Our Top 10 Colouring Books for Lockdown

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Sherlock: The Mind Palace: The Official Colouring Book by Mike Collins

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Colouring books for adults are all the rage at the moment, but one of the problems with popularity is that the books do tend to become a bit, well, samey. Once you've coloured in one peacock's tail, it's not easy to get inspiration for another and there's a limit to the number of flowers, patterns and mystical beasts which you can attach to the fridge door. We've seen all sorts of variations, such as mindfulness, but what we really want is something fresh and with a bit of something extra to get the brain cells going. Welcome Sherlock: The Mind Palace. Full Review


The Big Beautiful Colouring Book by Hannah Davies

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Although I have two small children, it's been a long time since I just sat and did any colouring by myself. Usually, I am tasked with drawing various family members, or vehicles, or animals, and then we colour them in together. This time I sat quietly by myself with a pack of my son's new colouring pencils, and I quite happily passed a couple of hours colouring in! Full Review


The Creative Therapy Colouring Book by Hannah Davies, Richard Merritt and Jo Taylor

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Apparently, colouring books for adults have become de rigeur in France, with the book Art Therapie-100 Coloriages Anti-Stress flying off the shelves as increasing numbers of stressed-out individuals discover the therapeutic value of 'colouring-in'. Full Review


My Magical Oasis: Art Therapy Colouring Book for Creative Minds by Eglantine de la Fontaine et al

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It's not often I can review a book and mention how it changes your brain, but that's apparently the effect of the colouring-in-for-adults phenomenon. There's a science behind it all that attests how alpha waves, a slightly more childlike, accepting, relaxed form of brain activity, are used by our bonces when we colour – and as opposed to the braver, thinking, active beta waves they're something the mind could do more of, especially in this kinetic, plugged-in, 24/7 lifestyle. So whereas I normally review books to help my readers make their mind up, here I'm mentioning this volume because it allegedly would change your mind. Full Review

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The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Unicorns and Rainbows by Rebecca Jones

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I have a problem with many colouring books for children: some initial effort goes into the colouring, but the chances are that little will be kept on a long-term basis and it's not particularly satisfying. How much better would it be if the colouring produced something which could be sent to someone else, who would appreciate that it's unique and that effort and care has gone into the card? How much better to give a child something like The Colouring Book of Cards and Envelopes: Unicorns and Rainbows than an ordinary colouring book which will soon be discarded? Full Review

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Gift Boxes to Colour and Make: A Year of Celebrations by Eilidh Muldoon

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Have you ever tried wrapping a small gift, or those handmade sweets or biscuits you've prepared for a friend? It's not easy, is it? If you use wrapping paper the gift tends to lose presence and once you start to use glass jars the gift becomes really quite expensive and less easy to transport. Do you find colouring relaxing and rewarding but somehow it feels just a little bit too indulgent if all you do is turn to the next page and start colouring that? Would you get more out of it if you could use what you've coloured for a practical purpose? The ideal solution to both problems is Gift Boxes to Colour and Make: A Year of Celebrations by Eilidh Muldoon. Full Review


Where's Wally: The Colouring Book by Martin Handford

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Are you looking for something relaxing, easy to complete and which will allow your mind to wander freely as you gently colour in a pleasing design? Do you want to indulge your imagination and use the colours which tempt you at the moment, content that it will not affect the finished creation? Would you like large spaces which you can shade in large swoops as it pleases you? Are you aiming for a soothing finished product which is easy on the eye?

Sorry: you've got the wrong book. Full Review


Terry Pratchett's Discworld Colouring Book by Paul Kidby

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It was Sir Terry Pratchett who chose Paul Kidby as the artist for The Last World and the covers of the Discworld novels from 2002 onwards and it was a marriage made in heaven, with the one complementing the other. Kidby himself says that designing the characters with pencil and paint challenged and amused him beyond measure. The writing conjured clear imagery and it was his job to capture the humour and richly-textured stories on paper. Kidby and Pratchett shared interests in nature, folklore, science and history as well as a love of Monty Python and the bizarre - and to my eyes, at least the result was more, far more, than the sum of the parts. Full Review


Star Wars Art of Colouring The Force Awakens by Lucasfilm

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Without giving any spoilers away, the end of The Force Awakens sees a character and their peace interrupted. While said person probably has The Force to give them some restful ease, you never know what else they used. They may, for one, have dabbled in colouring-in books, and their much-lauded effect on the mind – that of calming it and providing a meditative, simple yet creative task for it. Whether that is the case or not, there are books set in the Star Wars universe for people to join in in that way – and this is the best I've seen. Full Review


Harry Potter Magical Places & Characters Postcard Colouring Book: 20 Postcards to Colour by Various Authors

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Take a book of postcards - go on, take it - it's small enough to pop in a pocket or even a handbag and there's a substantial backing to it so that even when you get to the last one there's still a reasonable surface to work on. You get twenty postcards and they are proper postcards with space for you to write a message and a name and address on the back. They're more substantial than a lot of postcards I've received through the post so they're not going to get all mangled when they come through the letterbox. The thick card also means that you don't get bleed through from one side of the card to the other when you use a felt-tip pen or paints. Full Review