In seven years, I have never reviewed a coloring book here, although I have reviewed more than a few doodle books. That said, coloring books for adults have become enormously popular in the last couple of years, fueled by the self-proclaimed Ink Evangelist, Johanna Basford, and in this season of gift giving her books are especially worth noting. More than a year ago, I was perusing the coloring book section at Barnes & Noble, looking for a gift for my son to take to a 10 year old girl's birthday party and Basford's first book Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book jumped out at me. Besides being dead gorgeous, her illustrations are intricately playful and magically creative. Best of all, beyond being a beautiful coloring book, Secret Garden is, as Basford says, filled with challenges like "mazes to solve, patterns to complete and lots of space for you to add your own inky drawings. Secret Garden is also a look-and-find book, with a host of creatures and other things, like a message in a bottle, a treasure chest and keys, hidden throughout the pages. The final pages of the book include a key to the Secret Garden, showing the locations of all the hidden goodies.
The Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book by Basford was published this year and offers more of the same amazing illustrations to color and a search for nine symbols that will unlock the castle door at the end of the quest, revealing a surprise. Of course, since this is a coloring book and not a computer game, finding all the symbols and unlocking the castle door is all about the honor system. The reveal are two intensely intricate gatefold spreads that are worth the effort!
Creating an Inky Wonderland: Behind the scenes with Johanna Basford
Books, note cards, post cards and artist's edition of Basford's books that are very fun:
Source: Review Copy