Current Price: £10.29 / 12.27
Number of Pages: 80
Size: 28 x 25cm
Paper colour: Ivory
Paper surface: Smooth
Paper thickness: Very Good
Linework: Bold, sketchy
One sided: Yes
Drawings go into the spine: No
Waterbased pen bleed: None
I love olde worlde stuff so the covers of these books appealed to me instantly but I found I was surprised by the style of illustration inside, though not unpleasantly. These books feel very vintage and nostalgic, both in the physical feel of the book and the type of drawings it contains.
The Curiosity Shoppe is described as "A Magical & Mad Exploration of a Most Amusing & Unexpected Assemblage of Novelties & Oddities" -- quite the introduction! And indeed it is full of old-fashioned curio from days gone by, like stepping into an old dusty shop you've never noticed and discovering a menagerie of treasures inside.
The Sweet Shoppe harks back to the days you could visit your local confectioners after school and spend a few pennies on your favourite toffee chews and caramel-filled chocolates. With beautiful glass jars full of sugar-coated goodies, colourfully wrapped sweets glinting like jewels atop the balance scale, luxuriously rich truffles and tooth-cracking jawbreakers, this book will get your mouth watering with memories of more carefree times.
Here are my video flip-throughs of each book.
The books open from the bottom and fold up as opposed to the more standard side-opening A4 portrait style. The covers both feature foiling to the titles in gold and pink respectively, and the cover stock itself is a thick watercolour card texture which adds to the luxury feel.
The paper is an ivory stock that is thick enough to take waterbased markers with barely a shadow on the reverse, not that it is an issue as all the illustrations are one-sided. It has a very smooth surface and quite a flat tooth, so pencils should lay down well.
The line art is the biggest 'make or break' factor in these books as I think it's a bit like Marmite (or Vegemite for my Oz readers) -- you either like it or you don't. The artwork has a very darkly shaded, graphic print nature, which I'm not convinced is the ideal linework for a colouring book but certainly appropriate for the subject matter in this case.
Here are my finished pictures from the books.
I was given these books in exchange for an honest review. You can find them on Amazon here:
The Curiosity Shoppe Coloring Book
The Sweet Shoppe Coloring Book