Monday, October 3, 2016

Magical Jungle: An Inky Expedition & Coloring Book by Johanna Basford

Magical Jungle: An Inky Expedition & Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
Published August 2016 by Penguin Publishing Group
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Publisher's Summary: 
Follow ink evangelist Johanna Basford down an inky trail through the Magical Jungle and discover a forgotten world of flora and fauna just waiting to be colored in this new coloring book for adults. Through intricate pen and ink illustrations, color-inners of all ages are invited to explore an exotic rainforest teeming with creatures large and small. Encounter speckled tree frogs and dainty hummingbirds, prowling tigers and playful monkeys. Let your imagination run wild in the leafy treetop canopy or find yourself drawn to the delicate world of sensational blossoms and tropical plants below.

My Thoughts:
Yeah, so I'm late to the coloring book craze. Last fall, my Instagram account was filled with beautifully colored pages from books but I thought I had enough on my plate and didn't join in. At Christmas, I got Miss H a book and a set of pencils because she has always loved coloring books but still I didn't join in the fun. When this book was offered to me for review, I decided it was finally time to jump in.

When it arrived, it was full of possibilities and I was in love with it. But before I had even sharpened a pencil, I panicked. Because the drawings were so amazing, I knew I wanted to do them justice. But what if I started and didn't? Or, worse yet, couldn't?? I handed the book off to Miss H but she had the same problems I was having until she finally couldn't resist the sugar skull. She began that one in marker but moved on to trying some flowers in colored pencil. Finally, I dove in. I mean, it's a bug so how "cute" does it need to be, after all? I couldn't stop until it was finished.

It's not perfect - there are places I went outside the lines. I was using a terrible sharpener in the beginning and didn't have a sharp enough point. But that first picture is done. The one you will see. No one else ever has to see the rest if I so choose. And that has freed me up.

This book is filled with plants and animals and hidden surprises. There are some beautifully complex pages that are completely covered and will certainly take much more than an evening to finish. Maybe more intimidating than those pages are the pages that leave room for the "artist" to add their own creations.

I'm still working to get over the intimidation of starting the page. But I'm trying to remember to that this is about having fun. And to remember that sometimes, it's okay if you color outside of the lines!


  1. I love all the various coloring books that have been published over the past few years and we continue to receive more and more at B&N. The themes are endless and some of the books are so tempting! I love the National Parks book and there's one for the Pacific Northwest that's appealing. However, I know myself and know that I'd rather use my free time to read. Plus, when I did a little coloring with my granddaughter a couple of years ago, my hand began to ache after just a few minutes. Early arthritis? Sore joints and tendons from using a handheld scanner at work or stretching my hand to hold large, heavy stacks of books? Who knows, but it wasn't very comfortable. I hope you have fun with the book and overcome feeling intimidated.

  2. What a lovely job Lisa. I have this one and like it a lot. I recently bought an Audubon Birds Coloring book, I'm anxious to try.

  3. I'm not the best colorer, but I do enjoy it. And my daughter loves it when we color in one of my books together. :-)