by Kim Sun Hyun, Song Geum Jin
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on September 6th 2016
Style: double page printing, Instructions - Tips
Format: Card cover with fold out, Glue Binding
I received this product for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the product or the content of my review.
A magical fantasy world filled with beautiful creatures and fairy tale landscapes awaits you in this coloring book. Art therapist Kim Sun Hyun understands the method of using art to heal, focus, or simply escape from the stress and pressures of day to day life. A whimsical world has been created by talented illustrator Song Geum Jin so you can escape and spend time coloring.
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The Story of Pandora Coloring Book Review
A few weeks ago I reviewed a lovely coloring book called Pandora. You can see the original review here. This beautiful coloring book has now been printed as The Story of Pandora: A Fantasy Coloring Book in an English edition. Having an English edition makes this lovely coloring book accessible to far more colorists. I was lucky enough to receive a copy from the publishers of this book to share with you.
There are only a few fantasy based coloring books that have been created as a collaboration between an art therapist and an illustrator. The Story of Pandora is one of those few books. Kim Sun Hyun is a well known art therapist who has worked with illustrator, Song Geum Jin to produce a beautifully imagined coloring book.
I have always felt that the cover of The Story of Pandora reflected a new take on Alice in Wonderland. As most readers will know, I’m slightly obsessed with Alice, so it is possible that I am biased 🙂 I was never sure though as I was unable to translate the writing on the original Korean coloring book of Pandora. Finally, I can now read the essential details on the coloring book and see if it is Alice or not 🙂
Now, I’m not going to keep you in suspense, I’m going to tell you honestly. I still don’t know whether this is based on Alice in Wonderland or not. There are a lot of “Alice” elements, cards, rabbits, a young girl, drinks that say “drink me”, references to time and the like. There are also other elements that do not reflect “Alice” like “sleeping beauty” type pictures, castles and even flamingos! I’ve decided that the best thing to do is accept that it is all fantasy, some of which may have been inspired by Alice, and others by imagination.
Looking at both of the books I am amazed with how well they have been reproduced for the English market. There are slight differences to differentiate each version of the book but they are remarkably similar.
Cover & Layout
The cover is beautiful featuring a gorgeous rabbit with cards fluttering about him and a pretty girl in a froth of pink. The cover is is white matte with fold out flaps. The cover has all been printed in shades of pink, ruby and with a dash of other colors for highlighting. The title has been printed in fuchsia and is slightly raised.
The cover art on the English edition of the Story of Pandora is the same as the cover art on the original coloring book. The English edition is a few millimeters smaller than the Korean version and contains larger title text. The imagery has been re positioned slightly as explained below. The spine of the The Story of Pandora follows the same color scheme with fuchsia and white text printing which differentiates it from the Korean version which uses a white background with fuschia text.
The cover has fold out white flaps with text about the book printed predominantly in fuchsia. A few decorative printed cards adorn the page. The Korean version of the book used fuchsia fold out flaps with white text and without any decorative pictorial elements. Sadly, both books do not offer any line art on the fold out flaps or the inner and back covers to color in, but there are plenty of pictures inside!
The back cover of The Story of Pandora features the lovely rabbit from the front cover in a boat with three ducks looking on. There is a text blurb on the back of the book detailing other titles of coloring books, as well as some lovely detailed art work on the sides. The imagery of the English edition of the book that has been used is the same as the Korean version, but it has been scaled down and re-positioned, in order to fit the text blurb on the back of the book.
A lovely peach colored protective page follows in the Story of Pandora (in the Korean version this page was more pink).
The book measures 24.9 x 26.7 cm (approximately 9.8 x 10.5 inches).
The paper that has been used in the English edition is a bright white which is a different shade from the cooler white used in the Korean version. The paper in the English edition is a medium quality and has a very slight texture to it compared to the Korean version which is smoother.
The images have all been illustrated on both sides of the paper in both versions of the book and all orientated portrait style.
The books feature a nameplate page with line art in the shape of a heart with a banner and filled with detail including flowers and a flamingo. The line art is small and will be difficult for most colorists to color in. Skilled colorists with good eyesight will need to use fine liners to color this image. An introductory title page follows which shows an outline of a heart adorned with flowers and with a banner below. This image is also in the original coloring book and appears to be the same size.
The title page for the book follows which is a reflection of the cover art on the book. However, the English edition of the book shows more art work than is present on the cover of the book and is more of the size of the Korean book. The imprint of the publisher’s logo at the bottom of the image is a shame, as without it in that position there would be more elements to color in. This page and the previous title and nameplate pages are all great spots to test out your wet mediums and see how they react with the paper and your coloring style.
I had always wondered what the text said in the original coloring book and now I know! An Authors note follows which has been presented across two pages as a double page scene. The Author gives tips for relaxing and enjoying your coloring book. At the foot of the page there are elements to color in across both pages. The art work in the English edition finishes a few millimeters shorter than in the Korean version.
The coloring book proper then commences. I am pleased to say that the illustrations that were printed in the Korean version have all been reprinted in the English edition and in the same order.
Throughout the book the difference of a few millimeters in the size of the book is evident on illustrations that run the full width of the page. This may mean that a few tiny tot elements are missing from an image in the English edition that would be present in the Korean.
The illustrations are presented across both pages. There are 24 double page scenes throughout the book. Many of the illustrations run to the spine of the book. The English edition of the book has very strong binding. After you have pushed it firmly a few times the binding will start to relax and begin to lay down flat. The original book folds down flat with ease.
The line color in both books is black but in the English edition it has a finer, more delicate line weight and is not as dark as the Korean version.
Many of the illustrations contain a lot of detail and you could lose yourself for hours coloring them in. Other illustrations have large areas of space to color that will be easier for colorists that have health issues that make complex coloring difficult for them (or for colorists, like me, that do not like coloring fiddly bits). Many of the illustrations contain a lot of white space which is ideal for those colorists that love to add background color.
Kim Sun Hyun who is a practicing art therapist suggests coloring small parts at a time and just enjoying that process. Often as colorists, we feel it is a race to finish a picture (something that I am guilty of) and we miss the therapeutic benefits of just focusing on one thing at a time without distraction.
At the end of the book there are 4 pages discussing the benefits of art therapy. This is then followed by a lovely picture of a girl and a balloon to complete the book. A visual index of the drawings included in the book follows which gives names to each page of illustrations. There are two pages at the back of the book for your own drawings (you could use these to test your mediums and create your color palettes). The book is finished with another peach protective page.
- Both versions of the book have the same illustrations in the same order
- The positioning of the images is a few millimeters different, as the English book is slightly smaller than the Korean book
- The bright white paper in the English edition has more tooth than the Korean edition
- The Korean edition is bound in such a way that it lays flat easily whereas the English edition requires you to relax the binding
- The line art in the Korean edition is blacker and slightly thicker than the English edition which has a finer look
- The English edition is a different shade of white to the Korean edition
- The English edition weighs slightly more than the Korean edition
You can see my review of the original Korean edition of Pandora here.
The Story of Pandora Coloring Book Video Review
Where to buy The Story of Pandora Coloring Book
Happy coloring x