Best Coloring Books

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

When did coloring books get so complicated?

There are 'Coloring & Sticker' books aplenty.  

'Activity' and even 'Ultimate Activity' books abound.

But coloring books, that are just about coloring?  


They are the ultimate.

Artist Roz Streeten's incomplete line drawings provide just enough inspiration to spark creativity, rather than extinguish it by dictating outcomes.

They are beautifully - and cleverly - constructed.

When, after years of drawing for her two girls, it came time to design these books, Streeten kept in mind aspects that had irritated her as a child and made the necessary adjustments.  

She writes: 
  • The paper quality is thick enough to avoid showing through or damaging the picture on the next page. 
  • It is sturdy enough to withstand a few journeys without falling apart and small enough to fit in a child's hand luggage. 
  • The lines are intentionally not too thick, as this makes it look like it is only for preschool children (they are intended for the 4-12, and beyond, set). 

The Rosie Flo books are gorgeous, but it's the Johnny Joe series that sets my heart alight.
Nowhere else have I found coloring books that speak so well, or beautifully, to the interests of boys - football players, astronauts, soldiers, knights, dinosaurs, vikings - on page after page.  

Small enough to be balanced on a lap, I keep these these brilliant books in reserve for long-haul flights and car trips.  

The open-ended illustrations are so compelling that - in stark contrast to other books - every page exhaustively filled.  

That alone justifies the price tag (expect to pay approximately $10) and any effort you may expend locating them.

In Adelaide, try Mathilda Bookshop in Stirling and Twenty-three Skidoo in Unley.  

Beyond South Australia, check here or go to Amazon UK.

Finally, when you little artists have put their own touch on Rosie Flo and Johnny Joe, they can submit their masterpieces for display in The Rosie Flo Gallery.

Hours of quiet, creative activity and international recognition.

What more could a child (or parent) want?


  1. nice! I will definitely check these out!

  2. Kate these are divine - I thought the book that had all the half created doodles was a good idea but these are truly inspiring.


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