#Colouring #BookReview: Millie Marotta’s Curious Creatures #MPBooks

A beautiful and detailed adult colouring book.

Millie Marotta Curious Creatures book coverTitle: Curious Creatures

Author/Illustrator: Millie Marotta

Publisher: Batsford

Genre: Colouring book

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My Review: Once again another Millie Marotta book does not disappoint! I’ve bought every Millie Marotta book I can since I first discovered them and this book is just as great as the rest but with lots of new creatures to colour in. ‘Curious Creatures’ is all about animals, be they fish, birds, insects or mammals, and each page or double page spread contains lots of intricate designs which I just love to colour in.

Interesting range of different creatures to colour in.

The book is the same size and thickness as her other books (or Johanna Basford’s books),wider than A4 but shorter, and contains so many pages that even for full price you are getting a bargain in terms of how much there is to colour! Each page is crisp white and nice and thick enough to colour using pens although being double sided I’d always be careful not overdoing the amount of felt pens or gel pens you use in one spot. I’ve only use pencils in my book.

More pretty and detailed images to colour.

Every picture in the book is a realistic outline of the real animal with lots of fun and detailed shapes inside it to colour in. Some of the images just have random shapes, while other animals are made from lots of leaves which just looks amazing! The animals really vary in this book and there’s plenty I’ve never seen before. My favourites include the weed sea dragons, narwhal and the kiwi. Some of the images have extra details in them such as leaves while others have blank around them. I love the blank spaces as it gives me the chance to doodle in my own drawings and there’s also a few pages at the back of the book for creating your own images which some people who enjoy drawing as well as colouring, like me, will love!
One thing I’ve noticed which I think is an improvement on the first Millie Marotta book, Animal Kingdom, is the slight increase in the size of the shapes that make up the animals. It’s not a drastic increase and there’s still as much detail to colour in but the first book had such small shapes you couldn’t always colour individual ones in easily with pencils (you’d need incredibly sharp pencils all the time).

Sharks! 🙂

The start of the book features an introduction by Marotta which as always is nice to read and the back of the book has list of all the animals that feature in the book which is great as I didn’t know what some of the birds were especially the mandarin duck.

I really love this book. I’ve barely coloured in anything and I’ve already spent hours on this and I just love it! I can’t say a bad thing about this book. Maybe it’s a little tricky to get into the centre of the book especially when colouring in a double page spread, but the book’s spine opens easily (might want to push/crack it open) and lies quite flat on a surface. It doesn’t bother me at all. I’ve included some pictures including my own colouring in with pencils. This book is just great, I can’t wait for the next one!

Here’s a coloured in picture.  Tell me what you think of my colouring 🙂 …

Millie Marotta Curious Creatures sea dragon
My own colouring 🙂

Do you enjoy colouring or Millie Marotta books?  What do you think of my own colouring? Please do comment I’d love to hear from you 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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#BookReview: Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth by Nicola Davies & Emily Sutton #MPBooks

A beautiful and detailed picture book with a powerful message.

Lots book coverTitle: Lots: The Diversity of Life on Earth

Author: Nicola Davies

Illustrator: Emily Sutton

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s Picture book/Non-fiction

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Description: How many different kinds of living things are there on Earth?  LOTS and LOTS and LOTS!  And the more you look, the more you discover.

Find out in  this brilliant book how all the living things – including us – are part of a big, beautiful pattern and depend on each other for survival.

My Review:  I really do like this book and was charmed by just the cover! ‘Lots’ is a hardback book which is a little larger than A4 in size. The book begins by asking the question ‘How many different kinds of living things are on our planet?’ with a little girl pictured at the start who will feature throughout the book. We are then introduced to the many different types of living things such as mammals, marine life, mushrooms, etc and the different places they exist such as deserts, etc.

Beautiful illustrations

Along with the basic message that there are lots and lots of different living things out there, there are interesting facts spread throughout the book about some of the different animals or exactly how many species of mushrooms there are (to give a couple of examples). This is interesting enough but what really makes this book stand out for me is the images spread throughout the pages. Every page is just like the front cover, filled with gorgeous and detailed drawings. It’s these illustrations that I really adore not only because there’s a lot of detail in them but they are cute too.
I love the smiling faces of many of the animals and the overall old fashioned feel of the images, it really is very appealing to look at. Not only do the illustrations have that old-fashioned feel to them but they are printed on thick but matt paper making it feel even more like an old fashioned book.

Lovely old fashioned style pictures

The ending of the book has a powerful message about how humans are causing so many things to become extinct, it’s a message that I see in a lot of Nicola Davies’ books. I’ve not always been keen on this message being put into every book as it sometimes doesn’t fit and feels like forcing children to understand conservation but with this book I feel different. Although the message might seem an upsetting one to put in a book it really does fit here and I don’t think it would upset too many kids as the message is sort of positive, about humans needing to look after all the species as we are one of the many species on the planet.

Wonderfully detailed images.

I really like this book and think many kids and even adults might enjoy reading this and studying the images. If nothing else the book is a joy to look at and there’s many different creatures you may not notice from first glance, and if the message of looking after our planet is taught to kids along the way then that’s a positive move too.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


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#BookReview: J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World Creatures Magical Film Projections #MPBooks

A fun book/kit for Harry Potter fans!

J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World Creatures Film ProjectionsTitle: J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World: Creatures Magical Film Projections

Publisher: Walker Books

Genre: Children’s/Fun Kit

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Description: Discover Dobby the House -Elf, Buckbeack the Hippogriff and other fascinating creatures from the Wizarding World in this unique book.  In a dark room, shine a light through the window on each page to project incredible scenes on the wall or ceiling.  Read along and experience extraordinary moments from J. K. Rowling’s Wizarding World like never before.

My Review:  This is an interesting and possibly fun kit for any fan of Harry Potter.  Although sold as a book and looking on the outside like a typical hardcover book, this is more of a kit when you open it up.  The basic idea of this kit is that you can project film scenes, or in this case some of the creatures from the Harry Potter world, straight onto your wall at night.  There are card rather than paper pages each with a window of clear plastic (acetate) which features some of the Harry Potter creatures.

When you open the book up you are meant to flip it all the way back, almost so the outer covers are touching each other and form a sort of triangle upright standing position with the book.  There’s an image inside the book to show you how to do this.  Once this is done, one of the card pages can actually stand up making it easy to point a torch at this page and read the text beneath.

Pages are attached on a ring rather than glued into centre

Once you have this set up you simply take a torch, or in my case my phone’s torchlight and shine it through the acetate towards a clear wall or sheet.  This has to be done in the dark so night time is best, and the book even suggests projecting this onto a tent wall!  The image on the acetate should project right onto the wall/surface and then there is a short script you can read out which relates to the picture.  The idea is that you can take it in turns playing the different characters and have fun following the script while seeing the scene projected.

One of the images to project along with its script

The whole idea of this book is really interesting and fun, there’s several different creatures to project and even a clear plastic window which you can draw your own scene on, however I do have some negatives about this kit.  For a start there are only about six scenes to project, your own being the seventh.  As well as this the script for each scene is very short, it feels like some improvisation might be necessary although I’m sure fans won’t see this as a big issue.

One of the images projected.

There are more practical problems I had with the book, the first is standing it up.  It doesn’t have a way to stand up and unless you place it on a rougher surface or hold it open with some weights on either side the book might slowly flatten.  I’ve placed my book on a blanket as the bare table was just too slippery.  The projected scenes are also very fuzzy when you shine a torch at them.  It’s a bit tricky to get the angle right and deciding how close to place the torch, but it didn’t matter how close or far I placed the torch to the acetate, the image was always quite fuzzy.  It’s still very recognisable when you see Dobby or Harry, for example, but I really thought the picture would show up clearer.  I projected the image in the picture below onto a sheet but the same happened whatever surface or wall I projected this on.

This isn’t a fuzzy photograph – this is the clearest I could get the image to project

Overall I think this is a fun idea and I doubt any Harry Potter mad fans will mind too much about the fuzzy images but it’s such a shame as it could be so much better.
-Thanks to Walker Books for a free copy.


What do you think?  Is this a book you’d enjoy or are you thinking of buying?  Please do comment 🙂  You can also find me in these places: 

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