I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Published by St. Martin's Griffin on December 20th 2016
Style: Contains Extras, double page printing, Poster
Format: Dust Jacket, Glue & Stitched
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Cheerful rural villages, prairies, forests, lakeside scenery, and a beautiful towering castle await you in this sequel to Romantic Country: A Fantasy Coloring Book by Japanese illustrator Eriy. Pages and pages of country delights await you including delectable French pastries, magical forests filled with fairies, charming town squares bustling with people—and more.
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Romantic Country – The Second Tale (English Edition) Video Review
I hope you enjoyed the video review of the English edition of Romantic Country – The Second Tale.
Romantic Country – The Second Tale (English Edition) Review
People often ask me what my favorite coloring book is. The answer to that is, it changes each day. There is one series of books though that I have always loved and it remains in my favorite list each day. That series, of course, is Romantic Country.
There are a number of things that I love about it. First of all, the wild imagination that creates a land called Cocot when she was a child, and then draws this later in life. The layers of details that make up Cocot including villages, fairies and forests.
Another thing that I love about Romantic Country is, for a colorist on training wheels, it gives so much opportunity. There are flowers to color, people, buildings and animals. There is such a great variety of things to color and practice on that you could color it all year round and not feel bored.
When I was extremely sick last year I made the trip into the city to pick up Romantic Country – The Second Tale (Chinese Edition) and Romantic Country – The Third Tale (Japanese Edition). Nothing was going to stop me getting those beautiful coloring books home as soon as possible.
When we find a foreign book that we fall in love with, it is always hoped that an English imprint will be made that stays true to the character of the original book. Fortunately, for colorists St Martins Press published the English editions of these books, and have recreated these books as per the original editions, if not better.
Cover & Layout
The same cover design has been used on Romantic Country – The Second Tale as features on the Chinese edition that I have. There are two differences to the cover detail with the English coloring book featuring text in English 🙂 and a button being added in the right hand corner to denote that the book includes a pull out poster.
On the Chinese edition of the book the cover was card with an inner design of a circus scene that you can color in. The only real difference between the two books is that the English edition features a dust jacket. The card cover is craft card and features the hot air balloon design image from the coloring book.
Romantic Country measures 25cm x 25cm (9.9 in x 9.9 in)
In order to ensure that the paper quality was on par with the Chinese edition, I weighed the books. The Chinese book being a few grams heavier than the English edition, no doubt due to the fold out card cover on the book.
The spine of the English edition features white text on a black background. The Chinese edition featured both white and hot pink text.
It is such a delight to be finally able to read the words in Romantic Country. The coloring book commences with a text based title page.
A one page introduction from Eriy follows. If you are unfamiliar with Eriy’s work she has a unique style of drawing, and is the only coloring book artist I know, that uses a toothpick dipped in ink to create her coloring books. Eriy advises in the introduction that the creation of this coloring book took 1200 toothpicks!
A map of the imaginary land of Cocot follows so that you can get your bearings. This map gives you a macro view of all the scenes and places that will be later introduced to you in the book.
At the end of the book you will find the intriguing thumbnail index. The index contains the illustrations printed in each chapter of the book but it also details a commentary about each imaginative place. You cannot help falling into Eriy’s imaginary world when you read that at Pancake parties you can have as many toppings as you like! The amount of effort and thought that has gone into compiling these little vignettes about each illustration amazes me.
You could discreetly test your mediums on these pages or on the instruction page at the rear of the book.
The illustrations have all been printed on both sides of the off white, medium quality paper. All of the images have been orientated portrait style.
Throughout the book there are 40 pages comprising double page scenes with the balance being illustrations contained within one page.
Romantic Country – The Second Tale Images & Illustrations
Romantic Country- The Second Tale is divided into chapters as are all the coloring books within the series.
Follow Elena and her constant companion, Joset the duck as you color your way through the Chapters. You can always refer to the map of Cocot at the start of the book to get your bearings.
Chapter 1 – Glow of Old Castles – as you would expect there are castles to color within this chapter but also related scenes like going to the ball and preparing for Christmas.
Chapter 2 – Magnificent Lakeside and Mountain Landscapes – this chapter, as you expect from the title is packed with nature scenes including fields of flowers. In this Chapter we also see some of things that are important to the inhabitants of Cocot like the church stained glass and Uncle Willy’s Barn.
Chapter 3 – Fairies and Works of Nature – I always think that Eriy must have tapped into the bulk of colorists hearts when she drew this chapter, as fairies are a favorite among most colorists. Add in some leprechauns as she has done with mushroom houses and mermaid castles for a true imaginative journey.
Chapter 4 – The Witch and the Hidden Secret Forrest – in true fairy tale tradition, if you are going to have good like fairies you must contrast with bad or a witch in this case. There will be potions and magicians and mysterious plants in this forest and beautiful Halloween scenes.
Chapter 5 – Cheerful Town Scenes we now get to explore the village and see bookshops, pancake parties and puppet shows.
The world of Cocot that Eriy has created is so truly unique that I could not imagine any other artist combining these things together.
Eriy’s work is further enhanced by the “handmade” quality her art has. Rendering your illustrations with ink and toothpick produces a look that has an innocence about it that computer enhanced work does not.
Due to the way Eriy creates her art the lines will be varied in both color and line weight but they are, on the whole, a medium weight. The hand drawn look does not produce as crisp and sharp of a line as you may find in computer generated imagery however.
Colorists that have a minor visual impairment may need to pop on the glasses or move the magnifying lamp closer. Although there are many images that have open space for ease of coloring each image is packed with detail. Some colorists with motor or vision impairment may find the abundance of detail challenging. Usually, this just means that you may need to pace yourself and just do a little at a time.
Although Eriy tends to use the whole of the page for her art there is still some white space in images that would look great with background effects added.
Please click on an image to view more detail.
As in the Chinese edition, you will find instructions to create a wall display or shadow box. The illustrations and background for this display can be found in the pull out poster included with the book.
- The major difference between the books is the cover with the English edition having a dust jacket and colorable card cover underneath whereas the Chinese edition featured a colorable inner cover.
- The paper in the Chinese edition is white whereas it is off white in the English edition.
- There are some minor (2mm) differences in positioning of a couple of images in the English edition
- There are a couple of differences between the color of the ink on a couple of images between editions (see images above)
- The paper is a medium quality in both books although the Chinese edition feels slightly heavier.
- English text is used in the English coloring book whereas it is only used for headings in the Chinese edition
- The pull out poster is loose in the Chinese edition and is printed on thinner paper. In the English edition it is attached by perforations for easy removal and the paper is slightly thicker.
- The binding in the English edition is more relaxed making it easier to lay flat for ease of coloring.
In my opinion, the only thing that could improve Romantic Country is adding a nameplate page. This would be useful to test out mediums but also imprint on the mind what a lovely book this is to cherish. But really, I cannot deduct points for lack of a nameplate page when I have a beautiful map of Cocot and a lovely display to create.
See my Romantic Country Pinterest Board for coloring inspiration
Where to Buy – Romantic Country – The Second Tale
|Amazon US||Amazon UK||Amazon Canada||Book Depository|
Romantic Country – Trilogy of Coloring Books by Eriy
Happy coloring x