by Millie Marotta
Published by Batsford Ltd on 8 September 2016
Style: double page printing
Format: Card cover with fold out, Glue Binding
Millie brings you her selection of the most remarkable animals on earth to colour in. Millie has researched curious creatures which are fascinating to look at, have amazing survival skills, intriguing behaviour and courting rituals and are wildlife wonders. Meet the adorable Macaroni Penguins with their yellow crests, the showy King of Saxony Bird of Paradise, the enduring camel, the majestic flying fish to the long-lived walrus and mighty moose. Curious Creatures coloring book features animals from all over the world, from all kinds of habitat, from the sea to the mountain tops and from Arctic cold to hot deserts. Remarkable birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and insects are all brought to life by Millie's beautiful illustrations.
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Curious Creatures Coloring Book Review
Curious Creatures is the fourth coloring book by talented illustrator, Millie Marotta. Her previous coloring books are Animal Kingdom, Tropical Wonderland and Wild Savannah. Her books have also been reproduced as postcards, journals and deluxe editions.
Millie’s work always has a nature based theme to it and comprises animals and imagery that are intricately patterned.
Cover & Layout
The cover is consistent both in size and imagery with Millie’s previous coloring books. It is a white gloss cover with a pre printed design comprising a collage of animals from the land and sea. There are printed colors on some of the pattern work adorning each element in teal, green, rose and taupe. The title, and some elements on the cover art, have gold foil highlights.
The spine of the book is purple distinguishing it from other books that she has created.
The back features the same cover art and pre printing sans the gold foil. Both the front and back cover could be colored if you wished.
The cover has fold out flaps which feature a scaled down version of the cover art.
The inner cover is aqua with white line art which is quite faint. Although you could color this area, it is quite difficult to see, due to the fine line work and the lightness of the color used.
The book measures approximately 25cm x 25cm (10 in x 10 in) which is the same as her previous coloring books for adults.
A plain title page is at the commencement of the book, following by plain copyright and additional title page. All of these pages would be good spots to test out your mediums on. Alternatively, there are plain pages at the end of the book that you could use instead.
It is a shame that the ancillary pages do not contain any elements of art from the book, as it would be a great spot to test out color palette ideas, for later projects within the book.
A two page introduction follows from the artist.
The illustrations have all been printed on both sides of the paper and orientated in portrait fashion.
The paper is white and a medium quality.
Curious Creatures contains a number of unusual critters in the one book. You will find creatures of the sea and land within the book.
Some of the curious creatures include a Southern Marbled Emperor Caterpillar, an Amazonian Leaf footed bug, a brown throated sloth and Christmas Tree Worms. Most of these curious creatures I have never heard of. The aim of the book, appears to be to bring some unknown creatures of the world to the forefront in the coloring market. There are also animals that we see in coloring books like Hermit Crabs, Owls, Jellyfish and moths.
A list is set out at the end of the book setting out the names of the animals. Unfortunately, it does not denote page numbers, so when there are a number of curious creatures eg different types of moths, it may be difficult ascertaining which moth you are coloring. Of course, that really only applies for colorists that like to use a reference from real life to color realistically. If you like to just pick up your pencils, and choose colors that you fancy, this lack of detail will not make any difference to your coloring experience.
Millie tends to use an outline of an animal, or element of nature, and use different types of pattern to flow with the imagery. This gives the effect of texture and dimension on the subject due to the use of different shapes and different sizing. The effect of this use of pattern is that it never looks like it was simply pasted on but that it flows with the natural body shape of the art work.
The bulk of the art work in Curious Creatures is one image contained within a page. However, there are approximately 30 double page scenes where the imagery does go into the spine of the book. This part of the book can be difficult to color, but if you push hard enough on the book, you can reach into these areas to color without breaking the spine.
The images have been well centered on the page and on the whole positioned well for ease of coloring.
There are images where part of the element eg a leaf has been cut off by the page. This is something that I do not particularly like as I prefer all elements contained within the coloring page. However, often from an artist’s point of view, the piece looks better with elements drifting off the page.
There’s a variety in the way that the animals have been drawn including showing front portraits as well as profiles.
The majority of the animals have been presented in their entirety but there are about 4 animals that have only been partially produced.
The line art is a fine weight throughout and crisp black.
As there is a lot of different sized patterns used within an illustration, it means that there are different levels of complexity and detail. For colorists that like more open spaces they can choose from a selection of images to color that have larger patterned areas. Colorists that enjoy small detailed pages have an equal choice of finely detailed drawings to color.
Millie Marotta tends not to have a lot of background or foreground imagery in her works so that the subject on its own shines. In Curious Creatures there are some illustrations with other elements in it and background detail but the bulk comprise the subject on its own. For those that love doing background effects there are numerous images with large areas of white space that you could jazz up with background magic.
Curious Creatures Coloring Book Video Review
Enjoy the review of Curious Creatures Coloring book by Millie Marotta below:
Where to buy Curious Creatures Coloring Book
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Other coloring books by Millie Marotta:
Happy coloring x