Published by St. Martin's Griffin on 2 May 2017
Style: Contains Extras, double page printing
Format: Dust Jacket, Glue & Stitched
I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the product or the content of my review.
"Cheerful rural villages, forests, lakeside scenery, and magical people await you and your colored pencils in this follow-up to Romantic Country: A Fantasy Coloring Book and Romantic Country: The Second Tale by Japanese illustrator Eriy. Discover magical forests filled with fairies, delightful town squares bustling with people, whimsical village scenes, charming castles with towers--and so much more"
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Romantic Country – The Third Tale Coloring Book Video Review
I hope you enjoyed the extended video review and comparison of Romantic Country – The Third Tale Coloring Book.
Romantic Country – The Third Tale Coloring Book Flip Through
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Romantic Country – The Third Tale Coloring Book Review
As most people know, I love the Romantic Country series of colouring books by Eriy. The imagination that can so completely create a fantasy world of the scale of Cocot, including the intricacies of daily life in Cocot, amazes me. It stuns me that this imaginary world can so beautifully recreate not only a realistic land of Cocot, with all the things we would expect to find in a rural town – like shops, farms and quaint cottages but this fantasy world expands to hold another fantasy world of elves, fairies and dragons within it. I often wonder how much time Eriy has spent, not only drawing the pictures that comprise Romantic Country, but detailing all the elements that are contained within this fantasy – the maps and the legend detailing parts shown in the books and providing context.
Cover & Layout
Romantic Country – The Third Tale by Japanese toothpick artist, Eriy was released as a Japanese edition first. You can see my full review of that here. Fortunately, St Martins Press acquired the rights to release the Romantic Country series as an English imprint. St Martins Press are one of the few publishing companies that I am confident with, for English imprints of beloved Japanese colouring books. They pay attention to the original format that colorists have fallen in love with and work hard to recreate that in the English imprint.
The dust jacket cover has the same illustration printed on the English edition as in the original colouring book. The only differences being that there is no longer any Japanese text. The English publishers have added a badge on the left hand side of the cover highlighting that this book contains colouring cards. The coloring cards are also included in the Japanese edition. On the back of the dust jacket the publisher’s logo and barcode information has been printed at the bottom of the book rather than the right hand side as in the Japanese edition.
Paper used on the English edition of the dust jacket is a smooth, glossy paper and as such it gives the cover art a more vibrant appearance than the matte paper used on the Japanese dust jacket.
The card cover of the colouring book is a kraft type card which is a slightly different color from the Japanese edition. The illustrations are the same on both of the books.
Romantic Country – The Third Tale measures 25cm x 25cm approximately (9.8 in x 9.8) in which is about a millimetre larger than the Japanese edition.
A plain title page starts the book. Over leaf a double page scene tells the story of the Third Tale in English. In the Third Tale we learn how Elena and Joset (the young girl and the duck) met and we discover the islands surrounding Cocot. This section of text has been decorated with flowers, birds and Joset the duck to color in. These pages and the preceding page would be the best place to test out your colouring mediums and see how they react with the paper and your colouring style.
Over page a map of Cocot and surrounding islands has been printed so that you can get your bearings in this colouring book, as you progress through the fantasy world of Cocot.
An introduction to Elena and Joset follows with pictures of both characters for you to color in. These pages have a border that gives the appearance of aged paper with crease lines on it to give the pages more charm.
A double page scene for each of the North of Cocot and the South of Cocot follows showing specific landmarks within those areas like the Forests and Castles.
At the end of the book you will find a 5 page visual and descriptive index. Not only are there thumbnails for the images but there is also a description of the image that helps us to put the image in context. We learn about the Ice Rink, the Christmas Garden and even the breakfast that you can have in this Romantic Country. The only thing that is a little confusing is that there are page numbers referred to in the index, but the colouring book has not been printed with page numbers. Fortunately as there is a thumbnail picture in the book, it is easy enough to find the picture that is referred to in the text.
Romantic Country series of colouring books always follows the same formula as to layout. There are introductory pages, maps and then the main colouring book that is divided into Chapters.
Romantic Country – The Third Tale is divided into the following Chapters:
Chapter 1 – Peaceful days in the North
Chapter 2 – Peaceful days in the South
Chapter 3 – Beautiful Island Scenes
Chapter 4 – Good Times for Elena and Joset
Chapter 5 – The Passage of Time in the Secret Forest
All of the art work is printed on both sides of the off white, medium quality paper.
There are 38 pages of double page scenes within the book where the line art does run to the spine of the book. The binding was a little stiff initially, but after just flipping through the book three times (twice for filming) the spine has now relaxed enough to lay down to color in these areas easily. Many of the single page illustrations abut the spine area of the book, but with use, the binding relaxes making it easy to color in these areas.
Romantic Country – The Third Tale Coloring Book Images and Illustrations
Eriy has created such a beautiful world in Cocot that I know that I am not alone in wanting to move there. Everything that you could possibly want in a colouring book has been included in the Romantic Country series of colouring books.
In Romantic Country – The Third Tale Eriy increases the fantasy world of colouring by adding illustrations that appeal to colorists generally. In addition to the beautiful country scenes, elaborately detailed shops and cute animals we also find dragons, fairies, mermaids and elves.
Eriy’s art work, due to her style of using toothpicks, always has a hand drawn quality to it that makes it look very charming. The style of the art, and the fact that it is not highly refined and digitalised, seems to make it more appealing and suitable to the theme of the colouring book that is set in an older, more traditional time, pre Photoshop and iPhones.
The English edition of Romantic Country – The Third Tale uses black line art rather than the muddy brown/black lines that are printed in the Japanese edition. The black lines are far easier to see if you have a minor visual impairment. On some pages, you wil notice that the black lines are brighter than others. The reason for this, I assume, is because Eriy dips her toothpick in ink to create the line. When the ink is freshly dipped a brighter line would ensue and gradually fade out until dipped again. In the prelude Eriy states that it took 900 toothpicks ot create the book!
For colorists that have motor skill impairment or suffer from arthritis that makes colouring in detailed areas challenging, Romantic Country – The Third Tale, offers many pages of pictures that have large areas of open space to color as well. Some images, particular those of shop displays, may have too many smaller elements to color comfortably. For those pictures I would suggest just color washing over the area, rather than attempting the fiddly bits, if it causes discomfort.
Please click on an image to view more detail
At the end of the book there is a 3D scene that you can create. Instructions are printed in English so you can create your own 3d scene as well. There are two pages with a scene on each that you can color in and cut out using the dotted line as a guide.
In the English edition of Romantic Country – The Third Tale the colourable scene is printed on the same paper as in the colouring book. In the Japanese edition, card stock has been used for these two pages in the book. Having separate types of paper, within the same book is very expensive in publishing, and I can understand why the publishers have elected not to do that with these two pages in the book.
- English edition has a glossier dust jacket
- English edition uses same paper as the colouring book for the 3d color cards
- Paper in the Japanese book is white as opposed to off white in the English edition
- Ink is brown/black on the Japanese edition and brighter, crisper black on the English edition
- All illustrations are the same and presented in the same order
Where to buy Romantic Country – The Third Tale Coloring Book (English Edition)
|Amazon US||Amazon UK||Amazon Canada||Book Depository|
If you want to see pictures colored from the Romantic Country series of Colouring Books – check out my Romantic Country Pinterest Board here.
Happy coloring x