If you are interested in folklore and mythological monsters, you will absolutely adore this colouring book which is aimed at children. It may have been overlooked for that reason but it is certainly detailed enough to capture the adult colourist's attention and is produced extremely well too.
The Book of Beasts is a compendium split into four categories which are based on the elements: Earth, Wind, Water & Fire. Each section contains a plethora of colourable monsters from ancient legends, some you will be familiar with and others you may never have heard of. Click on the groups below to expand and view which creatures are included:
Werewolf, Dryad, Imp, Jackalope, Troll, Talking Tree, Catoblepas, Erymanthian Boar, Qilin, Sphinx, Arachne, Enfield, Cerastes, Ogre, Goblin, Faun, Behemoth, Orc, Polyphemus, Gredel, Baku, Fenrir, Green Man, White Stag, Ceryneian Hind, Kitsune, Wampus Cat, Unicorn, Centaur, Yeti, Minotaur, Bigfoot, Bolla, Smok Dragon
Wyvern, Gryphon, Stymphalian Birds, Hippogriff, Pegasus, Roc, Impundulu, Harpy, Manticore, Cockatrice, St. George's Dragon, Beowulf's Dragon, Quetzalcoatl, Gamayun, Caladrius, Wolpertinger, Oriental Dragons, Kongamato, Peryton, Camazotz, Ice Dragon
Mermaid, Ziphius, Merman, Aspidochelone, Kraken, Undine, Selkie, Fossegrim, Umibozu, Swamp Monster, Lernaean Hydra, Rainbow Serpent, Melusine, Ahuizotl, Scylla, Loch Ness Monster, Leviathan, Leocampus, Charybdis, Kappa, Jormungandr, Hippocampus
Chimera, Mongolian Death Worm, Ifrit, Gorgon, Scorpion Man, Cherufe, Cerberus, Salamander, Hellhound, Golem, Xolotl, Phoenix
On the reverse of each page the animals are each listed with an explanation of their characteristics and the lore behind them. Take a look through the slideshow of images below:
The book itself is square and very large at 30 x 30cm, which makes the illustrations look even more grand and formidable than they might have on a smaller format. It also allows for a higher level of detail which is appreciated as you wouldn't be blamed for thinking a children's colouring book won't be challenging enough for adults.
The paper is bright white and has a lovely tooth for coloured pencils, whilst being thick enough to tolerate waterbased markers and watercolours without bleed-through, but do expect an amount of buckling if you do add water. It doesn't matter too much as the reverse side is only written explanations of the creatures on the front, so you can use pretty much anything you want to colour this book.
The book is hardback with a compelling navy blue cover & gold foiling, giving it a real look of luxury and age as if it's a Bestiary from a bygone era. For under £5, this book is AMAZING value for money and will not disappoint fans of mythology and fantasy. Here is my finished page, coloured with Derwent Inktense & a waterbrush.
This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review. You can find it on Amazon here:
The Book of Beasts by Angela rizza & Jonny Marx