Current Price: £9.99
Number of Pages: 96
Size: 25 x 25cm
Paper colour: White
Paper surface: Smooth
Paper thickness: Good
One sided: No
Drawings go into the spine: No
Waterbased pen bleed: None
Lizzie Mary Cullen, famous for her 'Magical' series of books under the publisher Penguin, has now teamed up with John Murray Learning to create three country themed colouring books: Bon Voyage!, Buena Vista, and Tally Ho! (the latter released Feb 2017).
Despite representing different countries of the world the books have two common threads; a hidden object nestled into each illustration, and a proverb influencing each design. In most cases the hidden images in each picture relate to the proverb somehow, for instance the illustration with the proverb "Slow and steady wins the race" is a pair of running shoes.
Bon Voyage! takes us to the artistic and cultural France, allowing us to explore some of the architecture and beauty of the country whilst learning a little more about its values and traditions through the proverbs.
Buena Vista shows us the festive and bustling Spain through its traditional dress, historical landmarks and beautiful stained glass icons. Take a look at my video flipthroughs of each book below.
The books have the same square format, size and shape as Lizzie's other books, and the cover is a flexible matte card with glossy coloured embellishments to the title & various details. The paper is bright white and fairly thick, but the illustrations are one-sided. I used waterbased pens and there was minimal spots of shadowing on the reverse where I'd been a little heavy handed with my colouring, but nothing so bad that it ruined the image behind. I should mention the print quality on a few of the illustrations as some of the lines are broken and fuzzy, but these are in a minority and could be I got a slightly defective copy. This does not affect my love for the books and isn't hugely noticeable but I thought I'd better mention it.
Each illustration is drawn in Lizzie's chaotic signature style, combining swirling scenery with flourishing typography to create beautiful works of art when finished. As each page centres around a proverb and is quite a statement piece, I would recommend removing them and mounting as a gift for relatives overseas or lovers of France/Spain. 99% of the illustrations are confined to one page and not double spreads, so this would be easy to achieve. Each proverb is translated in the rear of the book, both in their foreign meanings and their English equivalents. There are also thumbnails revealing the location of the hidden items on each page.
Overall I'm really impressed by these new books from Lizzie, it's refreshing to have a theme which relates to only one part of the world as opposed to the collection of different monuments and cities we are used to in her books. Here are my finished pages.
These books were given to me in exchange for an honest review. You can find them on Amazon here:
Bon Voyage! by Lizzie Mary Cullen
Buena Vista by Lizzie Mary Cullen