Thursday, July 23, 2015

She's Crafty | Coloring Craze

Imagine you are on a much needed break at work. Or, you're at home and for once it's quiet. I know it might be hard to conjure an image of such an event, but give it a try.

You grab a coloring book filled with abstract animals and flip to a page with a bird and a lizard chilling in a tree.

From Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta.

Then, with glee in your heart you grab some colored pencils and lose yourself in filling the little spaces on the pages with color.

Sounds nice, huh?

But you might be thinking, what is this coloring business?! You're a grown up now and you don't color in coloring books anymore. You have big people things to do, even during what is supposed to be your downtime.

You do have downtime, right? I sure hope so, your brain needs it.

Don't knock coloring. It's hot stuff right now. I just checked Amazon's bestseller list this morning and five of the top twenty bestselling books are coloring books! One of the titles, Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford tops the list at number three, right after What Pet Should I Get? by Dr. Seuss and Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee.

Popularity aside, coloring is simply a fun and easy way to relieve stress. For those who find it hard to let go of their worries, coloring can help you do it with ease. It doesn't need much set-up, it's not expensive, and there is no right or wrong way to do it.

If you need more convincing just poke around the internet a bit and you will see the world is enjoying a bit of coloring. Here are just a few of the articles I encountered online:

I currently own two coloring books. One is a collection of Mandalas, published by Dover and the other is Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta. I eyed Animal Kingdom for a while and finally convinced myself that it would be beneficial for my brain health to buy a really pretty coloring book. Not to mention fun. 

From Animal Kingdom by Millie Marotta.

Now, coloring books are not an item you can typically checkout from the library (except for maybe this Anatomy Coloring Workbook) but with an internet connection, which you can access on a public computer at any branch in our system with a library card, you can find coloring sheets online.

Coloring Pages for Adults is a website devoted to offering free printable coloring pages. This website has a lot of content. It also has a lot of flashy ads, so just be aware of what you're clicking on when you've found a page you want to download and print. There's a lot of good stuff here, so definitely give it a visit.

Parade Magazine also has a list of free coloring sheets. Just visit this article to grab them up, Free Download: Coloring Pages from Popular Adult Coloring Books. 

Turn coloring into a fun group activity. Have a family or friend night without phones, tablets, consoles, or computers. All you need is a pile of coloring pages, and whatever tools you like to use to lay down some sweet color: crayons, color pencils, watercolor pencils, pastels, gel pens, highlighters, markers, soft colored chalk...

Before I go, let me share this hilarious picture book with you fine readers. This gem popped up during a catalog search for items related to coloring or coloring books:

Bad Day at Riverbend by Chris Van Allsburg follows Sheriff Ned Hardy and the people of a small village known as Riverbend. All of a sudden their peaceful lives are turned upside down by a bunch of mysterious and colorful streaks of slime.


And of course if you want to pair story time with a coloring event that includes little ones, grab a copy of Bad Day at Riverbend along with The Day the Crayons Quit and Red: A Crayons Story.

Have fun!


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