Current Price: £9.09
Number of Pages: 80
Size: 25 x 25cm
Paper colour: Ivory
Paper surface: Smooth
Paper thickness: Very Good
One sided: Yes
Drawings go into the spine: No
Waterbased pen bleed: None
There is only one book more anticipated than Magical Jungle by the majority of the colouring community this year, and it's Johanna's Christmas. This is Johanna's first Christmas book, and many are excited to see her inky take on traditional festive imagery. The book also has some features that are different to her standard colouring books, which make this book unique.
The 37 illustrations within the book are stunning as you would expect from Johanna, and include decorative Christmas trees, intricately patterned baubles, quaint gingerbread houses, a gift-carrying polar bear, a charming snow globe, cosy fireside scenes, a holly & ivy draped cuckoo clock, a jam-packed Santa's sleigh and much more. There are also components of Johanna's style of formatting; for instance the ribbon designs which span two pages, the hyper-detailed geometric mandalas, the intricate spherical illustrations, the signature heart shape she includes in all of her books, and the treasure hunt element of searching for 63 tiny robins nestled between the lines. Here is a full flip-through of the book, accompanied by some rather fitting music to get you in the Christmas mood :)
I mentioned some special features of this Christmas edition, which include the big draw of all the illustrations being one-sided. This is great news for all JB fans as the complaint I hear most is that you can't use alcohol markers or wet media in her books- well, now you can, just make sure you pop some paper behind otherwise bleed will ruin the next page. The reverse sides have a festive pattern in faded grey which you can either colour or leave blank.
The paper is very thick with a soft ivory colour and toothy texture to blend coloured pencils like a dream. It's also completely perforated, so you can remove every page with ease. This is great for those wanting to use the pages as heavy-weight luxury wrapping paper for a small gift, or for framing as a decorative piece this season.
The illustrations are all centred on the page, and for those images which span a double spread you will be pleased to note that the blank spine Johanna gave us in Magical Jungle is also present in this book, so there's no fighting to get your pencils & pens right to the middle of the design. Aside from the few very busy mandala designs I mentioned, there's nothing in the book which could be described as too intricate or taxing. I think Johanna has taken comments about Lost Ocean's difficulty on board and adjusted her illustrations accordingly.
The UK edition of the book features gold foiling to the cover, whilst the US version has lovely green & red metallics. Both variants are lovely whether you prefer the customary gold or the more colourful adaptation, and both feature the special paper stock Johanna selected, and the colourable fold out cover (no dust jacket).
Here is my first coloured page from the book, which I did with Sharpies, Chameleon Pens and Spectrum Noir (yay!). I hand-lettered the greeting message in the centre of the wreath and added Martha Stewart glitter to give it some sparkle.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. You can find it on Amazon here:
Johanna's Christmas by Johanna Basford