Travel-sized

Escape to Oz: A Colouring-book Adventure – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Escape to Oz is published by Puffin Books and is from my personal collection. This book is illustrated by Good Wives and Warriors who are a creative partnership of two Glasgow School of Art graduates – their Facebook page can be found here. This book is the fourth in the Escape to… series, first was Escape to Wonderland, second was Escape to Christmas Past and third was Escape to Shakespeare’s World, they’ve also illustrated a beautiful book with a German Publisher called Exotischer Urwald which is in a different format. Escape to Oz is based on The Wizard of Oz story documenting Dorothy’s trip from Kansas to Oz, her quest to find the wizard, and the characters she meets on the way. This is a wonderful book, essential for fans of the original story, but also for those who love GWAW’s work and who love imaginative and beautiful illustrations. It is the same size and shape as the others in the series at just over 18cms square, it’s a little smaller than other bestsellers but I think this adds to the charm and it means the images are a manageable size and the book is a perfect size for travelling and colouring on the go. The book has a softback cover which is almost all double thicknesses of cardboard as it folds in on itself and when opened up it reveals a beautiful green background with white line-drawn images of flowers and gems. The cover has silvery-gold foiling accents which really add to the luxury of the book and are a lovely bit of extra detailing. The book contains 96 pages of double-sided, borderless images and is glue and string-bound meaning a little of each image is lost into the spine. I found the spine pretty tight when it arrived but with some work it has now loosened up a lot and lies flatter than it did. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads and a few of them have black backgrounds which is a really nice feature. The paper quality is very good and hasn’t bled or shadowed at all when I’ve been using water-based fineliners or fibre-tips. The paper is a creamy off-white which adds to the vintage feel of the book and is very lightly textured which I thought would be ideal for pencils but I did find it a little hard to get many layers as the tooth seemed to disappear quicker than I’d have liked or expected. However, it’s not impossible to layer and I did manage to get some nice blending. Do be sure to test the pens you’re using beforehand to avoid any disasters. Alcohol markers are a definite no because they will bleed terribly and ruin the reverse images.

The images themselves are drawn in a thin line that is pretty consistent throughout so the difficulty level doesn’t change, meaning this is not a book that will adapt to differing levels of concentration but this does lead to a really cohesive feel to the book. The images are arranged into chronological order to tell the story and a few pages contain quotes from the book to help guide you through. These quotes are helpful for letting you know where in the story you’re at, as well as hinting at what’s in the picture if you’re not quite sure. The illustrations include everything you’d expect from Dorothy and Toto, to the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, to the Wicked Witch of the West and East, the Wizard of Oz himself, and even the munchkins and flying monkeys. Iconic scenes are pictured including the tornado that transports Dorothy and Toto from Kansas to Oz, the squashing of the Wicked Witch of the East, starting off on the yellow brick road, meeting the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion, arriving at the Emerald City, meeting the Wizard of Oz, arriving back in Kansas, and so much more.

In terms of mental health, I found this book great because it’s just so beautiful, charming, and instantly transported me back to my childhood and happy memories of watching the film countless times. The illustrations are very pretty and most are of real things, that have colour schemes that you could copy realistically if you wish, or in any colours you choose. Good Wives and Warriors have done a wonderful job of bringing huge amounts of charm to their illustrations of even the darkest scenes and they’re all dispersed with flowers and other pretty things meaning the book doesn’t feel negative or sad at all and just lifts your spirits, even when the witch is trying to kill Dorothy and her friends! I really enjoyed just looking through the book and reliving the story of my childhood and poring over each image, all exquisitely drawn and waiting to be coloured. The images are quite detailed and intricate but they’re not overwhelming so you don’t need perfect vision or fine motor control, though it will need to be fairly good, and the size of the book means you don’t need really good concentration levels either. If you love The Wizard of Oz, or GWAW’s work then this book is sure to be beneficial to your mental health with its positive content and detailed images filled with hundreds of things to look at and colour. I adore the work of these talented illustrators and squealed with excitement when looking through this beautiful new instalment that they’ve created!

I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who are fans of The Wizard of Oz story, or Good Wives and Warriors’ work because this book really doesn’t disappoint, not only is this a beautiful colouring book, it’s also a wonderful pictorial retelling of a classic story that so many of us love. The book is really cohesive and I found it great for my own mental health so hopefully it’ll be just as good for yours too as it transports you back to your childhood and off to the land of Oz.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Escape to Oz
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Escape-Oz-Colouring-Book-Adventure-Good-Wives-Warriors/9780141375489/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The picture below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.

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The Second One and Only Colouring Book For Travelling Adults – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
The Second One and Only Colouring Book for Travelling Adults was published and kindly sent to me to review by Phoenix Yard Books. It is the sequel to The One and Only Colouring Book for Travelling Adults which I have previously reviewed. This book is the same format and it paperback with card covers, and comes in a cardboard sheath which admittedly isn’t the strongest and will probably get pretty battered if shoved in and out of a bag but it’ll certainly serve the purpose of protecting the book from receiving the same injuries. This book is smaller than most at approximately A5 size, making it the perfect size to fit in your handbag for your commute or a suitcase or rucksack for travelling further afield. The book is spiral-bound meaning none of the images are lost into the spine and you don’t have to colour with the book lying open, you can fold it in half so it takes up less space – particularly useful if you’ll be colouring on the move on a train or plane with limited space. The paper quality is fantastic! It’s bright white, lightly textured and so thick that I’d be tempted to describe it as card and there was absolutely no bleeding or shadows with any of my water-based pens. The images are printed double-sided but as long as you’re careful there is no worry about ruining any of them with your water-based pens, alcohol markers will definitely bleed through so I’d avoid those! The book contains 60 single page images of both abstract and more realistic designs and the sheer amount of variety within them is astounding from swirling patterns to abstract creations, pictures of food, objects and flowers, to patterned cats and woolly jumpers, this is a great book for those who love variety!

In terms of mental health, this book is truly fantastic! The images are really varied so you won’t get bored and no matter what mood you’re in you’ll be able to find a page that calls to you and just asks to have colour added. The images are drawn with varying line thicknesses to adapt to your better and worse days of vision and concentration. The pictures vary in intricacy and detail and will keep you occupied for hours as you colour in each detailed section. I would strongly recommend investing in a good set of fineliners (I recommend Stabilo Point 88), so that you can really get the details without the frustration of accidently going over the lines. You will need fairly good vision and fine motor control in order to get the most out of this book but if you have those then this book is ideal for anoyone who want to colour on the move!

I found this book very calming and soothing. The intricacy of the designs meant I had to focus, meaning I had less capacity to be anxious and listen to the worries that so often plague me and the smaller size meant that the pages weren’t too overwhelming when trying to choose a design to start, as sometimes happens in A4 books. The nature of the spiral-binding and cardboard sheath mean it’s perfect for taking with you wherever you go and those of you who, like me, use colouring as therapy or as part of mindfulness, should definitely be investing in this book so that you can have art therapy on the go to whip out when you feel your anxiety increasing or stress levels rising. I highly recommend this book for those of you who love to use fineliners and felt-tips that often bleed in other books and for any of you who want to travel and colour or who use colouring as therapy so that you have it with you whenever you may need it without fear of ruining the book in your bag. This is one of my firm favourites.

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – The Second One and Only Colouring Book for Travelling Adults
Book Depository Worldwide – http://www.bookdepository.com/The-One-Second-One-and-Only-Coloring-Book-for-Travelling-Adults-Part-2-null/9781907912986/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The image below was coloured using Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Stabilo 68 Fibre-tips.

The One and Only Mini Mandala Colouring Book – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
The One and Only Mandala Postcard Colouring Book (One and Only Colouring / One and Only Coloring) is published and very kindly sent to me to review by Phoenix Yard Books. This book is part of their One and Only series and I’ve reviewed 6 of their titles already which can be found HERE. This book is the only mini mandala book I’ve seen and while it’s small, it packs a mighty punch and is an absolute must-have for mandala fans. Many of my seasoned readers will know that I’m mandala’d out after colouring too many during a hospital stay, but I loved colouring this ready for my review so much that I coloured a second one, just because I could!

This book is small at just 15cm square so it’s perfect for colouring on the go and popping in your bag or colouring in small spaces while travelling or even at work. It’s paperback with flexible card covers with a full colour leafy mandala design on the front and back which oddly isn’t included within the book. The book contains 30 mandalas which are printed single-sided onto thick, bright white card which is fairly smooth and doesn’t bleed or shadow with water-based pens, does bleed through a bit with alcohol markers and is great for use with coloured pencils. On the reverse of each image is space for a postage stamp, address lines and blank space for your message. This is quite an odd shape and size for a postcard so you may not want to actually post them and if you do make sure you pop them in an envelope so they don’t get damaged in the post, but they’d also look brilliant framed. The spine is glue and stitch-bound and the postcards are perforated so they’re easy to remove but will also stay securely in the book if you wish. One small gripe I have is that the mandalas aren’t accurately centred on the page and are slightly shifted towards the right which is a shame but not overly noticeable unless you’re a perfectionist like I am, some are also shifted upwards a little too. The mandalas themselves are quite varied within the typical circular pattern from pointy to rounded, perfectly circular to flower-shaped and detailed to more open, the designs are very cohesive and sure to satisfy all mandala fans!

In terms of mental health, this book is great for a number of reasons. Firstly, the size is ideal for colouring on the go and for giving a small project for days when you want a quick colouring fix, or when you’re not feeling so well and don’t have the focus to be colouring for hours. Secondly, the designs are ideal because they are fairly small and so require a fair amount of concentration to colour them which will distract well. Thirdly, mandalas are ideal for anxious colourers and those with other mental health problems because there is no correct colour scheme and they’re almost impossible to mess up so you really can just pick up a pen or pencil and get colouring. The line thickness varies between designs from spindly thin to medium thickness lines so these images are fairly good for those of you with fluctuating conditions and you can use the thinner lined images on your good days and the thicker lined images on your bad days when you’re more likely to colour over the lines. The intricacy and detail levels also vary throughout the designs from very detailed to a little less intricate but none are particularly sparse so you will definitely need fairly good vision and fine motor control to get the most out of this book.

I would highly recommend this book to people who love colouring mandalas, those looking for a small and manageably sized colouring project, and those who like to colour on the move. You will need fairly good vision and fine motor control to fully utilise this book but the mandalas are really lovely and will suit any colour scheme you throw at them, as you can see, rainbows are my personal favourite and always look great!

If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s available here:
Amazon UK – The One and Only Mandala Postcard Colouring Book (One and Only Colouring / One and Only Coloring)
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/One-Only-Mini-Mandala-Colouring-Book/9781907912962/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The images below were coloured using: 1. Stabilo 68 Fibre-tip pens; 2. Sharpie Fine Point alcohol markers.

Escape to Shakespeare’s World: A Colouring-book Adventure – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Escape to Shakespeare’s World: A Colouring Book Adventure is published and was kindly sent to me to review by Puffin Books. This book is illustrated by Good Wives and Warriors (GWAW) who are a creative partnership of two Glasgow School of Art graduates – their Facebook page can be found here. This book is the third in the Escape to… series, first was Escape to Wonderland, and second was Escape to Christmas Past and they’ve also illustrated a beautiful book with a German Publisher called Exotischer Urwald which is in a different format. Escape to Shakespeare’s World is based on various plays and sonnets written by William Shakespeare to commemorate 400 years since his death. This is a wonderful book, one that is essential for Shakespeare admirers, but also for those who love GWAW’s work and who love imaginative and beautiful illustrations. It is the same size and shape as the others in the series at just over 18cms square, it’s a little smaller than the bestsellers but I think this adds to the charm and it means the images are a manageable size and the book is a perfect size for travelling and colouring on the go. The book has a softback cover which is almost all double thicknesses of cardboard as it folds in on itself and when opened up it reveals a beautiful purple background with white line-drawn images of flowers. The cover has silvery-gold foiling accents which really add to the luxury of the book and are a lovely bit of extra detailing. The book contains 96 pages of double-sided, borderless images and is glue-bound meaning a little of each image is lost into the spine. I found the spine pretty tight when it arrived but with some work it has now loosened up a lot and lies flatter than it did. The images are a mixture of single and double-page spreads and a number of them have black backgrounds which is a really nice feature. The paper quality is very good and hasn’t bled or shadowed at all when I’ve been using water-based fineliners or fibre-tips. The paper is a creamy off-white which adds to the vintage feel of the book and is very lightly textured which I thought would be ideal for pencils but I did find it a little hard to get many layers as the tooth seemed to disappear quicker than I’d have liked or expected. However, it’s not impossible to layer and I did manage to get some nice blending. Do be sure to test the pens you’re using beforehand to avoid any disasters. Alcohol markers are a definite no because they will bleed terribly and ruin the reverse images.

The images themselves are drawn in a thin line that is pretty consistent throughout so the difficulty level doesn’t change, meaning this is not a book that will adapt to differing levels of concentration but this does lead to a really cohesive feel to the book. The images are arranged into collections from different plays and scattered throughout are a large number of quotes as well as the play they come from so it’s very easy to identify what scenes you’re colouring, even from plays you’re unfamiliar with or haven’t heard of. The majority of the images are scenes or representations of aspects of plays from a circular image of Romeo’s name filled with flowers to Venetian mask shaped scenes, Bottom the donkey, filled with flowers, to scenes from The Tempest, Egyptian landscapes from Anthony and Cleopatra to stage scenes of various plays. This book has beautiful, often very floral representations, that are sometimes realistic and sometimes symbolic, and these fit well with the quotes written on almost every double-page spread. The plays and sonnets depicted are: As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Comedy of Errors, Macbeth, Anthony and Cleopatra, Sonnet 18, Richard III, King Lear, Julius Caesar, Twelfth Night, and Cymbeline. Some of these plays and sonnets are only depicted on one double-page and others have multiple pages dedicated to them including Romeo and Juliet, The Tempest and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. It’s hard to describe the sheer volume of images and the beauty of them so I’ve included lots of photos from inside the book below and tried to photograph a good cross-section. The images are truly stunning and even if you’re not a mega Shakespeare fan, you’re almost certain to really like this book because there aren’t very many literal representations, it’s more filled with beautiful scenes of ships, flowers, animals and landscapes.

In terms of mental health, I found this book great because it’s just so beautiful and charming. The illustrations are very pretty and most are of real things, that have colour schemes that you could copy realistically if you wish, or in any colours you choose. I’m not a Shakespeare mega fan so I was a little worried that I’d find this book boring but that’s so far from the case, this book is captivating from the very first images of The Globe Theatre, Shakespeare’s birthplace and Shakespeare himself, all the way through the play depictions to the end page where a beautiful closed theatre curtain is pictured with the famous phrase All’s Well That Ends Well emblazoned across it with the comedy and tragedy masks. Good Wives and Warriors have done a wonderful job of bringing huge amounts of charm to their illustrations of even the darkest scenes and they’re all dispersed with flowers and other pretty things meaning the book doesn’t feel negative or sad at all and just lifts your spirits, even when murder is mentioned! I really enjoyed just looking through the book and reliving the stories that I studied at school and poring over each image, all exquisitely drawn and waiting to be coloured. The images are quite detailed and intricate but they’re not overwhelming so you don’t need perfect vision or fine motor control though it will need to be fairly good, and the size of the book means you don’t need really good concentration levels either. If you enjoy Shakespeare’s plays, or GWAW’s work then this book is sure to be beneficial to your mental health with its positive content and detailed images filled with hundreds of things to look at and colour. I adore the work of these talented illustrators and squealed with excitement when looking through this beautiful new instalment that they’ve created, it’s a true sign of talent when artists can inspire you to love content based on a subject you’re not especially interested in and this book does just that for me!

I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who are fans of Shakespeare and his plays, or Good Wives and Warriors’ work because this book really doesn’t disappoint. The artwork is really cohesive and I found it great for my own mental health so hopefully it’ll be just as good for yours too as it transports you back over 400 years and reminds you of key moments from his most famous plays.

If you’d like to purchase a copy of this book it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Escape to Shakespeare’s World: A Colouring Book Adventure
Book Depository Worldwide – https://www.bookdepository.com/Escape-to-Shakespeare-s-World–A-Colouring-Book-Adventure/9780141371214/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The picture below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils. The partially completed picture was coloured with Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners.

Art Therapy Coloring Kit – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Art Therapy Coloring Kit is published by Running Press and is from my personal collection. This is just about the cutest colouring kit I’ve ever seen and as soon as I saw it online in a colouring group I went straight on Amazon and snapped it up and when it arrived the next day I was even more blown away by it and had to review it right away for you all. This is the PERFECT colouring kit to pop in your handbag for that on-the-go colouring fix that I know so many of you crave. It’s small enough to put in the glove box in your car, in your handbag, in your luggage, in a rucksack, the only place it won’t fit is a pocket because it’s a bit too cube-y! The kit is about the size of two packs of playing cards stacked on top of each other and it’s all boxed up in a really thick cardboard case which will take a lot of battering before it begins to show wear and tear. The side is magnetised with a really strong magnet so it won’t accidentally open up and spill its contents in your bag. When you open the kit up it has two turquoise-blue boxes which are firmly secured to the outer casing and are covered in lovely black and white patterns giving you a hint at what’s inside. The box on the left contains 10 mini colouring pencils (with space for a small pencil sharpener – very handy) and the box on the right contains 50 (yes that’s right, a whopping 50!) playing card sized images for you to colour. Each of the cards is backed with the same turquoise-blue colour as the boxes so this is a beautifully cohesive set which has most certainly not been thrown together in a hurry but has instead been created with a huge amount of attention to detail. As with all of the other Art Therapy books and stationery items, a splash of colour is added to each image in the form of a small coloured section, a background, or even the design being drawn in colour rather than black lines. The majority of the cards are white with coloured backgrounds and they are made of thick card which looks smooth but not at all shiny and feels slightly rough meaning it was perfect for my pencils and my water-based pens which didn’t bleed in any direction either sideways or through the card and there was no shadowing at all. The pencils in the kit are pictured below and the colours you receive are: Red, Orange, Yellow, Light Green, Dark Green, Light Blue, Dark Blue, Purple, Pink and Brown, so a really good selection and they’re great if you’re completely new to colouring or you forget your mediums and need a colouring fix while you’re out.

The cards themselves contain a really wide variety of images and are very varied in style too. Many of the cards have animals pictured including bears, squirrels, birds, butterflies, insects, an elephant, an owl, a frog, an octopus, a deer and more! Some are patterned with circles, swirls, and paisleys. Others have a decorative frame which can be coloured with space in the centre where you could leave it blank, draw something or even write a message. Others still, have patterns started for you but with plenty of blank spaces where you can just colour in blocks or continue creating your own patterns (see photo below of the image I continued) but you will need a good set of fineliners for this, my recommendation would be Staedtler 308 WP4 Pigment Liner Fineliner Technical Drawing Pens Assorted Line Width – Set of 4 and I used the 0.1 size pigment liner which was the perfect thickness. You could use the black from any normal fineliner set but the ink will run if you then try to colour with pens because they’re both made of water-based ink rather than being pigment liners like the set I recommended so just bear that in mind. The cards would be perfect to keep in the set once coloured, sent to friends or family to brighten up their day, great for writing messages on, or even incorporating into craft projects – the small designs would be ideal for adding to homemade cards either coloured or uncoloured for that extra wow factor!

In terms of mental health, this kit is ideal for those of you who use colouring for therapy and might need a quick fix at any moment whilst out of the house. It’s small, compact and contains everything you need to be able to colour away your worries and restore some calm again. This kit won’t take up half of your handbag and the cards are small so each project doesn’t take very long, meaning you can get colouring satisfaction pretty quickly. My only criticism is that the line thickness is spindly thin throughout and the images range from intricate and detailed to so intricate and detailed that you couldn’t possibly colour in each section separately so I’m afraid this kit is only for those of you with very good vision and pretty much perfect fine motor control or you’ll just find it more frustration than it’s worth as you’ll be going over the lines constantly. This is the only critical point though in an otherwise perfect kit! Some of the cards have space to add doodles, as I mentioned before, so those of you who like to draw will particularly like being able to personalise the images. You will need good concentration, not because of the length of time it’ll take to colour but because of the precision you’ll need to use to make it look really good. The fact that each card has colour added is a huge bonus in my opinion because each one is started for you and for those of you who are anxious, this might just give you the push you need to just start colouring instead of agonising over colour schemes. Many people view the added colour as restrictive to begin with but I have found, over time, that it’s actually really freeing (you can read more about my experience of this in my reviews of the Art Therapy books linked below). These cards are so bright, cheerful, and beautifully drawn that they’re sure to brighten up the darkest of days and lift your mood when you need it most, even just looking through them has cheered me up and colouring them takes so much concentration that my anxiety melted away within minutes because I couldn’t focus on worrying and trying to stay within the lines at the same time!

I would highly recommend this colouring kit to anyone with great vision and fine motor control who wants to colour lots of mini pictures, would like to colour on the move, or who loves the Art Therapy series and their unique feature of pre-added colour. This kit is fabulously priced, ideal for taking with you anywhere and great for spreading the colouring love with your family and friends. If you’d like to purchase a kit it’s available here:
Amazon UK – Art Therapy Coloring Kit

If you like the style of drawings or the variety of images, or the idea of pre-added colour and would rather have this in much larger images and in book format then look no further than the Art Therapy series of books which I have reviewed here, there is also a postcard book in the series which is the last link in the list:

Art Therapy

Colour Therapy

Creative Therapy

Calming Art Therapy

Art Therapy Postcards

The images below were coloured using:
Poppies – Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners and Staedtler triplus fineliners
Fox – Faber-Castell Polychromos Pencils
Doodled boxes – Staedtler Pigment Fineliners and Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners
Fish – Stabilo Point 88 Fineliners

Escape to Christmas Past: A Colouring Book Adventure – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Escape to Christmas Past: A Colouring Book Adventure is published by Puffin Classics, illustrated by Good Wives and Warriors and is from my personal collection. This book is the second offering from this pair of very talented illustrators and it’s another beauty of a book – their first book, Escape To Wonderland can be found reviewed by me here. Escape to Christmas Past is loosely based around the story of A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. It is the same size and shape as their first book at just over 18cms square, it’s a little smaller than the bestsellers but I think this adds to the charm and it means the images are a manageable size. The book has a softback cover which is almost all double thicknesses of cardboard as it folds in on itself and when opened up it reveals a beautiful red background with white line-drawn images of poinsettias. The cover has silvery-gold foiling accents which really add to the luxury of the book and are a lovely bit of extra detailing. The book contains 96 pages of double-sided, borderless images and is glue-bound meaning a little of each image is lost into the spine. I found the spine very tight when it arrived but with some work it has now loosened up a lot and lies flatter than it did. The paper quality is very good and hasn’t bled or shadowed at all when I’ve been using water-based fineliners or fibre-tips. The paper is a creamy off-white which adds to the vintage feel of the book and is very lightly textured which I thought would be ideal for pencils but I did find it a little hard to get many layers as the tooth seemed to disappear quicker than I’d have liked or expected. However, it’s not impossible to layer and I did manage to get some nice shading. Do be sure to test the pens you’re using beforehand to avoid any disasters. Alcohol markers are a definite no because they will bleed terribly and ruin the reverse images.

The images themselves are drawn in a thin line that is pretty consistent throughout so the difficulty level doesn’t change, meaning this is not a book that will adapt to differing levels of concentration but this does lead to a really cohesive feel to the book. The images are in the correct order to tell the story and a few pages contain quotes from the book to help guide you through. Everything you need for a traditional Christmas is included from Christmas puddings to poinsettias, stockings to snowflakes, a goose, crackers, presents, paper chains and baubles. Of course, dispersed throughout these images are the key scenes and characters from A Christmas Carol including Scrooge and his characteristic phrase of Bah Humbug!, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future, and Tiny Tim. The ghosts in this book are beautifully drawn and two of the three are very cleverly created out of the objects used to describe them in the original novel. Some of the images are also themed around items in the song The Twelve Days of Christmas including partridges, French Hens and Swans, I have a feeling a number of other items from the song may be hidden within the pages but I’m yet to find them.

In terms of mental health, I found this book great because it instantly brings some festive cheer to what have been some very dreary days recently with very grey, wet and windy weather here in the UK. You can’t help but feel uplifted looking through the images of beautiful decorations, delicious food and the other aspects of Christmas that we look forward to throughout the year. A Christmas Carol is quite a dark and dingy story so I was a little worried that this book might be quite negative and not much fun to colour but Good Wives and Warriors have done a wonderful job of bringing huge amounts of charm to their illustrations of even the darkest scenes and they’re all dispersed with a healthy amount of much cheerier Christmas-themed images meaning the book doesn’t feel negative or sad at all and just lifts your spirits. I really enjoyed just looking through the book and reliving the story and poring over each image, all exquisitely drawn and waiting to be coloured. The images are quite detailed and intricate but they’re not overwhelming so you don’t need perfect vision or fine motor control and the size of the book means you don’t need really good concentration levels either. If you enjoy Christmas then this book is sure to be beneficial to your mental health with its positive content and ability to remind you of happy Christmases spent with family and having fun and if you’re not already filled with Christmas cheer, this book is sure to rectify that!

I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who are fans of Christmas and on the look-out for all things festive. The book is really cohesive and I found it great for my own mental health so hopefully it’ll be just as good for yours too as it transports you back to Christmas past and gets you ready for Christmas future which is just 6 short weeks away!

If you’d like to purchase a copy you can find it below:
Amazon UK – Escape to Christmas Past: A Colouring Book Adventure
Book Depository – https://www.bookdepository.com/Escape-Christmas-Past-Colouring-Book-Adventure-Good-Wives-Warriors/9780141366760/?a_aid=colouringitmom

The picture below was coloured using Stabilo 68 fibre-tip pens.

Escape to Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure – A Review

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
Escape to Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure is published by Puffin Books and is part of my personal collection. This book is illustrated by Good Wives and Warriors who are a creative partnership of two Glasgow School of Art graduates – their Facebook page can be found here.

This is a beautiful book that is essential for any Alice in Wonderland fan’s colouring collection. It is smaller than most at 18.4cms square but don’t let that put you off, it’s a gorgeous book and the size means that the images aren’t daunting and it’s also perfect for taking with you for colouring on the go. The book has a softback cover which is almost all double thicknesses of cardboard as it folds in on itself and when opened up it reveals a beautiful blue background with white line-drawn images of flowers, mushrooms, pocket watches and owls. The cover has silvery-gold foiling accents which really add to the luxury of the book and are a lovely bit of extra detailing. There are 96 pages with double-sided images which are borderless so a little of each image is lost into the glue-bound spine. I found the spine very tight when it arrived but with some work it has now loosened up a lot and lies flatter than it did. The pages are cream and lightly textured which I thought would be ideal for pencils but I did find it a little hard to get many layers as the tooth seemed to disappear quicker than I’d have liked or expected. However, it’s not impossible to layer and I did manage to get some nice shading. The paper is thick enough to use water-based pens and didn’t bleed or shadow on the sample I did but I’ve not yet coloured a whole image with pens so do be sure to test the pens you’re using beforehand to avoid any disasters. Alcohol markers are a definite no because they will bleed terribly and ruin the reverse images.

The images themselves are drawn in a thin line that is pretty consistent throughout so the difficulty level doesn’t change, meaning this is not a book that will adapt to differing levels of concentration but this does lead to a really cohesive feel to the book. The images are in the correct order to tell the story and almost every page contains a quote from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland so you always know where you are, though that’s not necessary for die-hard fans who pretty much know it off by heart but it’s good for people who are new to the story and it’s a great reminder of some of the classic quotes which never fail to put a smile on my face.

In terms of mental health, I found this book great because it instantly transported me back to my childhood and brought back happy memories of watching many different film adaptations and staring at the pictures in my illustrated versions of Lewis Caroll’s original books. Many of the images are of plants, animals and scenes or objects which are the things I’m most interested in colouring so I was in my element and really struggled to narrow it down to just one picture to colour in for my review. I really enjoyed just looking through at the images and reliving the story and while the images are fairly stylised, and different from Sir John Tenniel’s originals, it’s very obvious what each scene is depicting and who each character is. I didn’t notice anything missing apart from the Duchess who isn’t featured in any of the images but all of the classic characters and scenes are in there from the pool of tears, to the caucus race, the croquet match to the lobster quadrille and the trial to meeting the giant caterpillar, it’s all in there. Alice is beautifully drawn throughout in a number of different styles and there are individual images of the gryphon, mock turtle, white rabbit, mouse and dodo, all exquisitely drawn and just waiting to be coloured. The only drawing I’m not so keen on is that of the Cheshire cat. He’s been drawn with petals around his eyes and it just looks a little odd and not very true to the original however, this is my only gripe, and the rest of the book is truly beautiful.

I would highly recommend this book, especially to those who are fans of Alice because not only is this a beautiful colouring book, it’s also a wonderful pictorial retelling of a classic story that so many of us love. The book is really cohesive and I found it great for my own mental health so hopefully it’ll be just as good for yours too as it transports you back to childhood and into the magical world of Wonderland. If you’d like to purchase a copy it’s already reduced on Amazon here Escape to Wonderland: A Colouring Book Adventure If you’re on the look out for other Alice in Wonderland themed books then head over to my review of another recent release here or go straight to Amazon The Macmillan Alice Colouring Book

The picture below was coloured using Faber-Castell Polychromos pencils.

GIVEAWAY and Review – Colour Me Mindful: Birds, Butterflies, Enchanted Creatures, Seasons, Tropical, Underwater

Disclaimer – Please read this disclosure about my use of affiliate links which are contained within this post.
If you would like to win a set of the newly published Colour Me Mindful books scroll to the bottom and enter via the Rafflecopter.

The Colour Me Mindful books – illustrated by Anastasia Catris and kindly sent to me for review by Orion Books,  are beautiful, small, square books that measure 17x17cms. They are much smaller than the current bestselling square books which makes them perfect for colouring on the move because they’ll slip easily inside a handbag or suitcase for that convenient colouring fix. The books are paperback and glue-bound, the images are printed double-sided and cover the whole page meaning a little is lost into the spine. Some of the images are double-page spreads and others are single images. The paper is bright white and only lightly textured and while it looks fairly thin, I experienced no bleeding when using my Stabilo .88 fineliners which can often cause problems in double-sided colouring books. I saw very faint shadowing when using the darkest colours but as soon as you colour the image on the reverse this is unlikely to be noticeable. Each book contains a hefty 50 images that are all intricately and beautifully drawn within the confines of the titled theme and there aren’t any random “filler” images – each one has definitely earnt its right to be there. Every time I’ve looked through each of these books I’ve noticed a new image that I hadn’t spotted before. Despite being small, these images take hours to colour and will keep you occupied for a really long time while you carefully colour each detailed section. The line thickness is very thin, thinner than the average fineliner, so you will definitely need good vision and fine motor control to be able to get the most out of these books. I went over the lines a few times because they are super thin but as long as you’re careful and have very good lighting, you’ll get a huge amount of enjoyment out of these books because the images are just lovely! There are currently six titles out – Birds; Butterflies; Enchanted Creatures; Seasons; Underwater and Tropical, which I have reviewed in more detail and photographed below.

Colour Me Mindful: Birds – Review
Colour Me Mindful: Birds (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk) – Buy it here

Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies – Review
Colour Me Mindful: Butterflies (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk)– Buy it here

Colour Me Mindful: Enchanted Creatures – Review
Colour Me Mindful: Enchanted Creatures (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk) – Buy it here

Colour Me Mindful: Seasons – Review
Colour Me Mindful: Seasons (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk) – Buy it here

Colour Me Mindful: Tropical – Review
Colour Me Mindful: Tropical (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk) – Buy it here

Colour Me Mindful: Underwater – Review
Colour Me Mindful: Underwater (Colour Me Mindful Colouring Bk) – Buy it here

If you live in the UK or Ireland and want to win a set of 3 newly published Colour Me Mindful titles, enter below!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
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