Reviewer Lois C. Henderson: Lois is a freelance academic editor and back-of-book indexer, who spends most of her free time compiling word search puzzles for tourism and educative purposes. Her puzzles are available HERE and HERE Her Twitter account (@LoisCHenderson) mainly focusses on the toponymy of British place names. Please feel welcome to contact her with any feedback at LoisCourtenayHenderson@gmail.com.
Illustrator: Wendy Piersall
Publisher: Ulysses Press
Who ever thought that, as an adult, you could self-administer art therapy through opting for coloring in pictures? If you haven’t heard about it yet, doing so might seem too close to retreating into one’s second childhood for comfort. However, one of the most sophisticated nations, if not the most sophisticated nation, on earth, France, has come up with just such a form of seeking stress relief. With over 350,000 sales in the bag, the publishers of 100 Coloriages Anti-Stress are coining the market in creating therapeutic manuals featuring the most involved pictures of artworks from the Middle Ages, patterns that are enough to turn Austin Powers think-alikes into spasms of ecstasy, and the most apparently intricate landscaped gardens that have ever been framed.
Now, from the pen of the lifelong artist, Wendy Piersall, comes a collection of thirty wildlife designs that will have you reaching for your crayons, paints, and felt-tip pens in the blink of an eye. Not only will coloring these wonderfully seductive and intriguing pictures in provide you with relief from the hurry and scurry of everyday life and its seemingly ever-present demands, but you will also be able to reach a little closer to your own personal Nirvana. Each of the pictures is, in fact, a mandala (Sanskrit for “circle”), which is a means of retreating from the world that has been used for eons as an aid to meditation and healing. So both old and new impulses are catered for in this diverse mix of lions, dragons, peacocks and unicorns, among other creatures of both real and fantasy worlds.
If you are a parent, why not join your kids in their coloring-in activities—after all, you can legitimately give yourself time off, while participating in an enjoyable pastime with them as well. If you are a harassed employee, who desperately needs to put your feet up at the end of a hard day’s work, yet who cannot abide to face another evening of same old, same old TV, why not relax by focusing on a quiet and soothing way of spending some hard-won “me” time, helping to create an artwork that will look beautiful with minimal effort, and experience, on your side? Coloring Animal Mandalas might just also set you free from stereotypical thinking regarding “age-appropriate activities,” and open you up to a whole new world of self-exploration and delight. Just give Piersall a chance to take you there, and you won’t be looking back, but only forwards to your next colorful creation!