Colouring Book Reviews · Crystal Menagerie by Michelle Waldie

Crystal Menagerie by Michelle Waldie



  • Format: Paperback
  • No of Pages: 40
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books
  • Release Date: 28 February 2017
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 9781452160658
  • Size: 25.4 x 1 x 25.4 cm

Crystal Menagerie by Michelle Waldie is something a little bit different to colour. It has a stiff card cover with a matt printed cover of an example of one of the illustrations inside and how it can look. The Spine is bound with textured green paper tape which is a lovely touch. The pages are glue-bound and easy to remove and each design is single sided and there are no double-page spreads. The book lies completely flat to colour on every page. The paper itself is bright white, medium to thick, and smooth. The linework is dark gray/black with a consistant lineweight and the printing is crisp and fixed well to the page.



I have to admit this wasn’t a book which appealed to me at first. The illustrations of animals are geometric and aren’t something I would consider colouring. However as you will read later, I was very surprised how much I enjoyed colouring the picture. There are 40 different geometric animals to colour and the backgrounds are also broken into geometric simple shapes. The idea is to use shading to create a 3D look using either realistic or imaginary colours. It is one of those books which at a first glance looks very simple but is actually more challenging than that and the results could be spectacular although in black line art they look nothing – it is completely the way in which they are coloured which will bring them to life.

I have to say I was pleasantly surprised and I can imagine that colouring in this book could become addictive as you try to create more 3D looks with each illustration you colour as your technique improves. It was also a very relaxing colouring book.


I chose to colour the Polar Bear on his Ice-berg. I decided to colour him in with shades of blue as it is cold looking. I am quite pleased with the result as a first attempt. I tried to get him to look a little bit 3D using the shading and he looks like he is made of cut crystal glass so I think I ‘got’ the idea. Probably on others I would play around a bit more with using the actual colour placement to create the 3D look, but even like this it looks interesting.

If you are looking for something a little bit out of the ordinary, thats simple and relaxing to colour but has a little bit of a challenge to it rather than simply ‘flat’ colouring, this may be the book for you. It is certainly an interesting idea.

Crystal Menagerie is available to purchase from Amazon., Amazon. com, Book Depository and The Wordery (Both with free worldwide shipping)

I was kindly sent a copy from the publisher, however all thoughts ecpressed are my own honest opinion.