Tuesday, May 26, 2015

The Last Coloring Book List You'll Ever Need (Part 3 - Single Books)

Part 1 of this list featured coloring books that had gargantuan (or not so gargantuan) series or multiple books by an author. Part 2 featured the universe-chilling mandala, some with authors that had more than one book under his/her belt. Now we're into the single digits. These are coloring books that are one-hit wonders. Books all by their lonesome either published a while ago before the craze hit, or that will be published very soon in order to give people even more variety than before. So, any of these suit your fancy?

The Mindfulness Coloring Book will be out June 2nd and we already have some on order. It looks fun and simple, but I can't promise anything yet since I clearly haven't seen it.

A simple book of basic designs, I'm guessing Alexander Girard is some kind of designer given that the book is named after him - Alexander Girard Coloring Book. You can take a peek inside of this book online. If you're a little exhausted of all the super-intricate designs, despite how pretty they are, this book can provide a great escape for just adding in swaths of color. Of course, who says you can't do a bit of doodling while you're at it? There's plenty of whitespace and the images themselves almost invite a few extra fun lines. Or hey, just color. Whatever floats your boat.

I won't lie to you - this is straight up a children's coloring book. Back when we were still scrambling to fill customers' desire to color, I went to the Children's section and dug up anything I thought wasn't too kid-like. This one, I think, works out. It's lighthearted, whimsical, and full of fun little things that you can color as you see fit. Pretty Fashions isn't the only book of it's kind back there - so if the adult coloring section isn't working for you and your store hasn't brought out everything from the kid's section yet, by all means head back there and poke around. Remember, Dover is coded as children's as well.

This one has been a wee bit of a chore to keep in stock, but it's still out there and available. It's exactly what it sounds like - The Celtic Colouring Book. Full of celtic designs for you to fill in as you see fit. If you're tired of animals, cityscapes, and mandalas, this could be a good change of pace. Or just something fun and different to try. It's also not super-crazy intricate, adding to the joy of de-stressing while coloring for those times when you just want to go nuts with a particular color and forget about the tiny lines.

Simple flowers here, nothing more in the Flowers Coloring Book. Quite popular for this very reason, I've seen this one end up out of stock and then back in stock a few times now. If you see it in the store, you might as well snatch one up because you never know when they'll run out again. Perfect for coloring outside near a garden - make the flowers colors you'd expect or something you'd find in a fantasy world. A fairly large book, you'll have plenty of pages to fill up.

As with some other books, I found this one in a separate list online. While B&N can't get this book, it may be possible for you to find it elsewhere through secondhand stores online using the ISBN number, 9781780551098. So why do I bring this book up? Because it looks really cool, that's why. This is the sort of coloring book I'd buy because I like things that are different and fun. This one is similar to the Dover Stained Glass books in that you color on white bits while the background is all black - just without the see-through-ish stained glass aspect.

Another one discovered in a separate online list, this book is perfect if you're looking for something outside the box - in case the name didn't give it away. Outside the Lines is weird, unexpected, and just what you're looking for if mandalas, pretty lines, nature, and animals aren't your thing. And it's actually a collection of various drawings rather than something done by one person, which means you'll get a lot of varying designs throughout the book - and it's quite a sizable book, so you'll be coloring for a while.

I've been waiting for this one to come back in stock for quite some time. I hesitate to recommend it, but while I may not have any more in my store, that doesn't mean other stores don't still have a few hanging around. I do hope they make more, though, because this is a really nice coloring book. The illustrations are excellent - nice and lifelike. All you have to do (of course) is add in the color. While they do offer little images on what the bird actually looks like, obviously you can color them any way you like. I'm not sure what the publisher is up to, but given that they're making other coloring books as well, I'd like to think that they're working on giving Coloring Birds some more printing runs.

Similar to the birds above, the Butterflies Art Pad shows up as unavailable online, but even our store still has a few hanging out, so you might check your local B&N to see if they have any. (Again, best bet - give them the ISBN number.) It's quite pretty with a lot of nifty butterflies to color in with markers, colored pencils, or crayons. Hooray!

Tricky to find, but potentially possible, there's all sorts of plants, flowers, and more in here to color. Glorious Gardens is put out by a publisher that, if I remember right, is sort of scrambling to put out more - including a few new titles. How long it's going to take them, I can't say. If you enjoy these sort of designs, then see about getting a copy from a secondhand store or seeing if your local B&N still has some in stock.

The Indie Rock Coloring Book is a fun little book that brings something different to the table. A little bit of peace, love, and coloring. But more than that, you also get pages that feature entertaining activities such as mazes and dot-to-dots. So when you're tired of coloring, but still want something to do, scribble, dot, and doodle your way to indie-styled zen. It's tiny, cute, and all the royalties go to charity.

If you're truly interested in something different, then The Tattoo Coloring Book is a really cool one to go with. This one has been flying off the display to the point that we are now out. Full of intricate and unique tattoo designs, who knows? Maybe it will give you a few ideas for a tattoo once you're done.

This Tattoo Coloring Book has even more designs for you to choose from, though I can't say how easy it will be to get this book either. The tattoo books really went out the doors in quick fashion. I guess coloring birds and flowers (...which, amusingly enough, are included here too) can only entertain one for so long. Skulls and fire always liven up a party, don't they?

Now The Art of Nature Coloring Book is pretty nifty, but I will admit that I'm on the fence about this one. The illustrations are very cool and more realistic than almost any other coloring book featuring animals that you'll come across (except the bird one above), yet at the same time there's an awful lot of shading. But hey, I guess if you get it to turn out like Mr. Octopus up there, then it all works out. I'll let you decide. Take a look at this one yourself and get your true nature coloring self on.

Ok, look - I'm just going to be a smartass and throw this one out there. While The Anatomy Coloring Book is basically meant for people actively learning about anatomical structures, if you really want something that strays off the beaten path, then this hits the nail on the head. Not only do you color in all manner body parts and specific areas based upon information given, but you also learn in the process. And it's also not much more expensive than some of the other coloring books out there. So de-stress and learn at the same time!

This next batch of coloring books are all made by the same publisher, but there was no good way for me to craft a search string that would collect them all in one place. So since I work hard for you folks, I went ahead and pulled up each one individually to check out if you'd like. A solid selection to work with, they come neatly wrapped in a fun little package for you.



Thus ends The Last Coloring Book List You'll Ever Need. After all these books, I'm sure you'll have plenty for the year to come. It's a good idea to take into account how some of these books are published and who they're with. It can make all the difference into why your local store doesn't carry them or potentially can't get them. For example, anything under the publisher CreateSpace is actually something that the author published him/herself and the books are only printed as they are ordered. They cannot be returned in any fashion (because there's nowhere to send them - there is no warehouse for them to hang out at like with other publishing houses). Best bet? Write down the ISBNs and see what's available and where you can get it. If I discover any others as we continue to build our lovely coloring book table, I'll be sure to add them on. And of course - happy coloring!

Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Last Coloring Book List You'll Ever Need (Part 2 - Mandalas)

Mandala coloring books have been around for a long time. They actually hang out in a few different places of the store depending upon a few factors, from spots in New Age to Meditation. The goal is what coloring books' current goal is - to relax. But more than that, mandalas are spiritual in nature that can be found in many cultures and religions. So it shouldn't really come as much of a surprise to learn that more coloring books are appearing that feature mandalas, while others that were previously out have ramped up production. Even better, not all of them stick with geometric designs and can get rather interesting. I'm leaving out any coloring books mentioned previously (i.e. Dover), so these will be all new for you!


Wendy Piersall was featured online - so her books didn't last long in the warehouse...of which I am partly to blame. Anyway, they've been put into production more, so if your store doesn't have them, you can order them online. She only has two books out right now, with a third on the way. The books are small and a bit thin, but the illustrations are very nice. I personally like Coloring Animal Mandalas more, but either one should be enjoyable and a pretty good replacement if you can't get your colored pencils on Johanna Basford's books.

Power Mandalas is more rectangular in shape, which is interesting, and it's also been around for quite some time. I actually now realize I haven't opened this one up to see inside, but like other mandala books it features the concept of circular designs that give you the chance to relax while becoming one with the universe.


Monique Mandali has three mandala-based coloring books for you to enjoy. They're actually rather large and more square in shape, which is handy for anyone looking for something a bit more sizable. They're also not as crazy-intricate as a lot of other coloring books, so if you're in the mood for a book with less lines but still has fun shapes and de-stressing power, these could work nicely.

Because of the shape of mandalas, you'll find that a lot of them are square in shape. This one offers up dozens of mandalas to color - it's a pretty fat book. The author, Jim Gogarty, even runs a website called iHeartMandalas.com where it looks like he offers a few more items through Etsy. But why wait for shipping when you can own a copy of The Mandala Coloring Book now?

Like the above, these books are square as well as nice and fat. Here we have Volume 1 and Volume 2 of mandalas - and these sell nicely. Funny enough, I just discovered the first volume yesterday in our coloring section - I promptly dragged it up to the front of the store where the table is. The coloring section is empty - but hey, it's in the back of the store anyway and at this point, there's no room for all the books we have on the table. These are good quality books and great for anyone looking to add to their mandala coloring book collection.

Coming soon via Barrons Educational (which seems weird to me, but hey, whatever), Color Yourself Calm, featuring mandalas! Available June 1st, it looks rather promising if I were to do what the old proverb says not to do and judge it by its cover. One has automatically been ordered to the store, so I guess we'll see how it turns out.


I realize it seems a bit ridiculous to offer up coloring books that you can't get yet. The Mindful Mandala Coloring Book won't be available until September. Until then, you can get in on some of the other Lisa Tenzin-Dolma mandala books. They're quite nice and do have some variety to choose from if you prefer something more themed. The list I dug up includes some non-coloring books, but it was the best way to show everything under her name HERE.

If mandalas aren't your thing, don't worry - there are plenty more coloring books on the way that feature a grand variety of designs and concepts for you to color in!

Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Last Coloring Book List You'll Ever Need (Part 1 - So Many Choices...)

Coloring books are all the rage, and with their popularity you'll find dozens of lists out on the internet showcasing various books. Some you can get, others have been so popular entire warehouses have run out and publishers scramble to print more. At my store, we've put together a massive table full of nothing but coloring books and coloring utensils. We know our books - it's what we do. Yes, we've had help from the internet and friends as well. But in the end, here's the list of all the books we've chucked onto the table. So save yourself some Googling time and check it out. I am not exaggerating about this list - I have 9 printed pages of books, so buckle up. (And unlike other sites, I actually provide you with links.)


I suppose I should start with the obvious - the famed Johanna Basford coloring books. She only has two, but apparently two is enough. They are indeed very beautiful inside. Oh yes, I've seen the fabled Enchanted Forest and Secret Garden with my very own eyes before they vanished out the doors of the store. She's the one who made us say, "What is happening?" When you have 4 people in one day come looking for her work, you know something is up. Both of these are now on backorder. I won't bother to give the date since it's changed a few times already. I will say, however, that the publisher is busting ass because I've seen Enchanted Forest trickle into the store for customer orders. Secret Garden is still nowhere to be found, but if you want a Johanna Basford book, go to your local B&N and put in an order for Enchanted Forest to be sent to the store. There's a chance it might work. I've even been a sneaky little fox and ordered five just to put on our table - and by gollly-gosh, it worked. (and if you do order it and it comes it, be sure to pick it up! Once your order expires, that sucker will go straight to the floor and be gone that very same day, I guarantee it.)

These are Dover Coloring Books. They've been around for many, many years. In fact, they used to have a display in the Children's section of Barnes & Noble. Most of them are still available. In fact, at this point smart stores are ordering them in any way they can. They've always been excellent coloring books. Most of them are nicely detailed and the variety you can choose from is great. In fact, we often sold them to adults as much - if not more so - than kids. I'm only showcasing two of them here because there are dozens upon dozens to choose from. How can you find them all? There's always the Dover website, of course, or you can simply search "dover coloring books" in order to get a massive listing of them HERE. Oh, and did I mention that a lot of Dover books are cheap? I'm talking $3.99 cheap, kids.


 These are more Dover Coloring Books. However, these are different. How? Besides the black border, if you were to open one up you'd discover something special about the pages. These are Stained Glass Coloring Books. Do you remember those old drawing books with the tracing paper? That's sort of what they use for you to color on, only thicker, while black parts make up the rest - just like stained glass. They're pretty cool, and just like the classic coloring books, there are dozens of these to choose from. Instead of hanging them on your fridge, hang them in your windows instead for a really nifty effect. You'll see them show up in the "dover coloring book" search, but "dover stained glass books" will help you narrow it down. Skip right ahead to them HERE.


Meet the Creative Haven coloring books. Like Dover, there are dozens of them to choose from. You'll find everything from fanciful animals to intricate designs, simple wildflowers to art deco. These can be tricky for us to get into the store as many of them are pre-paid in their design (meaning we have to send them directly to you and not the store if you ask). But that also means you can mosey around online for the full lineup of these books and go nuts on how many you want. They're very nice and offer more pages than the Dover books. If your B&N doesn't have a coloring table set up by now, you can go to the Activity/Coloring section of the store, or the Bargain section. If anything just ask the bookseller to search for "creative haven coloring books" to see what's in store. The full list of results can be found HERE.


You may have already encountered the Colour Me Good Ryan Gosling book, but did you know about the Benedict Cumberbatch one? Or that this series makes some really weird shit? These books are actually all housed in the Humor section of the store, but nevertheless, they are coloring books. They'll most likely give you a laugh - and there's nothing wrong with that when you're working on de-stressing via coloring. Think of it as an added bonus. Some of these may be hard to find, given that we're ordering everything out of the warehouse, but trust me when I say (at the time of creating this list) that at least there were tons of Benedict Cumberbatch books available. Check out the full line of these books HERE.


I will absolutely thank BuzzFeed (and my coloring book dealer Megan and her friend) for this one. Or rather, this author. Christina Rose is an excellent alternative for those struggling to deal with the wait on Johanna Basford's books. They're very pretty and nicely intricate - and they're also print-on-demand. That means the publisher is going to make them as ordered...which may be good or bad depending upon how well they can handle the influx I'm sure they're going to get. I put in an order for five each of her books - because she actually has seven. If you want one of these, I suggest getting your name in early on the off chance that her publisher gets overwhelmed. Choose from one or all HERE.


As of right now, the only book actually orderable through B&N is the Adult Coloring Book on the right. But the other three put out by this creator are just as interesting looking - you'll just have to get them through secondary dealers either at the B&N Marketplace or elsewhere. Admittedly, at the time of writing this I haven't been able to look inside one yet, so I can't vouch for how good they are. However, if the cover is any indication, they look promising. If you are interested, however, tackle it soon - we're throwing out orders left at right to our warehouse so I'm not sure how long they'll be available. There are only four total, so choose from them HERE.


These two books are illustrated by Cindy Wilde. The one on the left is meant for adults, while the one on the left is actually in the Children's section. If you want the second book, you may still be able to find it in a store as the website lists that currently they're out of stock. I know this because we still have one or two in our store. Though truth be told, who wants to color copycat style? That's no fun. We're here to be creative, and I think it would be far more interesting to have two similar pictures with completely different colors on them. But that's just me.


The Pocket Posh line has been doing games for a while - opening with Sudoku and adding more from there. They already had several coloring books by the time the craze hit, but it didn't take long for them to be sold out. But their publisher is a big one, so I don't doubt they've double-timed their work in order to make more of these (in fact, we now have more on the way!). They've got some fun things to choose from and the books are nice - they even come with a little elastic band to keep your book closed and all neat and tidy. Everything they make is cute, so take your pick HERE.


The Just Add Color books are pretty nifty. They have a lot to choose from in terms of themes, and their slightly smaller size might make them more appealing to some. The series is crafted by a number of artists who also put their work out on other things from journals to puzzles. But wait - there's more!


These are the other Just Add Color books you can choose from. These are larger in both overall size as well as thickness - which means larger pages and more of them. They're pretty cool and not all that expensive, either, which is always a plus. Some of them might be out in terms of warehouse stock, but you can always contact your local store to see if they have any lingering. See the full list of these books HERE.


This is Lacy Mucklow. She is currently on backorder because, like Johanna Basford, she ended up with the spotlight on her. My coloring book dealer led me to her, I ordered a bunch, but not enough. She was soon gone from the store and the warehouse. However, the backorder date is coming up very soon - so here's hoping she doesn't get pushed back like Johanna. You may also notice that Lacy has three books in her list. However, Color Me Stress Free won't be available until September 15th. Honestly, what her publishers are on, I have no idea. If they were smart and Lacy's actually done, they would push that book out now rather than wait. Still, if you want a leg up on it, I recommend putting a pre-order in for it now so you are certain to get a copy. If coloring is still popular come September, it's possible they won't make enough and then you'll be stuck waiting for the backorder date. (Hey, if they're dumb enough to wait until September, it's possible they'd be dumb enough not to print a sustainable number of books.)


Created by Pepin Van Roojen, these aren't very typical in that they're not books. These are unbound sheets that you can color with a variety of mediums, from colored pencils to watercolors. You can't exactly flip through them since they're shrink wrapped, but you can get a pretty good idea of what you're going to see from the covers alone. They're also much larger in terms of size than the average coloring book. The unbound style can also be rather handy since you don't have to worry about a book spine or crease ever getting in the way. Pick a sheet, start coloring. I've done the best I could to bring up his coloring goodies first HERE, as he is a designer of items as well, so make sure what you're looking at is an actual coloring item before making a purchase.


Very bright and very fun, Design Originals coloring books feature a unique selection of themes and designs. Dapper animals, groovy abstracts, Day of the Dead, and more, these are what you want if you're into something perhaps slightly more on the kid side. That's not to say that these are children's coloring books, but they're a little more fun and carefree in their concepts while still maintaining a bit of a challenge in terms of staying inside all the tiny lines. I think these have been the easiest for us to get, but who knows what will happen once word of their existence gets out. See what they have to offer HERE. (some weird results have sneaked in...)


Meet the pretty, slightly sparkly, books that everyone kept mistaking for Johanna Basford books. I think, amusingly enough, these are still listed as being in our Children's coloring section, but they've since migrated out to our table, and there they stay. The best part? While they're fun and cute, the creators have gotten smart fast and are about to put out even more books with release dates starting at June 1st. In looking these up I discovered that fact, and now I have even more books to order in to the store. See what they'll have in store soon HERE.


Again, I have the internet to thank for these. These are the Rosie Flo books (er, with the exception of the one Johnny Joe book) by Roz Streeten. They remind me of something you might find in the 1950s, which gives them a unique sort of appeal. The books are relatively small which can make them easy to carry from place to  place. You can do as the book says and draw actual people into the clothes - or heck, you can just let the clothes do everything themselves. Why add humans into the mix? They're cute and fun and there are several to choose from HERE. (although admittedly, I absolutely grabbed the only Johnny Joe from the warehouse. Sorry.)


I stumbled upon these when the coloring craze first gathered steam and we needed more books on our table. Sitting back in the section, I discovered there were more than the few we owned and basically went nuts on ordering them into the store. The Pictura Series features different artists, each one with something different to bring to the table. The interesting thing about these books is that they don't follow typical book format - instead of being bound to a spine, they actually fold out into one long panoramic image. And they're pretty cool, too. The dragon one pulls straight from The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, while other books like New York feature really cool cityscapes. Fanciful to realistic, take your pick from their list HERE.


I found these by pure accident while sorting through the mandala section of my coloring book listings. And when I say that, I mean while combing through books online. I haven't seen these in physical form, but given that I'm familiar with their publisher and the other books they make, I immediately wrote down their ISBN numbers to order once I get to work later on. So if you like what you see then I recommend ordering them or getting your local store to do so because I'm about to empty the warehouse, kiddies. Choose between Stress Less Mosaic or Stress Less Paisley - or get both!


The Color Your Way to Calm Series isn't out - yet. The first few will be available June 9th whereas the others won't be available until October. Why they're waiting that long is beyond me, unless they're waiting for the illustrator to actually finish the drawings, but I doubt that's the case. Two more will be due out (tentatively) in December. Given this information, I don't know what these will look like on the inside or how big they'll be page-wise. But they're being produced by a big-time publisher, so I'm quite optimistic. Put your pre-orders in now. They've seen/heard the sales numbers, so theoretically they should make enough, but hey, at this point who knows?


These are very pretty coloring books chock-a-block full of, well, patterns. Heh. Jenean Morrison only has three books to choose from, but seems to do some designing work for other items. They seem to still be orderable, though I think we're waiting for our replenishment...except it feels like we've been waiting for a while. But that's beside the point. And anyway, a lot of times customer orders get pushed through while we're stuck sitting on our hands. I recommend taking a peek inside one of these to see what you think.


Ok, so if you haven't been to a Barnes & Noble yet to look at Animal Kingdom, let me just say this - it's pretty. Not just the inside, but the outside as well. Myself and even some of my co-workers have been eyeing it. With some shiny foil and all the fun designs, it's a really great next choice if you're stuck waiting for Johanna Basford. I know that Sterling, the publisher, is busting ass to produce these books - because B&N owns Sterling (Lark is actually the imprint these are under, but it doesn't matter). The second they saw what was happening, they jumped at it and got Millie Marotta to create a second book (if she wasn't already), Tropical World. The only downside is that it won't be available until September, so here's hoping that the date gets pushed up. We can always set one aside, though - give your store a jingle and request a reservation or pre-order for it.

Thus ends the first part of the coloring book list. Trust me, there is much more to come. These were the most numerous in terms of books, whether by publisher or by author, and will no doubt take you some time to sift through. If you decide to head to the store and ask about a specific book, I highly recommend you copy down the book's ISBN number. You can find this in the Product Details area and will either be 10 or 13 digits (it doesn't matter which you use). This is like a book's fingerprint. Likewise, if B&N doesn't have it, you can use it to find the books elsewhere. Happy coloring, and I'll be back with more books soon!

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Whoops! I completely forgot to mention this. Last month I reviewed Stephanie Garber's amazing book Caraval for the web blog I curre...