January 15, 2017 by I SNIFF BOOKS - Beth
First published in Japan in December 2015, My Colorful Town: A Coloring Tour by Japanese artist Chiaki Ida makes its English-language edition debut via US publisher Get Creative 6. It’s always so very exciting when a US publisher gets reprinting rights for an international coloring book — especially one so charming and quaint as this book — but my excitement is unfortunately tinged with disappointment. The English-language edition is not an exact replica of the Japanese edition and I’m disappointed with the paper quality — more about both below.
About the book: My Colorful Town takes you on a coloring journey through the streets and shops of a picturesque town. You’ll visit the Bookstore, Bakery, Pâtisserie, Tailor, Shoe store, Clock shop, Craft store, Furniture store, Café, Flower store, and Farmers’ Market. Each locale gets three double-page spreads. The first double-page spread features an exterior view, the second double-page spread features the shops’ interior, and the third double-page spread almost always features items (larger in size) from the shop to color. The book concludes with a double-page spread featuring a map of the town.
Differences between Japanese edition and English edition: There are a few noticeable differences between the original Japanese edition and the English-language edition.
The Japanese edition is sized nearly 10 x 10 inches square. My Colorful Town is sized a bit smaller at nearly 9 x 9 inches square.
Many Japanese coloring books have a bonus page or two to color — usually featuring postcards or gift tags or other novelties — at the end of the book. My Colorful Town does not include the bonus page from the Japanese edition.
The Japanese edition has a full color dust-jacket and the book covers are brown card with white line drawings. My Colorful Town has full-color paperback covers.
Book Specs: My Colorful Town is sized nearly 9 x 9 inches square with 72 pages and is glue and string bound. The binding was a bit tight when the book arrived but the book’s spine has loosed up considerably and the book now lays nearly completely flat when open.
Paper Specs: The paper is cream (with the barest hint of yellow) with a very slick and smooth texture and, most unfortunately, I am not pleased with how my pencils are performing on the paper. The pigment for my wax-based Crayola Color Escapes Premium Pencils (72 count) is laying down a bit streaky and uneven — I adore these new pencils and have used them in other coloring books without any issues. My oil-based Koh-I-Noor Polycolor colored pencils are faring a bit better (which is surprising given the smooth texture of the paper) but I’m still not 100% pleased with how the oil-based pigment looks on the page.
The paper does have a nice weight to it but yet I can see the inky lines from the reverse side and following page. And speaking of inky lines, some of the lines for the design elements that span across both pages don’t always line up at the book’s center spine — but yet there are double-page spreads where the lines sync up perfectly. Images are printed on both sides of the page.
Inside Preview: At this point in my review I’d normally share a video flick-through and/or lots of photos as well as photos to show the pigment issues on the page, but honestly, I’m so disappointed with the paper quality and my coloring experience that I don’t want to take the time to do that. Sorry folks. However, I will include the three images that I shared in my Books News post back in December 2016.
Hazel Smithies of Creative Colouring with Hazel has a page-by-page look inside the original Japanese coloring book that you can view right here. **Remember the English-language edition does have some slight differences.** Be sure to subscribe to Hazel’s YouTube channel so you don’t miss any new videos she shares.
If anyone has a positive experience getting pigment to lay down nicely on the page please leave a comment to share your experience and let us know what brand of pencils you used.
Where to buy: My Colorful Town: A Coloring Tour officially goes on sale on February 7, 2017 and is available on Amazon USA | Amazon Canada | Amazon UK. At the time of this post, Book Depository has a delayed release date of February 28.
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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