Coloring Book Review!

Understand that I am by no means an expert of the new trends in coloring or in coloring books.  What I am is a person who never believed that you could be too grown up to enjoy coloring.  When I received Wendy Martin and Natalie Zaman’s coloring book to review, I was thrilled.  I’ve waited until I had time enough to actually color a full page, and now I can share with you what I think!

First of all, this paperback collection of mandalas is gorgeously done.  The thirty illustrations themselves, all uncolored, made me smile right away.  Zaman’s text is chosen with a bit of alliteration in mind, which serves to keep things lighthearted.

To begin my coloring experience, I chose the last coloring page in the book, not for any particular reason or habit, but because it was the one that drew me in most immediately: the fox page.

^my work in progress. 🙂

If you love having little details and repeating patterns in your coloring, you’ll love this book.  It’s not the most intricate that I’ve seen, but that’s all right.  The designs created by illustrator Wendy Martin are by turns whimsical and real, leaving a realm of coloring and shading possibilities open to the eye and the mind.  Natalie Zaman’s accompanying text only broadens potential inspiration, insight and thought.  I love the selection of animals here, and I hope that the authors will consider creating a second, even a third coloring book of animal mandalas in the future.  I might request that future books be published in a slightly larger format, to allow for even more ease of coloring without losing the level of mandala detail.

An animal coloring book is a natural choice for Wendy Martin, whose colorful animal interpretations have been seen before in children’s books.  These animal mandalas, in Art Nouveau style, are another world entirely, and are very cleverly done.  I am less familiar with Natalie Zaman’s work, but the choices she makes with her text here make me want to learn more about her.  I hope that you’ll feel the same!

I will say that you’ll want your pencil or crayon sharpener handy for the coloring pages in this book, if you’re like me, and want to make a mark exactly where you aim.  This may not be the best coloring book for the under 5 set, as some amount of motor control comes in handy.  I wore out my right thumb at one point because I got really into what I was doing, and I’m a lifelong student of fingerstyle guitar with quite strong hands.  Likewise, this is probably not the best book for passing the time on bumpy bus rides, unless you’re the type to work in a perceived mistake, letting it take you where it will, potholes be damned.

So far I’ve carried this book in my backpack on road trips across five US states, and all over the beach in Cozumel.  It’s none the worse for wear, and I think it won’t be dropping pages on me as I continue to travel North America this year.  Although I do hope for a companion or sequel book of animal mandalas by this duo, I love this one’s size and square format for travel.  It fits snugly into my medium-sized backpack.

You may grab your own copy if you like by clicking here, and I hope that you do!