Adult Coloring Book Reviews Fairy Tales

The Story of Pandora – A Fantasy Colouring Book

TheStoryofPandora - The Story of Pandora - A Fantasy Colouring Book
Pandora: A Coloring Book by Kim Sun Hyun, Song Geum Jin

I received this product for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the product or the content of my review.

Published by St. Martin's Griffin on September 6th 2016
Style: double page printing, Instructions - Tips
Pages: 80
Format: Card cover with fold out, Glue Binding
Buy on Amazon US| Buy on Book Depository|Buy on Amazon UK|Buy on Amazon Ca
four-half-stars
Goodreads

A magical fantasy world filled with beautiful creatures and fairy tale landscapes awaits you in this coloring book. Art therapist Kim Sun Hyun understands the method of using art to heal, focus, or simply escape from the stress and pressures of day to day life. A whimsical world has been created by talented illustrator Song Geum Jin so you can escape and spend time coloring.

This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the product. If you buy a book for example, using that link, I will receive a commission of about 25 c from the sale which I can use to offset the expense of running this site, purchasing books and providing giveaways. Your support is very much appreciated x

The Story of Pandora Coloring Book Review

A few weeks ago I reviewed a lovely coloring book called Pandora. You can see the original review here. This beautiful coloring book has now been printed as The Story of Pandora: A Fantasy Coloring Book in an English edition.   Having an English edition makes this lovely coloring book accessible to far more colorists. I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the  publishers of this book to share with you.

There are only a few fantasy based coloring books that have been created as a collaboration between an art therapist and an illustrator. The Story of Pandora is one of those few books. Kim Sun Hyun is a well known art therapist who has worked with illustrator, Song Geum Jin to produce a beautifully imagined coloring book.

I have always felt that the cover of The Story of Pandora reflected a new take on Alice in Wonderland. As most readers will know, I’m slightly obsessed with Alice, so it is possible that I am biased 🙂 I was never sure though as I was unable to translate the writing on the original Korean coloring book of Pandora. Finally, I can now read the essential details on the coloring book and see if it is Alice or not 🙂

Now, I’m not going to keep you in suspense, I’m going to tell you honestly.  I still don’t know whether this is based on Alice in Wonderland or not. There are a lot of “Alice” elements, cards, rabbits, a young girl, drinks that say “drink me”, references to time and the like.  There are also other elements that do not reflect “Alice” like “sleeping beauty” type pictures, castles and even flamingos! I’ve decided that the best thing to do is accept that it is all fantasy, some of which may have been inspired by Alice, and others by imagination.

Looking at both of the books I am amazed with how well they have been reproduced for the English market. There are slight differences to differentiate each version of the book but they are remarkably similar.

Cover & Layout

The cover is beautiful featuring a gorgeous rabbit with cards fluttering about him and  a pretty girl in a froth of pink.   The cover is is white matte with fold out flaps. The cover has all been printed in shades of pink, ruby and with a dash of other colors for highlighting. The title has been printed in fuchsia and is slightly raised.

The cover art on the English edition of the Story of Pandora is the same as the cover art on the original coloring book. The English edition is a few millimeters smaller than the Korean version and contains larger title text.   The imagery has been re positioned slightly as explained below. The spine of the The Story of Pandora follows the same color scheme with fuchsia and white text printing which differentiates it from the Korean version which uses a white background with fuschia text.

The cover has fold out white flaps with text about the book printed predominantly in fuchsia. A few decorative printed cards adorn the page. The Korean version of the book used fuchsia fold out flaps with white text and without any decorative pictorial elements. Sadly, both books do not offer any line art on the fold out flaps or the inner and back covers to color in, but there are plenty of pictures inside!

The back cover of The Story of Pandora features the lovely rabbit from the front cover in a boat with three ducks looking on. There is a text blurb on the back of the book detailing other titles of coloring books, as well as some lovely detailed art work on the sides. The imagery of the English edition of the book that has been used is the same as the Korean version, but it has been scaled down and re-positioned, in order to fit the text blurb on the back of the book.

A lovely peach colored protective page follows in the Story of Pandora (in the Korean version this page was more pink).

The book measures  24.9 x 26.7 cm  (approximately 9.8  x 10.5 inches).

The paper that has been used in the English edition is a bright white which is a different shade from the cooler white used in the Korean version. The paper in the English edition is a medium quality and has a very slight texture to it compared to the Korean version which is smoother.

The images have all been illustrated on both sides of the paper in both versions of the book and all orientated portrait style.

The  books feature a nameplate page with line art in the shape of a heart with a banner and filled with detail including flowers and a flamingo. The line art is small and will be difficult for most colorists to color in. Skilled colorists with good eyesight will need to use fine liners to color this image. An introductory title page follows which shows an outline of a heart adorned with flowers and with a banner below. This image is also in the original coloring book and appears to be the same size.

The title page for the book follows which is a reflection of the cover art on the book. However, the English edition of the book shows more art work than is present on the cover of the book and is more of the size of the Korean book. The imprint of the publisher’s logo at the bottom of the image is a shame, as without it in that position there would be more elements to color in. This page and the previous title and nameplate pages are all great spots to test out your wet mediums and see how they react with the paper and your coloring style.

The Story of Pandora Colouring Book Review

The Forest Land and the Mushroom Village

I had always wondered what the text said in the original coloring book and now I know! An Authors note follows which has been presented across two pages as a double page scene. The Author gives tips for relaxing and enjoying your coloring book. At the foot of the page there are elements to color in across both pages. The art work in the English edition finishes a few millimeters shorter than in the Korean version.

The coloring book proper then commences.   I am pleased to say that the illustrations that were printed in the Korean version have all been reprinted in the English edition and in the same order.

Throughout the book the difference of a few millimeters in the size of the book is evident on illustrations that run the full width of the page. This may mean that a few tiny tot elements are missing from an image in the English edition that would be present in the Korean.

The Story of Pandora

The difference of a few millimeters means that some small elements may be lost like part of the left foot on the young girl in the English edition. You will also see that the Korean version has slightly darker line art.

Illustrations

The illustrations are presented across both pages. There are 24 double page scenes throughout the book.   Many of the illustrations run to the spine of the book. The English edition of the book has very strong binding.   After you have pushed it firmly a few times the binding will start to relax and begin to lay down flat.   The original book folds down flat with ease.

The Story of Pandora Coloring Book Review

The Storybook Garden

The line color in both books is black but in the English edition it has a finer, more delicate line weight and is not as dark as the Korean version.

The Story of Pandora Colouring Book Review

The Storybook Garden

Many of the illustrations contain a lot of detail and you could lose yourself for hours coloring them in. Other illustrations have large areas of space to color that will be easier for colorists that have health issues that make complex coloring difficult for them (or for colorists, like me, that do not like coloring fiddly bits).   Many of the illustrations contain a lot of white space which is ideal for those colorists that love to add background color.

Kim Sun Hyun who is a practicing art therapist suggests coloring small parts at a time and just enjoying that process.  Often as colorists, we feel it is a race to finish a picture (something that I am guilty of) and we miss the therapeutic benefits of just focusing on one thing at a time without distraction.

The Story of Pandora Colouring Book Review

Floating to the castle of magic

At the end of the book there are 4 pages discussing the benefits of art therapy. This is then followed by a lovely picture of a girl and a balloon to complete the book. A visual index of the drawings included in the book follows which gives names to each page of illustrations.    There are two pages at the back of the book for your own drawings (you could use these to test your mediums and create your color palettes).  The book is finished with another peach protective page.

The Story of Pandora Colouring Book Review

Goodbye ..time to dream

In summary:

      • Both versions of the book have the same illustrations in the same order
      • The positioning of the images is a few millimeters different, as the English book is slightly smaller than the Korean book
      • The bright white paper in the English edition has more tooth than the Korean edition
      • The Korean edition is bound in such a way that it lays flat easily whereas the English edition requires you to relax the binding
      • The line art in the Korean edition is blacker and slightly thicker than the English edition which has a finer look
      • The English edition is a different shade of white to the Korean edition
      • The English edition weighs slightly more than the Korean edition

You can see my review of  the original Korean edition of Pandora here.

The Story of Pandora Coloring Book Video Review

Where to buy The Story of Pandora Coloring Book

Amazon USAmazon UKAmazon CanadaBook Depository

Happy coloring x

Lea

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four-half-stars

About Kim Sun Hyun

Kim Sun Hyun is a professional art therapist and the head of art therapy at Cha University hospital. She is also the bestselling author of Power of Masterpiece, which has sold over 110,000 copies in Korea. In 2015, she was designated as the president of World Congress of Art Therapy.

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About the author

coloringqueen

I’m Lea and I love everything to do with coloring! If it is a coloring book, a poster or even a bookmark that you can color in, I’m all over it. Of course, a girl has to have some pencils, markers, gelly rolls, pastels and what not to make those pictures pretty and I love those as well.

Whilst my coloring style lacks skill, I am enthusiastic and focused on enjoying the moment and having fun.

Leave a Reply

13 Comments

  • So, if you had to choose between the English version or the Korean, which would you choose? The Korean, because it’s a bit bigger (and I suppose thus easier to color?) or the English? Do you really lose anything of value by not being able to read the Korean? This looks like a GORGEOUS book (and, honestly, I’ve been wanting it just because of the cover! Lol)–is the cover pic reproduced to color? Sorry for the many questions, and thanks in advance for any answers/advice you can give.

    • Hi Tammy, I looked at this book for months before I bought it totally entranced by that delicious cover so I know how you feel! Personally, I would buy the English version because a) I can read it 🙂 b) it is only a couple of millimetres difference in size of the actual illustrations c) the English version is less expensive and Christmas is coming …. d) the tooth on the English paper appears to be better for layering pencils – not so smooth as the Korean version e) I have muscles now so I’m able to push enough to relax the binding more on the English version. The covers on both books are exactly the same from a color and image point of view, although the English version shows less of the image because of the smaller sized book and slight reposition of the art work. On the Korean cover you will see more cards fluttering underneath the blue fish and more of the “Alice” legs. From a cover point of view the reposition of art work seems to result in about 1 cm less of art work. Hope that helps. Happy coloring x

  • I meant to ask if the cover pic is reproduced other than on the first page, where the publishing logo obscures some of it (i didn’t see another in the flip through). And, also, I guess I was trying to ask if, due to the few millimeters difference, if the drawings are scaled down, or if it is really just a positioning issue (yes, I noticed the back drawing was scaled down to make way for text, but is it just that one?).

    • Hi Tammy, the cover art is used as the title page (with the logo obscuring some dress). A few pages later in the book the cover art is reproduced as a double page scene – bunny on the left side of the paper and the girl imagery on the right. Some of the illustration does go into the spine of the book. The images do not appear to be scaled, except as pointed out on the back, rather just re-positioned on the page. Happy coloring x

  • I’m so ENVIOUS, my copy won’t ship until after 9/6. Glad to hear the books are basically the same but disappointed there is really isn’t a story of Pandora.

    Thanks for the review.

    • Don’t worry DeeDee the 9/6 will come before you know it! I guess the story of Pandora is whatever we choose to imagine it to be while we are relaxing and coloring 🙂 Happy coloring x

  • True, we can make up our own stories or maybe I’ll just leave them slightly mysterious. Nope. I have to ask questions. For instance, what on earth are those little loaf shaped critters? : ) I know nothing about coloring as stress therapy so it will be interesting to see what Kim has written.

    Have a great weekend. We have a holiday in the US on Monday. Hurrah for long weekends!

    • lol – loaf shaped critters? I can’t see which pics you are referring to – can you give me some idea of the page that you are looking at? My mind is boggling and imagining toast gone wild! Coloring as stress therapy basically means just focus on what you are doing – the actual act of coloring in, not the finishing etc and enjoy the act of coloring. No holiday for us in Australia but I do hope all my friends across the pond have a great long weekend. Lots more time for coloring!

  • The little loaf-like beings are in the first photo. One’s on a tree stump and the other hugging a mushroom (????). It’s the page with the pig covered in hearts. I love the picture BTW. One of the many in the book that persuaded me to buy it.

    Thanks for explaining about the stress therapy aspect.

    • Now I know what you mean! They kinda look like little Ewoks from Star Wars but not as teddy bearish 🙂 I imagine that they are little critters of the artist’s imagination (they certainly don’t look like any critter I’ve seen in my travels lol!) With the texture on them, they remind me a little of those toys that kids used to get with the grass growing out of them. They are cute – will have to think of a name for them 🙂 Happy coloring x

  • Thank you so much for your reply! I’m sorry I asked the same thing twice (when I read my first message, I thought it didn’t seem to really ask what I wanted to know, so I tried to clarify–little did I know, I was on the verge of a migraine, so I guess that’s why it didn’t seem like it was very clear). Oh, one of those days….

    I really enjoy the blog, and your reviews and videos are great. I’m not totally home bound, but mostly so, and it’s great to be able to see the books before purchasing. I wrestle with myself before looking at books that might not be easily obtainable. Many of them are beautiful, but hard to find. So I appreciate that you’re going back and adding links to your earlier posts to make them somewhat easier to obtain. (I wish book depository would stock more Korean, Thai, and Japanese titles, even if they were more expensive. Oh well.

    Looking forward to more great reviews of coloring books and coloring utensils. Thanks again! 🙂

    • I truly sympathise with the migraines. I’ve had them for 20 years since a car accident when I was younger. That awful “aura” that you feel before the world comes crashing down is a nightmare 🙁 Luckily, for me, as I have aged the frequency of migraines has lessened. One good thing about the wrinkles I guess 🙂 I hope that you are taking care of yourself and the nasty migraine visits less often leaving you more time for coloring 🙂 I’m slowly going through the older entries adding links but there are a few hundred pages here so it’s pretty slow work 🙂 The good news is that a lot of the English publishers are picking up imprint rights to the Korean/Japanese books, making them easier to obtain and more affordable. Happy coloring x

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