by Kameichido, Ryouichi Tajima
Published by Nippan Ips on June 1st 2017
Style: color inspiration images, double page printing
Format: Dust Jacket
Illustrator Kameichido mixes animal illustrations with intricate and patterns. This new coloring book presents more than 60 new animal drawings as they live in a zoo.
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Fantastic Zoo Coloring Book Video Review
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Fantastic Zoo Coloring Book Review
Fantastic Zoo coloring Book was originally released in Japan. An English imprint was then published in 2017 making the work of Kameichidou available to a wider audience. Kameichidou is the name that illustrator, Ryouichi Tajima uses.
Although Fantastic Zoo is by a Japanese artist and originally released in Japan, the English imprint is printed in China.
Cover & Layout
The cover of Fantastic Zoo shows a cute turtle with a zoo living on its back. There’s an elephant, giraffe, mini turtle and a little bunny with simple house figures surrounding it. The cover is very quirky with little animals wandering around the title and hanging by ropes. Although the outline of t he animal is simple and almost naive, the picture is decorated with patterns making the image more detailed.
You can see from the partially colored cover art, how these images would look colored with a subtle background added. The beauty of this style of book, in my opinion, is that it can be enjoyed in many different ways.
Colorists that love backgrounds can go to town creating elaborate effects. Colorists that love fiddly bits will enjoy coloring the tiny patterns. Colorists that are masters of gradients and ombre effects will enjoy the large space to create these effects. Whereas colorists that have minor visual impairment, dislike fiddly bits or with motor impairment may just want to color straight over the patterns.
The back of the dust jacket continues the front cover theme in a very minimalist way.
Fantastic Zoo Coloring Book measures approximately 9 in x 10 in.
A thin glossy card cover with just plain text title protects the coloring pages.
A plain text title page commences the book. Over leaf there are 4 pages showing colored and framed pictures from the book. This is followed by two pages of before and afters with the whale and tortoise colored in two different color palettes and styles. As an aside, I cannot remember ever seeing this before in a coloring book and I do find it inspiring to see the differences before you dive in.
Unusually the front cover art is available to color at the back of the book, with copyright information on reverse.
Any of the pages mentioned above, would be the place to test out your mediums and see how they react with the paper and your chosen technique.
The Fantastic Zoo coloring book is printed on both sides of the off white, medium quality paper.
Most of the illustrations have been well positioned and centered on the page, avoiding the spine area. Although many images are double page scenes, it really is only a line to ground the image, so it gives the appearance of a single page piece of art.
There are 18 pages that are true double page scenes where the line art does run to the spine of the book. You really need to be firm pushing this book in the spine area in order to help it loosen and lay flat. Clearly, I’m a weakling because after two pushes I still need to do another in order to really loosen it up.
Coloring Book Images and Illustrations
At the start of the book we are provided with a two page spread of a map of the zoo. This sets out the fantastic animals that are contained in this quirky zoo. The zoo is divided into different areas: small animals, reptile house, large animals, birds paradise and an aquarium.
Each animal is simply outlined and either drawn in full face on or side on. All of the animals are decorated in mandala like patterns on some parts of their body. These patterns have itty bitty details that you would need a sharp pencil or fine liner to color in. The beauty of these patterns is that you can color wash over them and they would look fabulous, especially if you used a rainbow of colors, you can color solidly over the whole pattern and animal and the black would still provide a great contrast. If you were inclined, you can also create your own pattern over the rest of the animal. My only niggle with the pattern is that it is very similar throughout the zoo.
The artist uses very little elements for background, maybe a few flowers or leaves this gives the colorist the opportunity to add effects and go crazy with the background if they wanted to.
The illustrations are very quirky and you can’t help but smile when you look at them. The animals tend to have houses on their backs or heads and are often decorated with washing lines with itty bitty clothes hanging on them to dry.
Line art is black and crisp and very easy to see. The medium line weight makes it easy for colorists with a minor visual impairment as does the limited background detail.
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Where to buy Fantastic Zoo Coloring Book
Happy coloring x