Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book

Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book

Johanna Basford
Coloring Book
For ages 8 and up
Laurence King Publishing, 2015   ISBN: 978-1780674889

Going on adventures is something many of us love to do, but sometimes life does not allow us to go on a real, out there in the wild world, adventures.  What are we supposed to do when this happens? Give up on going an adventure?

Absolutely not! We can still go on adventures of all kinds even if we cannot venture far from home. Among other things we can learn how to play a musical instrument, learn how to dance, take up a new sport, read a book, or take up drawing or coloring. This book gives artists of all ages the opportunity to take a coloring journey through a forest until they get to a castle. Along the way travelers need to seek out nine symbols that are carved into square stone tablets, which, when they get to the castle, they can use to open the castle doors.

In addition to the tablets, artists are invited to find a variety of animals, and “some magical items that have been lost in the forest.”

To help us on our way we are given a map of sorts, which shows us what to expect. Pictures of trees, animals, tree houses, a lake, mountains, a maze and more cover the map, though we do not yet know what all these things are.

It is not long before we find out. Soon we are coloring our way through a forest where vines curl around tree trunks and where an owl and a deer look out at us. Other beautiful plant and animal rich vignettes follow. We then find a little trunk that is full of berries, feathers, and acorns. Who does the trunk belong to? Maybe it belongs to whoever lives behind the little wooden door that is tucked away among the flowers and shrubs, or perhaps the owner lives in the little tree stump house. It is possible that the trunk belongs to someone who lives in a treehouse or an underground home.

As we journey we see a little boat float past on a stream. A hot air balloon, whose basket is full of more treats, drifts past.

A bird comes by and it is holding a key on a string in its beak. Are we going to perhaps need this key when we come to the castle?

In this remarkable coloring book, artists will find not just beautiful drawings to color in, but they will find a story that they can tell in their own way and a puzzle that they can solve. This book offers artists and storytellers a superlative creative outlet that is rich and rewarding.

At the back of the book a key shows readers what is hidden in each piece of artwork in the book.