Format – Hardback Cover
Total No. of pages – 96
Size – 1.3 x 21.6 x 26 cm
ISBN – 978-1423645580
Publisher – Gibbs Smith
Publishing Release date – 9 August 2016
Price- $14.99 / £13.00
Summer Nights is the long awaited and highly anticipated English version of the bestselling Swedish colouring book Sommarnatt by Hanna Karlzon. It is Hanna’s second book following up Dagdrommar, also being released in English at the same time as Daydreams (see my other review). Previously it was only possible to buy directly from Sweden but soon will be available to the US/UK and Canada. The book has many fans and is widely regarded by many (including myself) as one of the best and most special colouring books on the market. I myself already own the Swedish version, but what most people want to know is how does the new book compare with the original Swedish version Sommarnatt.
I am happy to tell you that the delay while the publisher got the book exactly how Hanna (and fans) wished it to be – as close to the original version as possible has been accomplished (this has nothing to do with the Amazon UK dates mess-up, It was announced back in June by both the publisher and Hanna that the release date would be August 9). Summer Nights is the same book painstaking and lovingly recreated by US publisher Gibbs Smith, who have done an amazing job. It is still a beautiful hard-backed cover book with the same be-jewelled butterflies illustration on a pale peach/pink background. It has gold foiling on the decorative details and butterflies like the original, although now the writing is in English. It has black textured paper binding on the spine with gold foiling title proclaiming “SUMMER NIGHTS Coloring Book Hanna Karlzon”, only this time the publishers logo is a bird and Gibbs Smith rather than the P for Pagina Forlag. On opening the book you are met with black pages on the inside cover and first page. This is also repeated at the close of the book. These are just a little smoother than the original, but it so close you would have to have the original to notice that tiny difference.
Turn the page and there is the title page with a decorative moth. Turn the page again and on the left side you have the publishing details along with a small collection of funghi and on the right the beautifully illustrated nameplate page with a bird and flower wreath design, in the centre of which reads “This book belongs to” and has a line underneath for you to write your name.
All this is exactly the same as the original book – but the question most colourists want to know is how does the paper compare. I am pleased to tell you that it is the exact same paper, although I think it is a tiny bit thicker. The spine on the book is slightly bigger (its miniscule) but I think that this is due to the paper. But it is the same paper sourced from the original paper mill – same beautiful ivory colour, same smooth but gorgeous to colour on paper. It feels the same to touch and even though I haven’t coloured in it yet I know that it will be exactly the same.
There are 86 beautiful illustrations in the book. Each page is double-sided and Stitch -bound to the cloth inside binding. It is bound in the same way as most hard-backed books. the only problem with it being a hard-backed book is the pages don’t lie completely flat which makes colouring into the spine a little difficult on double page spreads, but this is a problem with many paperback books too, and the pluses for me outweigh the minuses.
The illustrations vary with a mix of single and double page spreads. There is a mix of flora and fauna, insects, birds, decorative objects such as crowns and keys, cute houses, beautiful tattooed women and crystals in Hanna’s decorative style. Some are pictorial, others more like a decorative piece of jewellery.
Many colouring books have stand-out pages and other pages that seem to just fill the book out; those repeat pattern ‘wallpaper’ pages that you skip past uninspired. – Summer Nights has none of those. There are a few, simple, less decorative pages but most are equally as good as the pictures I have featured, and I could have found just as many good pictures again.
Most of you have probably seen many of the pictures coloured. Due to its smaller size even double pages feel less daunting than most. Although they are intricate I can complete pictures relatively quickly. Once you’ve got over the initial phase of not wanting to spoil it by colouring in it (photocopy a picture or two and practice first if it intimidates you – once you start colouring in it that feeling fades) you’ll soon be creating beautiful pictures. These are mine done in Sommarnatt in mostly Faber-Castell Polychromos or Prismacolor Premier pencils, some with Faber-Castell pastel backgrounds and gel pens.
The book finishes with another moth and Hanna dedicates the book to her “family, friends and all the daydreamers who color in my books”, then there is the same black loose page and lined inside cover that was at the front of the book. For any colorist who likes beautiful artwork this is a must-have book along with Hanna’s previous book to this Daydreams which is due to be released in English at the same time. That book is also every bit as good as its Swedish version Dagdrommar and I have also posted a review and flipthrough for that one too.
Here’s my flipthrough of the book on my YouTube channel – it’s my name Hazel Smithies if you would like to subscribe.There are currently over 80 Flipthroughs on there and I post regularly. Enjoy!
Both Summer Nights and Daydreams will be available through Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.com, Amazon.ca and most good booksellers. It will also be available through The Book Depository who have free shipping to most countries worldwide.
NB: I have emailed my contact at Gibbs-Smith publishers due to the ongoing confusion on Amazon.co.uk. She has confirmed that the shipment of the books to the UK took place this week, which is usually three to four weeks before the release date. She couldn’t tell me what is going on at Amazon but she has passed your concerns to their UK distributor PGUK to let her know what is going on, which I will post on here/facebook once I have some news. The US are not having the same problems because they are published over there, however the release date is the same – 9 August. When I have received any further updates I will post them to here and/or facebook. I am still in the dark as to why Amazon.co.uk listed the books as available 2 July; both Hanna and the publishers had said 9 August after the initial date of June was unable to be met due to not being able to guarantee the same paper availability at level of stock required, remember this is a very much loved book and the stock amounts needed must be phenomenal. Hopefully the wait will soon be over and you will soon be able to experience for yourself the magic of Summer Nights.
UPDATE 17/7/2016 6.02 pm
Both Daydreams and Summer Nights appear to be available now from both The Wordery and The Book Depository.
Please note I CAN NOT CONFIRM that they are being sent out, now although I have emailed them neither have replied, but in my experience I have previously ordered from both and when the book is no longer showing pre-orders they have shipped out and I have received the books (in this case Romantic Country – Eriy and The Magical Journey – lizzie Mary Cullen) before the official release date.