Friday, March 11, 2016

Fairy Tale Fandom Book Report: A Brothers Grimm Coloring Book.

Now, if you’ve been to a bookstore recently, you may have noticed a trend.  There are now coloring books for adults.  I’ve seen them stacked on a table in my local Barnes & Noble as well as a small display of them at a local independent book store.  Piles of pages of cityscapes and folk designs and mandalas among other things.  There have been all sorts of claims made regarding the positive benefits of coloring for adults.  It’s supposed to be linked to all sorts of things like stress relief, meditation and mindfulness.  I’ve got some links.  Here’s one where a neuroscientist explains the potential benefits and here’s one from cable news powerhouse CNN.  I do also have a link here about the limitations of adult coloring.  The basic gist seems to be that you shouldn’t expect too much from it.  One of my favorite vloggers, Kiri Callaghan, swears by it though.  Even if it’s not helping as much as people say, it certainly can’t be hurting anything.
So, naturally, when I saw this I had to pick it up:
The full title is A Brothers Grimm Coloring Book and other Classic Fairy Tales.  It’s illustrated by an artist named Adam Fisher and published by Pegasus Books.

Of course, now that I have it, it begs an important question: How do I go about reviewing a coloring book?

Well, I’ll just go through my observations and we’ll see what the end result is.  As is expected from a coloring book, every page has a single black and white illustration.  At the bottom of each is a quote from the story that the illustrated scene is taken from.  First of all, they include the source of their quotes, which is a big plus for me.  I know a major network TV show that doesn’t even cite its fairy tale quotes (:cough:Grimm:cough:). 

Now, some of the scenes come from popular tales like “Little Red Riding Hood”, “Cinderella” and “Hansel and Gretel”.  However, there are also lots of scenes from more obscure tales like “Frau Trude”, “The Three Languages”, “The Singing Bone” and “Iron Hans” among others.  There’s even one “Pied Piper” illustration, which technically isn’t a fairy tale at all, but people don’t know that.  Now, as the title suggests, not all the stories depicted come from the Brothers Grimm.  So, using their name in the title is a little bit of a cheat.  However, I suppose their name has some marketing power.  I have noticed that some of the scenes do come from the more “pop culture” versions of the stories (like a princess kissing a frog).  However, that’s an easy thing to let slide considering how many other tales are represented.

The pictures themselves are well drawn and interesting to look at.  For some of them, the perspective can be very unusual.  For example, there are some that are extreme close-ups of characters’ faces like Snow White Rumpelstiltskin and Frau Trude.  I’m not sure how much that will lend to the book’s relaxation benefits.  Rumpelstiltskin’s mug is something I might want to keep my distance from. 

Ultimately, if this book is something people want and can make use of will come down to an individual person’s wants and needs.  Personally, I still haven’t colored anything in this book yet.  Part of me just likes to look at the black and white pictures.  But if I do . . . dibs on the page with the giant beanstalk!


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