on 15 June 2017
Style: double page printing
Format: Dust Jacket
Follow a cat through the garden and see the world through his eyes
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Keiko Katagiri & ta-nya with Friends – Coloring Book Video Review
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Keiko Katagiri & ta-nya with Friends Coloring Book Review
I am quite fond of cats as most readers know, so a cat on the cover will always be an enticement for me. It’s like a catnip for coloring book reviewers. The imagery on this cover confused me a little though. The cat looks like a real cat and the flowers to the left and bottom of the image look like a real interpretation of flowers. However, when you look to the right side of the cover the flowers and bird are more whimsical in style. Once I received the book, the cover started to make sense. There are two artistic styles at least at work here. One that depicts natural looking illustrations and the other with large dose of whimsy.
The other item of confusion is the title. In English, below the cat, we can see the title as Keiko Katagiri and Ta-nya With Friends but online and using a translator the title appears to be “Yasuragi no Garden – The Walking Path of a Dreaming Cat”. This makes sense as the book is essentially about the cat and the things that he finds on his walking path.
On further investigation of the inner front cover a couple of sources and websites are shown. From visiting these sites I have deduced that Ta-nya is an illustrator responsible for many of the drawings in the book and Atelier Dzukulink is responsible for the remainder. From what I can gather, Keiko Katagiri is responsible for production and various others have also been credited hence the “Keiko Katagiri & Ta-nya” reference on the cover. At this stage, I am pretty certain that 2 artists collaborated on the book but it could be more. If only I could read Japanese 🙂
Cover & Layout
The cover has a white glossy dust jacket with a mix of colored images and line art on it. While the front cover shows the cat that is the star of the book, the back cover depicts a number of animals in a garden scene. As with the front cover, there is a mix of natural style line art and more whimsical images.
The fold out front flap features information about the creation of the coloring book while the back flap showcases other books produced by the same publishing house.
Pink background with white outlines have been printed on the inside of the dust jacket that you could color with gel pens if you wanted.
The matte card cover of the coloring book proper features the line art from the dust jacket on both front and back.
The cat holds center stage as the title page for the coloring book with some flowers for you to color as well. The best place to test out your mediums would be at the end of the book where there is a two page visual index and copyright information. The visual index has artist’s names next to the thumbnails and I assume that this indicates which artist drew certain pages in the book.
Illustrations have been printed on both sides of the off white paper. Although the paper is a medium quality it is at the lighter end. There are a number of double page scenes within the book where the line art does merge into the spine. At the moment, the spine is a little stiff and needs to be loosened in order to color some of the areas.
Keiko Katagiri & ta-nya with Friends Coloring Book Images and Illustrations
Usually I like illustrations in a coloring book to all flow together by the hand of the same artist. Rarely do I find, unless it is a collaborative book, that different styles work together. In this case, there are two distinct artistic styles, one that draws in a natural way the subject and the other that draws in a whimsical sometimes folk art style. For some reason unknown to me, perhaps it is the cat, I like the merged styles in this book. I feel that there are enough illustrations representing each type that you can chop and change with what you are coloring and how much time you have to color. For me, the book also represents a nice walk from learning coloring to coloring more advanced pictures while still giving the colorist variety.
The line art for most of the book is a fine, dull black and crisp line. Colorists that have a minor visual impairment may need to pop their glasses on or grab the magnifying lamp to color. There are a handful of images with thicker lines as you woud expect with two artists illustrating for the book.
There is a mix of outdoor and indoor scenes as well as some pattern style pages. You will find pages packed with flowers and outdoor scenes, garden sheds, picnics and nature scenes with bunnies. You will also find plenty of interior scenes featuring the cat on a cupboard, in a chair or exploring his home.
There are plenty of scenes without the cat as well (for those that do not like coloring fur) you will find beautiful sweet boxes, stacking dolls, sewing and backing equipment and some cute birds in cages.
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Where to buy
Happy coloring x