- Paperback: 96 pages
- Publisher: Pagina Forlag
- Release Date: 13 October 2016
- Language: Swedish
- ISBN: 9789163612695
- Weight: 558g
- Product Dimensions: 254 x 215 x 13 mm
Vivi söker en vän by Maria Trolle, which in English means ‘Vivi Needs a Friend’ is Maria’s follow up book to her beautiful floral colouring book Blomster Mandala (although there were very few mandala’s actually in it). This time she has brought out two versions of Vivi. The first is an illustrated children’s story book and then there is this which is the colouring book, although sadly we don’t get to read the story here (even though it would be in Swedish).
The book is the same size as her previous colouring book (the Malarbok not the tavelbok/artist edition which was released first) although this time it has a printed paperback cover with one of the illustrations partially coloured. For fans of her hard-back please don’t be too disappointed that this one isn’t the same (I am a little). In exchange we do get the most beautiful illustrations on thick luscious paper which is almost card-stock, much thicker than her previous work; and it is printed on only one side and has perforations to enable easy removal of the pages, so if you wish to use alcohol markers or paint you can do with ease this time around. The book is both glue and stitch bound so the pages are secure unless you wish to remove them. All of the illustrations finish at the perforation line so you will not have to worry about colouring into the centre spine or loosing a part of the picture if you choose to remove it.
The illustrations are whimsical in nature and delightful. There are still plenty of Maria’s beautiful floral drawings but this time there are lots of cute and cuddly critters often hidden in the flora and fauna so just when you think you have seen all that there is in the picture you spot another little face popping up from under a leaf or asleep in a flower. As it is also an illustrated story (although we will have to make up our own story from the pictures) there are recurring characters. There’s Vivi (obviously), the Cloud Bear, the fox and fox cub, a mermaid, bird, mouse and a character that looks like a cross between a ghost and a carrot (sorry Maria, I’m not sure what it is – cute though) as well as the numerous insects and hidden critters.
In some way I’m glad that I don’t know the story itself. As a young child I used to have a neighbour who was an older child also called Hazel. She used to take me on ‘Fairy walks’ in the woods and field near home. There was a small pool that she used to tell me was where the fairies lived (it certainly looked the part) and we used to leave little gifts of wild flowers we had picked and look for signs of the fairies. I remember finding a little paper boat amongst the reeds and a tiny hat and I believed in the magic. The fairies in turn left coins in exchange for the flowers when we returned the following day. Obviously years later I realised big Hazel had left them for me to find (or had she?). The reason I am telling you this is that a few of the illustrations immediately brought back these memories. The little tiny boat on the water and face peeping from the reeds, and the little floral house next to the water perfectly capture this magical time. This lovely book will bring back memories for all the now grown up children who believed and her storybook will bring magic to a new generation.
Vivi Socker en Van by Maria Trolle can be purchased from Penstore.com in Sweden with worldwide shipping. At the moment there is no UK or US publisher who own the rights to republish this in English so I can’t say whether or not it will be available anywhere else.
Maria’s first book ‘Blomster Mandala’ however has a release date of March 2017 with the English title of ‘Twilight Garden’ and you can pre-order it here. Here is the link to my review of Blomster Mandala. For those who would like to buy Maria’s storybook version (non-colourable) in Swedish i am told that it will be stocked by Penstore although it is not available at the present time.