very kindly sent to me to review by Batsford Books. This book is illustrated by James Gulliver Hancock and is a mixture of his own travels around the world and those of the original Gulliver of Jonathan Swift’s 18th-century stories. Scale in these illustrations varies throughout, just like in the original stories from Lilliput where the people are very small and Gulliver is comparatively a giant, to the land of Brobdingnag where giants of a much larger scale live and Gulliver is the size of a doll’s house doll. I expected this book to tell a somewhat coherent story and sadly it doesn’t, which I think is a little bit of a shame however, this doesn’t take anything away from the quirky and whimsical artwork. This book is square, the same size as other bestsellers, paperback, with brown card covers with an entirely silver foiled scene illustrated on the front. The images are printed double-sided and are a mixture of single and double-page spreads. The spine is glue and string bound making it durable but a little tricky to get to the middle of each spread so a little of each image is lost into it, though this will ease up a bit with use. The paper is bright white and medium thickness and sadly it bleeds pretty badly with water-based pens so I’d stick to pencils in this book which will work well as the paper is lightly textured. The book contains 96 pages of illustrations which are all drawn in a very cohesive, distinctive style which is quirky, cartoony and quite heavily patterned with few large open spaces within the designs. The pictures are very whimsical, fantastical and nonsensical and show images of giants, teeny tiny people, lands made of fruit, household objects, cities built in pot plants, soup bowls and suitcases and they include all manner of strange, weird and wacky objects and scenarios – the more you look, the more you see!

In terms of mental health, this book offers great escapism and doesn’t take itself too seriously with its whimsical imagery. There is a fair amount of detail and intricacy which is ideal for getting you to focus, concentrate, and get out of your head so that you can slow down the anxious and worrying thoughts and zone into colouring the small sections, patterns and items within each image. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is thin so you will need moderately good vision and fine motor control to enjoy this book. The images vary in size from entirely illustrated double-page spreads to smaller items in the centre of a page and everything in between. There are also a number of pages with expansive blank spaces which are either left blank for you to add your own extra drawings or backgrounds, or leave as they are. On 8 of these pages there are subtle written hints with questions and suggestions of things you could add such as ‘Where does this road go to?’ and ‘Add your own suitcase treasure’. These are all written along the edges of the pre-existing drawing so they are pretty easily ignored if drawing isn’t your forte and you prefer just to colour! The images are fun, quirky and light-hearted and this is great for keeping your mood lifted and is ideal for those who like to use bright and vibrant colour schemes because these illustrations don’t require realistic colours and you can really go all out like I did in my image. You will need a fair amount of concentration in order to complete these pages but because of the difference in size, there are larger and smaller projects for your good and bad days so there’s really something for everyone and it’s ideal for those of you with fluctuating conditions.

I would recommend this book for those of you who like quirky, whimsical images that are based on real items but aren’t realistic. While this book doesn’t tell a story, it’s a fun concept to follow Gulliver on his travels through different landscape scales and surrealism.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book then it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Gulliver’s New Travels: Colouring in a New World (Colouring Books)
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Gullivers-New-Travels-James-Gulliver-Hancock/9781849943413/?a_aid=colouringitmom

If you can’t wait to get colouring in this book then head over to the Batsford website where there’s a free download that you can print and colour! Click here.

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland: 50 Colouring in Postcards – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland Postcard Box: 50 Beautiful Cards for Colouring in (Postcards) is published by Batsford Books and was kindly sent to me by Midas PR to review. As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Millie’s work and this set of postcards doesn’t disappoint! They come in a lovely presentation box made of very thick card and covered in the same bright coral colour inside and out as the spine of the original edition of Tropical Wonderland (you can read my review of that book here) and a scaled down version of the cover, complete with gold foiling, on the front. There are two sets of postcards, one including 30 postcards and the larger set containing 50 which is the set I’m reviewing here (do check listings carefully to make sure you’re getting the set you want). As stated before, this set contains 50 postcards, I expected there to be some duplicates but they’re all different and all beautiful! Some of the postcards are portrait, others are landscape. Some are of the whole original image scaled down and others are of sections of the original image at the original size so there is a real variety of intricacy levels from intricate to VERY intricate – the majority of the postcards are the same size as the originals. A few of the images do look incredibly challenging to colour, especially those that are whole animals filled with flowers and leaves because they’re so teeny tiny. The postcards are all standard postcard size and are printed onto bright white, smooth, thick card which didn’t bleed or shadow at all when I used my water-based pens. The back is left completely blank with no address lines or anything and just the name of the book in the bottom left hand corner. These postcards would be ideal to send or frame or even be used for craft projects!

In terms of mental health, as with all of Millie’s illustrations, they are really calming and great for dealing with anxiety and low mood. Because all of the images are natural and animal based, they are great for relaxing you and the intricacy and detail levels are perfect for keeping you absorbed in the task and distracted from any difficult thoughts or feelings you may be having. The images used are a wonderful selection from the original images and I didn’t notice any of my personal favourites missing. The size of each image means that colouring one doesn’t have to take days and you could easily finish one in a couple of hours with pens or take a little more time with pencils and really get blending and shading. You could even practice some backgrounds on some of the images with larger open spaces. These postcards are definitely for those of you with good vision and fine motor control, as with Millie’s books, they’re very detailed and the linework is thin so there isn’t much room for error however, the majority are perfectly colourable for those of you that can cope with detail and thin lines and they’re ideal for those of you who are already fans of Millie’s work as they absolutely don’t disappoint. The postcards have a multitude of uses and can be coloured and kept in their beautiful presentation box, sent to friends and family (in an envelope to protect them whilst in the post), framed coloured or even uncoloured in single or multiple frames and could be incorporated into craft projects. They’re much more versatile than a book and there’s no need to worry about bleed-through because not only are they printed on thick card, they’re also single-sided. If you already have Millie’s books, these are the same illustrations as Tropical Wonderland, with no new additions, however, they don’t feel samey and are a really beautiful, new way of presenting the images and their versatility means that they’re almost given a new lease of life. These postcards were sent to me to review but even if they hadn’t been, I’d have bought them out of my own pocket (like I did with the Animal Kingdom postcards) despite already having a copy of the Tropical Wonderland book because they’re so lovely and have their own merits and uses.

I can’t recommend these postcards highly enough. I don’t know the difference between the 30 set and 50 set so I can’t advise whether getting both would be a good idea because it may be the case that the 50 set has 20 new images in comparison to the 30 set or they could both be completely different. My personal recommendation would be to get this, the larger set, because you’re getting so many more postcards for not a lot more money. The whole product feels luxurious from the gold foiling on the front to the coral coloured inside and the golden ribbon that you can lift out the postcards with. The postcards are printed very crisply and no corners have been cut in production. This is a beautiful item that I’m so pleased I got to review because they’re just gorgeous!

You can purchase the box of 50 postcards here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland Postcard Box: 50 Beautiful Cards for Colouring in (Postcards)
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marottas-Tropical-Wonderland-Postcard-Box-Millie-Marotta/9781849943468/?a_aid=colouringitmom

You can purchase the Tropical Wonderland book here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marottas-Tropical-Wonderland-Millie-Marotta/9781849942850/?a_aid=colouringitmom

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

Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: A Colouring Book Adventure – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: A Colouring Book Adventure (Colouring Books) published by Batsford Books, is from my personal collection. It’s not due to be published for another 3 weeks but has been released early in some UK bookshops and my boyfriend managed to hunt me down a copy to review for you all. I’ve heard reports that it’s currently available in WHSmith and Waterstones but do phone ahead to avoid disappointment, alternatively it’s available for pre-order online (links at the bottom of this review). Back to the review – Millie’s done it again, for the third time, and created another beautiful masterpiece! Millie has a really unique style of illustrating and while I’ve seen many books and magazines cropping up that attempt to somewhat recreate her style, in my view, they all fall short in comparison to Millie’s beautiful original creations. This is so much more than a colouring book, it is a true work of art! Get ready to go on safari through the Savannah, grab your binoculars, compass, map and dress in head-to-toe khaki, pack your butterfly net, camera, magnifying glass and mosquito net, and away we go!

Wild Savannah is a large square (same size as Animal Kingdom), paperback book with a glued spine and a thick, bendy card cover with beautiful gold foiling. This cover is folded over to double-thickness and opens out to show a beautiful savannah scene that can be coloured using any medium because it’s matte, not shiny. Most of the images are contained to one side of the page, but those that are double-page spreads do sadly lose some of the middle of the image into the spine (some people get around this by taking their book to an office supplier or book binding shop and getting it spiral-bound). The paper is bright white, and lightly textured meaning it’s ideal for pens and pencils and you’ll be able to build up plenty of layers. I experienced no bleeding or shadowing with my water-based fineliners (Stabilo Point 88) but do always be careful about how hard you press. This book contains almost 100 double-sided images to keep you busy for weeks, if not years. Millie’s book is filled with flora and fauna and the animal images include: a vulture, rhinos, antelope, a hyena, multiple anteaters, a family of emus, a crocodile, various kinds of insects, various indigenous deer-like creatures, lots and lots of birds, a kangaroo, a lion, a warthog, and ostriches. There are also a multitude of plants which I can’t possibly name, as well as some beautiful savannah scenes including: a pattern of elephants, a herd of wildebeest, baobab trees during the rainy season, a flock of flamingos, hippos bathing, gazelles leaping through a grassy plain, an army of leaf-carrying ants, giraffes drinking, and a zeal (yes that’s correct, I checked) of zebras!

In terms of mental health, this book is very intricate, but don’t let that scare you. You can use pencils, fine-nibbed felt tips, fineliners and gel pens, all with great effects and the images aren’t so detailed that you’re put off or overwhelmed. If you have vision problems or issues with fine motor control then you may struggle with this book but for any of the rest of you I’d suggest giving this book a go and persevering into a more intricate world. The natural scenes of animals, flowers and trees definitely create a sense of calm and this will be one of my go-to books when I really need to focus on something and be distracted. It’s detailed enough that you have to focus and concentrate and this lends itself wonderfully to drowning out any anxious or disturbing thoughts you may want to shift. Other books that are less detailed can be good for calming, but they’re less distracting as they involve less concentration, so if you’re feeling particularly plagued then intricacy is usually the way forward, though there’s a fine line between being distracted and becoming more frustrated, so be careful. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is really quite thin so I’d advise colouring during the day or near a very good desk lamp, both my mum and I have made the mistake of thinking we can get away with colouring this book in bad lighting and realising just what a mistake it was the next morning when we’ve got gaps or gone over the lines. The cohesion of this book being illustrated by one person throughout is just lovely and means it’s not bitty or all over the place like some books made by multiple illustrators can be. It almost feels like a story is being told as you turn the pages and it really is a book to work through and finish rather than just picking out your favourite images – of course this is fine to do too.

I can’t praise this book highly enough, every time I look through it I’m struck by the beauty of the images and there are so many ways of colouring them using rainbows, monochrome, black and white, mixed media and many more. If you’re stuck for ideas then just wait a few weeks and then put the title into Google Images or Pinterest and you’ll be flooded with inspiration (good luck narrowing down your choice of colours after that)! This book is highly detailed and beautifully delicate though some of the images have a detailed and less detailed copy (see the rhinos below) that you’re meant to add your own details to but can be coloured as they are with amazing effects and may be more suited to those who don’t have the patience or visual acuity to colour the most intricate images. Unlike Millie’s previous two titles which had written hints about what you could add or suggested colour schemes, this book has no writing through it so you’re free to colour however you want and you won’t have any text cluttering up your pages (a huge improvement in my opinion). Many of the patterns drawn onto the animals can be coloured over in blocks as well making them less intricate and giving your colouring texture and pattern rather than outlined spaces to colour, so the possibilities are endless. I urge you to give this book a go, you really won’t be disappointed. For those of you who already have Animal Kingdom/Tropical Wonderland and are wondering where to get your next creature colouring fix look no further, this is a stunning third instalment and I really hope there will be more to come in the future.

You can get your hands on a copy of this wonderful book here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Wild Savannah: A Colouring Book Adventure (Colouring Books)
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Wild-Savannah-Millie-Marott/9781849943284?ref=bd_recs_1/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

Happy colouring and if you have any coloured in pictures from this, or any other books that you’d like to share then head over to my facebook page, I’d love to see them!

Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom: 50 Colouring in Postcards – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom Postcard Box is published by Batsford Books and is part of my personal collection. As many of you know, I’m a huge fan of Millie’s work and this set of postcards doesn’t disappoint! They come in a lovely presentation box made of very thick card and covered in the same bright blue colour inside and out as the spine of the original edition of Animal Kingdom (you can read my review of that book here and the deluxe edition here) and a scaled down version of the cover, complete with gold foiling, on the front. There are two sets of postcards, one including 30 postcards and the larger set containing 50 which is the set I’m reviewing here (do check listings carefully to make sure you’re getting the set you want). As stated before, this set contains 50 postcards, I expected there to be a fair few duplicates but actually all of the postcards are different and only 3 of them are in pairs of the same original image from the book but in a different orientation. Some of the postcards are portrait, others are landscape. Some are of the whole original image scaled down and others are of sections of the original image at the original size so there is a real variety of intricacy levels from intricate to VERY intricate – the majority of the postcards are the same size as the originals. None of the images look impossible to colour like other postcards sets have been found to be so don’t be put off, you’ll just need a good set of fineliners or sharp pencils. The postcards are all standard postcard size and are printed onto bright white, smooth, thick card which didn’t bleed or shadow at all when I used my water-based pens. The back is left completely blank with no address lines or anything and just the name of the book in the bottom left hand corner. These postcards would be ideal to send or frame or even be used for craft projects!

In terms of mental health, as with all of Millie’s illustrations, they are really calming and great for dealing with anxiety and low mood. Because all of the images are natural and animal based, they are great for relaxing you and the intricacy and detail levels are perfect for keeping you absorbed in the task and distracted from any difficult thoughts or feelings you may be having. The images used are a wonderful selection from the original images and I didn’t notice any of my personal favourites missing. The size of each image means that colouring one doesn’t have to take days and you could easily finish one in a couple of hours with pens or take a little more time with pencils and really get blending and shading. You could even practice some backgrounds on some of the images with larger open spaces. These postcards are definitely for those of you with good vision and fine motor control, as with Millie’s books, they’re very detailed and the linework is thin so there isn’t much room for error however, they’re perfectly colourable for those of you that can cope with detail and thin lines and they’re ideal for those of you who are already fans of Millie’s work as they absolutely don’t disappoint. The postcards have a multitude of uses and can be coloured and kept in their beautiful presentation box, sent to friends and family (in an envelope to protect them whilst in the post), framed coloured or even uncoloured in single or multiple frames and could be incorporated into craft projects. They’re much more versatile than a book and there’s no need to worry about bleed-through because not only are they printed on thick card, they’re also single-sided. If you already have Millie’s books, these are the same illustrations as Animal Kingdom, with no new additions, however, they don’t feel samey and are a really beautiful, new way of presenting the images and their versatility means that they’re almost given a new lease of life. These postcards weren’t sent to me by the publisher, I bought them out of my own pocket despite already having bought Animal Kingdom and the Deluxe Edition of Animal Kingdom and I love all 3 items in their own right. They’re all truly beautiful and each have their own merits. You can read my reviews of the two versions of the book below and there are links to buy them too as well as these postcards.

I can’t recommend these postcards highly enough. I don’t know the difference between the 30 set and 50 set so I can’t advise whether getting both would be a good idea because it may be the case that the 50 set has 20 new images in comparison to the 30 set or they could both be completely different. My personal recommendation would be to get this, the larger set, because you’re getting so many more postcards for not a lot more money. The whole product feels luxurious from the gold foiling on the front to the blue coloured inside and the golden ribbon that you can lift out the postcards with. The postcards are printed very crisply and no corners have been cut in production. This is a beautiful item that I’m so glad I splashed out on.

You can purchase the box of 50 postcards here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom Postcard Box
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Animal-Kingdom-Postcard-Box-Millie-Marott/9781849942904/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Animal Kingdom original edition
Review – Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Animal-Kingdom-Millie-Marott/9781849941679/?a_aid=colouringitmom

Animal Kingdom Deluxe Edition
Review – Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom Deluxe Edition
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom Deluxe Edition: A Colouring Book Adventure
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Animal-Kingdom-Millie-Marott/9781849943291/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Staedtler Triplus Fineliners and Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom: Deluxe Edition – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom Deluxe Edition is published by Batsford Books and is from my personal collection. This book is a genuine work of art and reviewing it has been really enjoyable because it is so beautiful to look through and to colour. You can read my review of the original edition of Animal Kingdom here, I will be making comparisons to that version in this review for those of you who already have the original edition and for those of you who want to know the differences. The Deluxe Edition is a hardback book with a gorgeous soft grey linen cover and a white screen-printed heron on the front. The writing on the cover and spine is covered in beautiful gold foil and the book itself is very thick (see comparison photo below of original and deluxe editions) and hefty and just oozes luxury. The book has gold ribbon ties to keep the book closed and a gold ribbon bookmark to keep your place which is really handy in a book this size. It arrived covered in thin plastic wrap to keep the cover safe which is a great idea so that it doesn’t get damaged or marked in any way. The book is a little larger than the original because of the hardback cover but the pages and images themselves are exactly the same size (I measured to check). The spine is stitched and lightly glue-bound so some pages are easier to colour into the spine than others. The images are printed single-sided on the right-hand pages and are borderless meaning a little is lost into the spine in the full-page images but it really is only a little. The pages are not perforated but could be carefully removed with a scalpel to frame or gift to others. The paper is thicker than the original (180gsm) and bright white but unfortunately it doesn’t live up to the publisher’s description of no show-through, I used Stabilo and Steadtler water-based fineliners and they didn’t bleed at all but they did lightly shadow as can be seen in the photo below. The paper is a good thickness but it cannot be described as card-like and is thinner than the paper found in Johanna Basford’s Secret Garden original edition and Artist’s edition. The paper is very smooth and gives a fairly good surface for colouring with pencils but does burnish quite quickly so you don’t get a lot of layers.

The book contains almost every image from the original with the exception of half of two double-page spreads (the grasshoppers and bird image that are pictured below). The images are almost all in the same order as the original book, a few of the images are swapped slightly or broken up by the fold out double-page spreads. The majority of the double-page spreads from the original book have been printed onto double-width paper which folds outwards to the left of the book so that the full image can be coloured without the spine running down the middle of the image like in the original. There are 13 of these double-page gatefolds. At the end of the book is an envelope attached to the back cover containing 5 square prints, 4 from the book and an extra, new image (these are all pictured below), these images include the octopus, giraffes, fox, heron and a compilation image of the elephant, dragonfly, trees and a couple of birds. These images are printed on the same paper as the rest of the book and would be ideal for framing so you can display your beautiful artwork. As with the original book, there are spaces on a number of the images to add your own backgrounds and details but unlike the original, there are no written hints of what to add which I personally much prefer because it leaves the page a lot neater. The line thickness is the same throughout and the same as the original and are very thin so this is definitely a book for those of you with good vision and fine motor control. A couple of the images are printed in mirror image to how they were printed in the original; to begin with I didn’t understand why this was as it’s just the toucan and heron that have been reversed and I then realised that it’s because these pictures were originally left-page images and the majority of the image starts on the left of the page which is where the spine is on this book, hence the reversal.

This book has exactly the same content and mental health benefits as the original and the recommendations about that are also the same for this one so I won’t repeat it here but my review of the original Animal Kingdom book can be found here. I personally feel that the price tag of £25 is a little steep for this book given that the paper quality is very good but not amazing, however, if you can get it reduced, like I did (I paid just over £14 on Book Depository, link below), then it’s absolutely worth it because it is a genuine work of art and would make an excellent present or coffee table book, as well as the perfect book to display your artistic talent. Because the images are printed single-sided, I did find that this edition feels a little less cohesive than the original and feels a little more stilted rather than telling a story, however, it also really showcases your work because you only see one image at a time meaning you can really give it your time and attention when colouring and looking through it afterwards.

This is a stunning book which is a true work of art. I felt quite intimidated by it at first because it’s so perfect and I was worried about ruining it. At this price, I can’t afford multiple copies if I make a mistake so my advice would be to practice in a copy of the original book, found on Amazon for just £3.99 (link below), and then when you’re happy, colour your best version in the Deluxe Edition. If you’re a fan of Millie’s work or are new to it and wanting a luxurious colouring book then this book is ideal for you. It’s just gorgeous and definitely the most luxurious colouring book I’ve encountered so far and for fans of Millie’s work, it’s an absolute must-have!

You can purchase a copy of the Deluxe Edition here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom Deluxe Edition
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Animal-Kingdom-Millie-Marott/9781849943291/?a_aid=colouringitmom

You can purchase a copy of Millie’s original book here:
Amazon UK – Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/Millie-Marotts-Animal-Kingdom-Millie-Marott/9781849941679/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 fineliners and Steadtler triplus fineliners.

Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland – A Colouring Book Adventure: A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.

Well, what can I say?! Millie’s done it again! This beautiful book, the sequel to the hugely successful and bestselling Animal Kingdom, is just stunning. This book, published by Batsford Books was kindly sent to me by them for review, so let’s start. Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure is packed full of wonderful images of animals and flowers which are my favourite things to colour. Millie has a really unique style of illustrating and while I’ve seen many books and magazines cropping up that attempt to somewhat recreate her style, in my view, they all fall short in comparison to Millie’s beautiful original creations. Her books are so much more than colouring books, they are true works of art!

The only criticism I have of this book is the paper quality. Sadly, while it is bright white and seems fairly thick, pens of any kind (I haven’t tested gel pens yet) do bleed at least a little through to the image on the reverse. I am a huge fan of fineliners and despite colouring very lightly and making sure not to hold the pen in one place at any point, they bled throughout the image creating shadowing onto the back of the page and full on bleeding in a couple of places (see third image below). The images in this book are printed double-sided so choose wisely when colouring images with fineliners or stay safe and use coloured pencils to avoid ruining any reverse images. The paper is lovely and smooth and I was reliably informed by my boyfriend, who it appears may well become a colouring addict after purchasing a copy of this book for himself, that coloured pencils, even cheap ones, were really easy to use on it and gave good colour and coverage (see his coloured in cockatiels below). It is a paperback book with a glued spine and while most of the images are contained to one side of the paper, those that are double-page spreads do sadly lose some of the middle of the image into the spine (some people get around this by taking their book to an office supplier or book binding shop and getting it spiral-bound). The book itself is a large square (same size as Animal Kingdom) and contains almost 100 images to keep you busy for weeks if not years! Images include bats, cacti, water lilies, birds of paradise, a whale shark, a sloth, beetles, sea creatures and many many more, all of the things you’d expect to find in the tropics!

In terms of mental health, this book is very intricate, but don’t let that scare you. You can use pencils, fine-nibbed felt tips, fineliners and gel pens, all with great effects and the images aren’t so detailed that you’re put off or overwhelmed. If you have vision problems or issues with fine motor control then you may struggle with this book but for any of the rest of you I’d suggest giving this book a go and persevering into a more intricate world. The natural scenes of animals, flowers and trees definitely create a sense of calm and this will be one of my go-to books when I really need to focus on something and be distracted. It’s detailed enough that you have to focus and concentrate and this lends itself wonderfully to drowning out any anxious or disturbing thoughts you may want to shift. Other books that are less detailed can be good for calming, but they’re less distracting as they involve less concentration, so if you’re feeling particularly plagued then intricacy is usually the way forward, though there’s a fine line between being distracted and becoming more frustrated, so be careful. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is really quite thin so I’d advise colouring during the day or near a very good desk lamp, both my mum and I have made the mistake of thinking we can get away with colouring this book in bad lighting and realising just what a mistake it was the next morning when we’ve got gaps or gone over the lines. The cohesion of this book being illustrated by one person throughout is just lovely and means it’s not bitty or all over the place like some books made by multiple illustrators can be. It almost feels like a story is being told as you turn the pages and it really is a book to work through and finish rather than just picking out your favourite images – of course this is fine to do too.

I can’t praise this book highly enough, every time I look through it I’m struck by the beauty of the images and there are so many ways of colouring them using rainbows, monochrome, black and white, mixed media and many more. If you’re stuck for ideas then just put the title into Google Images or Pinterest and you’ll be flooded with inspiration (good luck narrowing down your choice of colours after that)! This book is highly detailed and beautifully delicate though some of the images have a detailed and less detailed copy (see the owls below) that you’re meant to add your own details to but can be coloured as they are with amazing effects and may be more suited to those who don’t have the patience or visual acuity to colour the most intricate images. Many of the patterns drawn onto the animals can be coloured over in blocks as well making them less intricate and giving your colouring texture and pattern rather than outlined spaces to colour, so the possibilities are endless. I urge you to give this book a go, you really won’t be disappointed. For those of you who already have Animal Kingdom and are wondering where to get your next creature colouring fix look no further, this is a stunning second instalment and I really hope there will be more to come in the future. You can get your hands on a copy of this wonderful book for just £6.99 here Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure or if you’re new to the colouring party then Millie’s original book Animal Kingdom can be found for £3.99 here Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure and if you need a little more persuasion, my review can be found here. Happy colouring and if you have any coloured in pictures from this, or any other books that you’d like to share then head over to my facebook page, I’d love to see them! The images below were coloured using Marco Raffine Coloured Pencils, Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Scribbilicious Fineliners from The Works (UK store).

Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure: A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.

This book, published by Batsford Books, is from my personal collection and has stayed firmly in my Top 3, most fabulous and favourite books, even with all of the new books I’ve been sent to review. It is just stunning and packed full of wonderful images of animals and flowers which are my favourite things to colour. Millie has a really unique style of illustrating and while I’ve seen many books and magazines cropping up that attempt to somewhat recreate her style, in my view, they all fall short in comparison to Millie’s beautiful original creations. This is so much more than a colouring book, it is a true work of art! You can get a copy for yourself here Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure

Paper quality is a little difficult to judge because the book has been printed so many times that they have used a number of different types and qualities of paper for printing. I ordered my copy at the beginning of 2015 and mine has yellowy/cream thick paper that has visible texture to it, it’s lovely and thick and has had no issues with bleeding despite using my Stabilo .88 fineliners which are often the nemesis of adult colouring books. However, I was very disappointed when in May I ordered a second copy for my mum to use in hospital after an operation and realised that despite it coming with beautiful, bright white paper, this was actually thinner and her fineliners bled badly ruining the images on the back of each page she coloured. From what I’ve seen in Facebook colouring groups and recent Amazon reviews this problem has been rectified and the paper is now white, thick, with no issues with bleeding but I cannot guarantee this as I’ve not got the most recently printed copy.

The images in this book are printed double-sided which is not an issue in copies with the decent paper quality. It is a paperback book with a glued spine and while most of the images are contained to one side of the paper, those that are double-page spreads do sadly lose some of the middle of the image into the spine (some people get around this by taking their book to an office supplier or book binding shop and getting it spiral-bound). The book itself is a large square (same size as Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest) and contains well over 100 images to keep you busy for weeks if not years!

In terms of mental health, this book is very intricate, similar in intricacy levels to Johanna Basford’s books (Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest) but don’t let this put you off. You can use pencils, fine-nibbed felt tips, fineliners and gel pens, all with great effects and the images aren’t so detailed that you’re put off or overwhelmed. If you have vision problems or issues with fine motor control then you may struggle with this book but for any of the rest of you I’d suggest giving this book a go and persevering into a more intricate world. The natural scenes of animals, flowers and trees definitely create a sense of calm and this is my go-to book when I really need to focus on something and be distracted. It’s detailed enough that you have to focus and concentrate and this lends itself wonderfully to drowning out any anxious or disturbing thoughts you may want to shift. Other books that are less detailed can be good for calming but they’re less distracting as they involve less concentration so if you’re feeling particularly plagued then intricacy is usually the way forward though there’s a fine line between being distracted and becoming more frustrated so be careful. The line thickness is consistent throughout and is really quite thin so I’d advise colouring during the day or near a very good desk lamp, both my mum and I have made the mistake of thinking we can get away with colouring this book in bad lighting and realising just what a mistake it was the next morning when we’ve got gaps or gone over the lines. The cohesion of this book being illustrated by one person throughout is just lovely and means it’s not bitty or all over the place like some books made by multiple illustrators can be. It almost feels like a story is being told as you turn the pages and it really is a book to work through and finish rather than just picking out your favourite images – of course this is fine to do too.

I can’t praise this book highly enough, every time I look through it I’m struck by the beauty of the images and there are so many ways of colouring them using rainbows, monochrome, black and white, mixed media and many more. If you’re stuck for ideas then just put the title into Google Images or Pinterest and you’ll be flooded with inspiration (good luck narrowing down your choice of colours after that)! This book is highly detailed and beautifully delicate though some of the images have a detailed and less detailed copy (see the cockerel below) that you’re meant to add your own details to but can be coloured as they are with amazing effects and may be more suited to those who don’t have the patience or visual acuity to colour the most intiricate images. Many of the patterns drawn onto the animals can be coloured over in blocks as well making them less intricate and giving your colouring texture and pattern rather than outlined spaces to colour so the possibilities are endless. I urge you to give this book a go, you really won’t be disappointed, you can purchase a copy here Millie Marotta’s Animal Kingdom – A Colouring Book Adventure. For those of you who already have Animal Kingdom and are wondering where to get your next creature colouring fix from, Millie’s new book Millie Marotta’s Tropical Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure is being released in just 12 days on the 25th of June in the UK and looks set to be just as wonderful – I’m already signed up to review a copy and will post a review just as soon as I can for you all. The images below were all coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

Happy colouring and if you have any coloured in pictures from this, or any other books that you’d like to share then head over to my facebook page, I’d love to see them!