Magical Jungle. First Peak.

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.  🙂


Ember the schipperke looks very concerned about her mum. Don’t worry, I took her for a little walk when I got home. She’s currently snuggled up on the couch.

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.


My name in leaf letters! Thank you Johanna. 🙂 This is the only book i own that actually has my name in it.

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!


The first picture after the name plate page. Waterfall!

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.


A floral jungle wreath featuring orchids.

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!


  1. BigT

    Oooh! If you got it, the rest of us can’t be TOO far behind. Amazon US is still telling me a delivery date of August 9th. Heaven knows when I will actually get to work on it. I’m still working on Secret Garden.

    Have you heard if there will be an artist’s version of Lost Ocean? I couldn’t find any information on that anywhere.

  2. Donna Wills

    I had been holding off ordering (pre-ordering)) this book until I got some idea of it’s content. I don’t want too many monkeys! This looks great and I will get it pre-ordered very soon! Thank you for sharing!!! Donna Wills

  3. AnnW

    I see you have included Caran dAche Luminance pencils in the photos, have you done a review on them yet? I have seen the photo of comparisons of different pencils but haven’t found a video yet.

  4. Lo

    I just watched Johanna’s 28 min YouTube video and can’t wait for mine to arrive. I bought the Luminance pencils and ordered the watercolour Museum version to try out. Like AnnW I would love to see a review and video on Caran D’Ache. IMHO they are the best pencils I have and I’ve hit well over 1000 now of varying brands but I’d rather save my money now and buy Luminance and Museum for the quality and smooth blending ability of these magnificent pencils. No way could I buy the whole set in one go?

  5. Samantha G.

    Congrats! I just knew you would be one of the colorists she chose to send a preview book to and I can’t wait to see what you pick to color. I have soooo many books now, and wasn’t planning to get this one any time soon until I watched Johanna’s flip thru video, and now I know I just have to have it!

  6. Miguel

    Congratulations Peta! You are our colouring guru! I owe you all I know about techniques for colouring and your work is an inspiration.

    Really fascinating book. Once again Johanna shows us all those beautiful images she creates. Thanks for sharing a quick review. Longing to have it.

  7. kim shallbetter

    Hi oh wow this is so cool exclamation point you are special colorist to get her book! I am one of your followers and love the way you color and I just wanted to let you know congratulations!

  8. Lori Bain

    So happy for you! I’ve pre-ordered a copy of Magical Jungle and am excitedly anticipating its August delivery! Love to see your work and previews. Thank you so much for sharing!

  9. Grace

    Just got it today at Chapters, Calgary AB, Canada. Beautiful!!!

  10. david curnow

    Hi the detail in magical jungle was not sharp as the last two books this book is to spaced out the pictures are very large and not very intricate which i loved in your last books i know you can not please all the people all of the time i had been waiting so long for this book the pictures did not drawn me in like the last books did it was what picture to do first.Yours David Curnow.

  11. Sade Cook

    When you get Johanna Christmas , please can you put on you tube and social media thanks


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