Number of Pages: 96
Size: 18x18cm square
Paper colour: Cream
Paper surface: Smooth
Paper thickness: Good
One sided: No
Drawings go into the spine: Yes
Waterbased pen bleed: Slight
Before I start this review I have to confess that I have never read nor seen Alice in Wonderland the whole way through (I hear your gasps of disbelief) but I've always loved fairytales and the Disney universe, so I was really excited to receive this book.
First of all- the illustrators. Good Wives and Warriors is a collaboration between Becky Bolton and Louise Chappell, art graduates based in London. They're usually designing installations and commissions for huge worldwide companies such as Swarovski and Chevrolet, or attending exhibitions at locations across the globe, and have now turned their hand to pen-and-ink with this debut colouring book.
Escape to Wonderland has the colourist tumbling down the rabbit hole along with Alice, emerging into the magical world of Mad Hatters, Cheshire cats, knaves and giant caterpillars. The book includes a menagerie of curious creatures, and is packed to the very edges with hand drawn, highly detailed linework. Iconic scenes are brought to life, the elaborate characters heavily adorned in costume and ornaments. The story is sprinkled in small bites across the book, although not flowing like a storybook- more like singular quotes in consecutive order. Take a peek into the adventure below...
The book is quite small in size, so make sure you're aware of the measurements before buying to avoid disappointment. There are a lot of pages and plenty of actual colouring to be done, so you're still getting excellent value for just over £5. The cream tinted paper, something I usually don't like, actually seems very befitting to the theme and gives it that vintage, Puffin Classic storybook feel. The paper is fairly thick and has only very minimal bleedthrough from waterbased pens if you go over the same area twice. The cover has beautiful silver embelishments to the front and the dust flaps, and has a stunning presence at first glance.
Now to the only downside, which I think is a real shame as this book is a extraordinary work of art, it really is. It's double-sided, so you can't use alcohol markers to really bring the bold, vivid colour palette that the illustrations are crying out for. In my eyes it would have been perfect if the designs were on single sheets, but it would have been a very thick book as most of the illustrations are two-page spreads.
Regardless, I can't wait for GWAW next book, Escape to Christmas Past to be released in November. I have a feeling they're going to be illustrating many more colouring books with classic themes in the future, and I can't wait to have them all on my shelf!
Here's my completed spread, finished with Neuland Artmarkers and PanPastels.
You can buy Escape to Wonderland here:
And preorder Escape to Christmas Past here: