October 27, 2016 by Beth - I SNIFF BOOKS blog
Established in 1966, Southern Living is a huge lifestyle brand that brings us the best of Southern life and culture through its magazine, cookbooks, website, licensed products, and more. The brand name on its own conjures up images of all sorts of grand, cozy, and wonderful Southern Things. That being said, I’m so VERY UNDERWHELMED with SL’s debut coloring book: Southern Living Celebration Cakes: A Lifestyle Coloring Book.
Southern Living Celebration Cakes is both a cookbook and a coloring book — there are 62 recipes and 62 coloring pages. It’s rare for coloring books to have page numbers (or a table of contents) but with a hybrid book such as this, I feel both features would have been useful. (As a side note, I received another recipe coloring book — review forthcoming — and that book does have page numbers and a recipe index.)
I do not like that the editors chose to put the line drawing on the reverse side of the recipe page. So when you flip through the book, there’s this odd disconnect because the coloring page opposite the recipe does not match up. But, the pages are perforated so it’s entirely possible that the editors thought that someone might would color the image on the reverse side of the recipe, tear the page out, and pass the page along to someone. Either way, I would have preferred a more traditional format with the food image directly opposite the recipe page.
And speaking of images, the illustrations are so very underwhelming and boring — they all look so similar and are not really that detailed. There are a small handful of images that are a bit more visually interesting and detailed like the Pound Cake from Heaven coloring page, but these kinds of images are few are far between.
The paper the recipes and images are printed on is just satisfactory. It is very thin and very lightweight — it’s not much heavier than standard printer/copier paper — and you can easily see the inky lines from the reverse side and following page. As I mentioned above, the pages are all perforated for removal.
With a name like Southern Living and with the book being published by Time Inc. Books, I most definitely expected a high-quality book. For me, Southern Living Celebration Cakes did not deliver. I found it not a very thoughtful nor well put together coloring book.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary book from the publisher. I was not required nor obligated to write a review. The opinions are my own.
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