Tuesday, November 17, 2009

book week: creative coloring

It's past time for another book week, isn't it? I've been saving up all sorts of good ones to show you, especially since the holidays are arriving. It's nice to have a few ideas for giving and receiving, I think, so I'll show you some favorites, new and old, over the next week (or so).

Like a lot of parents these days, I'm not very keen on the traditional coloring book. Rather than color someone else's artwork, I prefer to encourage Tsia to do her own drawings. But we all need a little inspiration sometimes, and Tsia and I are both excited about the Doogles book by Taro Gomi, which acts as sort of a springboard drawing and coloring book that expands on the idea of a coloring book and makes it much more fun. Instead of coloring inside the lines, each page gives a suggestion for the start of a project and lets you take the creativity from there. For example, you can draw silly faces:

Or decide what to feed some crocodiles:

And I especially like this sort of page, which demonstrates to children that you can make your own patterns and embellishments within the basic framework that's been given (in other words, it doesn't all have to be one color!):

But you're not limited to pages with drawings already in place. Use your imagination to decide what (or who) is making this noise:

Tsia and I are looking forward to doing some of the collaborative projects in which, for example, two people can each decorate a fish on neighboring pages. The fish are drawn with just a simple outline so we might use glitter or yarn to decorate them once we've done a little drawing and coloring.

Near the back of this enormous book book (it's more than 350 pages thick!) is a short story to be illustrated. And at the very back are blank pages with suggestions like "Draw a pair of uncomfortably pointy boots." (Oh, I think I might have those in my closet already!)

Once you've worked your way through the entire book (and that should take you a while, with all those pages), there are several more by the same author that build on this concept. Tsia and I had a difficult time choosing one book, they're all so inspiring.

We've been giving this book to Tsia's friends when we're invited to birthday parties. I frequently stock up on items like this so we don't need to go running off in search of a last-minute gift, and I like this book because it appeals to boys and girls and to a variety of ages.

If you're looking for other creative books for older children who might be interested in making things with their hands, I still love the Girls' Best Book. In just a couple of years I think Tsia and her friends will be ready and I'll start stockpiling it for gifts, too.


  1. These books are really fantastic. I got the placemat doodles book for my niece and we've had so much fun with it!

  2. I love Taro Gomi's books. One of my all time favorite childrens' books is "My Friends."