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Aimed at careful colourers rather than serial scribblers, at first glance this newly relased Usborne Colouring Book looks like average value at £4.99 for 32 pages (£3.49 at Amazon). Not so; in fact this book has plenty to keep the budding artist occupied.
Typical Usborne-style delightfully detailed line-drawings contain lots to be completed, each double page has a holiday scene and opposite it an incomplete scene to add to. A picture of a picnic is complemented by the rug opposite it for your child to add food on to the plates, a traffic holiday scene needs wheels and details adding to vehicles, and so on.
The scenes featured are of various holiday destinations; skiing, camping and beach scenes and the like cover the different types of holidays and are challenging enough to fill in with plenty of need for careful colouring "in the lines". The pictures manage not to be over intricate and are humourous, featuring as they do animals on holiday; I doubt I will see many crocodiles enjoying picnics or skiing penguins on vacation but the pictures are delightful and really appeal to children. Sandcastles and suitcases beg to be coloured and kept my daughter busy for hours.
My daughter particularly enjoyed the free colouring aspect of this book, and as she is starting to write liked the page where she could write a list of things to take on holiday. The open ended question "If you could only take one item with you, what would you choose?" got her thinking too as she coloured in the holiday items very carefully, such is her pride in this book and feeling that it is something special. She also produced some lovely items to add to the empty pegs on the camping site washing line that are amongst the best things she has ever drawn. I think our favourite page however had to be the icecream shop one with sundae glasses opposite it to fill up in your imagination and with your pens.
Overall an excellent buy that has occupied and entertained. Thick detachable A4 pages and plenty of variety make this a fantastic book. The pages don't leech through ink so your child can happily use it with pencils, felt tips or paints. I think this book would be best suited for the 5+ market, if your child enjoys colouring they will love this book, and if they are a bit more reluctant then this might just encourage their creativity.
Highly recommended, even if like me you are not quite going on holiday this year!
Details from Amazon:
Paperback: 32 pages
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd (27 Jun 2009)
Product Dimensions: 30 x 23.4 x 0.6 cm
An irresistible colouring book with stylish holiday-themed scenes to colour in and add fun details to. The holiday scenes include at the airport, on safari and fairground fun, and a page to design the perfect ice cream sundae! Includes a page of creative colouring hints and tips.