IDW's New Coloring Book Not Just For The Birds

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Smithsonian Birds

Coloring books for grownups has been a growing trend over the last handful of years, providing a therapeutic stress relief while offering up complex, highly detailed works of art just waiting to be filled with tones of one's own choosing. The subject matter ranges from animals to celebrities to kaleidoscopic designs.

IDW's latest contribution to this genre takes things up a notch, however, with this 80-page collection on heavy gauge paper. Birds: A Smithsonian Coloring Book is not merely a coloring book, but a fact-filled guide to the species. Each project is a two-page spread, with the bird to be colored on the right while the left page is devoted to a framed set of facts, figures, and trivia about the specific breed. As such, this isn't the kind of book where you'd be inclined to tear a page out upon completion to pin up on your refrigerator.

Rachel Curtis illustrates each of these fine feathered friends in exquisite -- perhaps even excruciating -- detail. Many of the elements are so minutely rendered that it may make the bearer consider a medium more akin to colored pencils over wax crayons for maximum accuracy.

The one thing I would have liked to have seen in this book is page numbering and a glossary. The book pretty much jumps right into the artwork and continues up until the very last page. An index would at least let you go more quickly to a specific bird rather than having to flip through the book at random. Still, if you're a nature lover and inclined to spend some down time (particularly if you're still enduring lockdown conditions), then you'll certainly be happy with adding this to your collection of arts and crafts supplies.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0