On Olive’s list for Santa this year was “a couple coloring books”. Now, we don’t settle for any old coloring books in this house. We love things like Taro Gomi activity books and Monster Doodle Book. Fortunately, some kind coloring book makers sent some samples to Santa’s workshop just in the nick of time, and they’ve found a happy home with our little doodler.
The simple but sophisticated designs in this coloring book celebrate the symmetry and geometry in nature. I’m keen on the images with interesting uses of geometric shapes, like a monkey made out of circles and triangles, and a bird’s head is a circle with a diamond inside and a single feather poking out on top. This book provides fantastic opportunities to play with color and pattern.
ARTastic! by Jochen Gerner
ARTastic! is similar to Monster Doodle book, but it gets a little more directive with the things to color and draw on each page. For instance, when confronted with a blank TV your doodler is told, “This TV isn’t working. Draw a fuzzy picture.” On another page, there are flames and rocks but it’s up to you to draw the fire-breathing dragon. Or draw an object before and after being flattened by a steamroller. The ideas are clever, and some are giggle-inducing.
My Beastly Book of Twisted Tales by Berengere Delaporte
Get ready to fracture some fairy tales. Each page of My Beastly Book of Twisted Tales begins in the familiar world of fairy tales, then invites you to make that world weirder. “Make Hansel dirty. Make Gretel dirtier.” Or for the princess holding mirror, “Draw a pretty zucchini in the mirror’s reflection.” Disguise the wolf like grandma, and grandma like the wolf. Draw an ugly face on Belle and a handsome face on Beast. Draw Little Red Riding Hood after the Wolf threw her up (gross! awesome!). These work best when kids know the story, but they’ll delight in them when they do.