by Eunji Park
Published by Seven Seas on November 1st 2016
Style: double page printing
Format: Card cover, Glue Binding
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.
The Mysterious Library: A Coloring Book Journey Into Fables will transport you on a quest into your favorite fairy tales, with over sixty-two pages of gorgeously-detailed pen and ink artwork to color, by Korean illustrator Eunji Park.
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The Mysterious Library – A Coloring Book Journey Into Fables Video Review
I hope you enjoyed the video review above of The Mysterious Library Coloring Book illustrated by Eunji Park. This is the English edition of The Mysterious Library. If you would like to see the Korean edition please click here to see The Mysterious Library Korean Edition Coloring Book review.
The Mysterious Library – A Coloring Book Journey Into Fables
Most coloring addicts were delighted when they heard the news that an English publisher was reproducing The Mysterious Library Coloring Book by Eunji Park in English. This coloring book has stolen the hearts of coloring fans over the last year since the Korean version was released. However, due to the difficulties of acquiring and shipping costs for the book, many people were unable to enjoy this lovely colouring book until now.
The Mysterious Library tells the story in coloring form of a young girl who stumbles upon a library in the forest. She is lured into this library and finds another world within books where she is the main character. Surprisingly, she does not wish to be the character in story books and wants to return home but the library door is locked shut.
I think I could spend a few happy days being Cinderella (post Prince of course) 🙂
What follows is her journey as she is the lead character in all our favorite fairy tales. We follow her on her journey as she searches for the key to unlock the door to the library and return home. It is a wonderful story which is made more powerful by the illustrations demonstrating her role in beloved fairy tales and literature.
Cover & Layout
The cover of The Mysterious Library is a laminate card. A beautiful colored image of the young girl walking into a book that is depicted as a forest is set off against a rich creamy lemon background. Visually the cover tells the story of the coloring book concept. The leaf of the book showing “Once upon a time” automatically suggests a fairy tale.
The back cover depicts a stack of books with a publisher’s blurb in the center. You could color the back cover line art, but would need a medium like alcohol markers to penetrate the laminate finish. The spine is brown with white and lemon text.
The Mysterious Library measures 25cm x 2cm (9.8 in x 9.8in), being similar in size to the Korean edition.
At the start of the book the front cover has been reproduced in black and white line art for you to color in. On the reverse, copyright information has been noted. A simplified title page follows where the text has been framed with lovely flowers of different varieties.
At the rear of the book a visual thumbnail index of the images has been provided. One the reverse of the last image flowers printed on a black background have been provided for you to color in. This image is the same as used on the reverse of the dust jacket in the Korean edition.
The illustrations are printed on bright white medium quality paper that has a light texture to it making it ideal for pencils. All of the images have been presented in storybook form on both sides of the paper. The images are, for the most part, orientated in portrait style. However, there are six pages where the double page scene has been presented vertically rather than horizontally as is the usual custom for coloring books.
The illustrations that are vertical are for Jack in the Beanstalk, Princess and the Pea and Cinderella. Due to the type of art work depicted you can see why Eunji Park elected to position them vertically rather than horizontally. Throughout the book, the illustrations are all presented as double page scenes excepting for two images which are on a single page.
Fairy tale coloring books tend to lend themselves to double page scenes and this book follows that same format depicting a scene with the backgrounds and foregrounds, that we would imagine from our childhood.
The Mysterious Library – A Coloring Book Journey Into Fables Image Gallery
Please click on an image to see it in more detail.
Eunji Park is a very talented and imaginative illustrator. From the time you open the book you are lured into the journey in this imaginative forest that contains a jigsaw puzzle of memories and nostalgia from childhood fairy tales.
We can feel the fear of the young girl as she first steps through the pages as Little Red Riding Hood confronted by the big bad wolf. As we wander through these pages we will come across scenes from the Gingerbread Man, Pinocchio, Jack and the Beanstalk, Swan Lake, Rapunzel Thumbelina, Aladdin, The Red Shoes (My favorite movie of all time!), Princess and the Pea, The Pied Piper, The Snow Queen and three beautiful pages devoted to the one and only Alice in Wonderland 🙂 There appears to have been thought and consideration of how each fairy tale would be placed in the book to unwind the story of the young girl in this mysterious library.
Eunji Park tends to use the whole of the page for her illustrations, packing in detail in each image. There are some images that have white space which would benefit from jazzing up with a background or even some magical background effects.
One of the things that will strike you about this book is that it is all fairy tale coloring. There are no pages of wallpaper or filler for variety in the book. Once you start coloring you color through the fairy tale journey without having it broken with pages of leaves or other elements that are often added to these books.
The art work is positioned well on the page but it does merge into the spine of the book. You will need to gently push down on the book to color those tricky areas near the spine. As the book is used more the spine will start to relax. With a few flip throughs of my book, it has already started to become easier to lay down.
The line art is black and crisp and is visually far easier to see in the English edition than in the Korean edition.
The fairy tale scenes that Eunji has created all come with elaborate backgrounds giving the colorist a lot of other elements to color including animals, varieties of plants and leaves, buildings including, of course, the fairy tale castle 🙂
The young girl has been captured in a variety of looks with flowing locks in Rapunzel , sleeping, dancing and riding the magic carpet. There are also a large variety of costumes to color for each character the young girl is portraying (I wish she had a name!)
English Edition v Korean Edition
Naturally when a coloring book is printed in another language, by another publisher, there will be comparisons. I’ve gone through both versions of the book and here is what I have found:
- The English edition has a full color cover on it whereas the Korean version has a partially colored cover of the same image which is a smaller scale.
- The Korean edition has a dust jacket that can be removed. The reverse of the dust jacket contains floral images on a black background that can be colored.
- The card cover of the book has the black and white line art of the cover illustration to color and on the back an illustration of a child on a unicorn can be colored.
- The English edition has included a page of the floral background used on the dust jacket, as the last page in the book for you to color in.
- The spine of the English edition is brown background with white and lemon text. The spine of the Korean edition has a floral side pattern of green against a black background, black background spine and white text.
- The English edition does not contain a nameplate page whereas the Korean edition does. However, the imagery used on the Korean version is quite small. This image has been enlarged and is used as the simplified title page in the English edition.
- The Korean edition of the book has a flexible type binding which makes the book lay down completely flat. The English edition does not have the same binding and the spine needs to be gently pushed and will relax with use over time.
- The books are roughly the same size but the Korean edition is 2mm larger.
- Paper used in the English version is a brighter white than the shade of white used in the Korean edition
- Line art in the Korean edition of the book is a dark grey and in the English edition the line art is black and a lot crisper and easier to see for those with visual impairment.
There are some pages that have minute differences between the editions of the books:-
A kind You Tube subscriber felt that Little Red Riding Hood was different in the English edition. Measuring the image, the English edition has been positioned slightly different so that you see a few millimeters less of the ground area in the image. The reason for this is that the Korean edition is 25.2 cm rather than 25cm (so 2mm difference, which is extremely minor). This teensy weensy difference in sizing means that you lose a little of the wolf’s tail in this image.
The binding also plays a role in this as well. The Korean edition lays down completely flat whereas the English edition loses some imagery and placement to the spine of the book .
In the Pinocchio scene you lose a little of his shoe on the edge of the page
The back part of Alice’s hand is missing some line art in the scene with Tweedledee and Tweedledum
These are the only pages that I can find where you lose an itty bitty part of a character. In other images you may find that this few little mm difference means less of other elements to color in like leaves, bricks or room decor.
The slight difference in sizing should not affect your enjoyment of the book at all.
Where to buy The Mysterious Library Coloring Book (English Edition)
|Amazon US||Amazon Ca||Amazon UK||Worldwide|
If you are interested in the Korean edition of The Mysterious Library Coloring Book see this post.
See my Pinterest board of completed pages from The Mysterious Library Coloring Book.
Happy coloring x