A few weeks ago I received an email in my inbox which literally had me squealing with crazy fan-girl happiness. It was an email from Johanna Basford herself on the eve of the release of her latest book ‘Magical Jungle’. With every other launch of her books her marketing crew have sent out books to be reviewed by journalists and book reviewers. But this time Johanna took the reigns herself and decided to select her thirty favourite colourists and send them each a personalised copy of the book. I can’t even begin to express how honoured I feel to be selected as one of them.
So this morning after dropping my husband and sons off to work and school (and in my hubbys case work and school!), in the horrible, gusty, freezing weather, Ember and I went to check my P.O. box. 🙂
After a quick post to my FaceBook site I set up my recording equipment to film a happy mail opening… which turned into an impromptu book review and snapped a few photos. Now on to the review:
First off the paper Johanna has chosen is that lovely ivory white found in Secret Garden and Enchanted Forest. Exactly the same lovely thick sheets which works so well with pencils, gel pens, markers (waterbased and indian ink but NOT alcohol… they will still bleed through and spoil the back of the paper), pastels Inktense and watercolour pencils activated with small amounts of water etc. I found the paper will take some small careful application of watercolour in previous book but does not do will with larger amounts of water as it will buckle.
Johanna has listened to her fans and tinkered with her designs to give them the best possible colouring experience. Lots of lovely double page spreads amongst the single page designs. Importantly these pictures no longer contain details that get lost in the centerfold and were problematic to colour. She leaves a little margin on either side of the centerfold clear without compromising the overall look of the picture. She has slightly reduced the eye boggling amount of teensy detail and complexity seen in some of her Lost Ocean pages while still maintaining the challenge and interest. There is a ton of variety in the pictures themselves. She features her signature heart and skull designs as well as panoramic scenes, mirror image pieces, ribbon designs and what i refer to as wall paper designs as well as stand alone animals and jungle houses. Once again the main problem will be deciding what to colour first!
Another feature Johanna has added is four perforated removable pages at the back. Each picture is unique, not a repeat of anything already printed in the book They are single sided prints with a lightly printed pattern on the back of each one. Perfect to use any of your bleedy mediums on and to remove and frame.
Again this is a hidden object book with the list of objects and their number at the front and the answers in the thumbnail images of the pictures at the back. I love this feature. It has been incorporated into several other respectable colouring books such as Kerby Rosane’s magnificent works and adds another layer of fun when you discover something hidden in the picture while colouring.
It was so hard selecting pictures to post. I haven’t included any of the wallpaper pictures which a little more complex than the ones I’ve posted above.
My opinion of this book… quite frankly I LOVE it. It ticks so many boxes for me in quality, style, design and thoughtfulness that Johanna has shown towards the hundreds of thousands of people who will be colouring her work. Magical Jungle is set to be released in the second week of August 2016 with slight date variations depending on where in the world you are. If you are interested in purchasing this book online here is the link to Johanna Basford’s site listing different places in the world you can purchase from: (Please copy and paste the URL.. my blog program is not co-operating with me today so I can’t creat a hot link.)
Now if you’ll excuse me I am off to colour some jungles!