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!


Linda Sabo said...

This is an AWESOME list!!
I have realized my drawings are MADE to be colored so I am trying to learn as much as possible about this business and THIS REALLY HELPS!

Nicole said...

Glad you found it useful! And there's more to come!

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