A Walk in Eden is one of the new crop of adult coloring books released just in time for the holidays by cartoonist Anders Nilsen. Fans of Nilsen’s cartoon works will recognize his subtly odd style that pokes gentle fun at our modern world in every page, while still enjoying the gorgeous images inspired by flowers, plants, and biological images.
This coloring book is substantial, at more than 80 pages, and there are drawings for every intensity level. There is one large, two-page fold out “centerfold” type image that will keep even the most industrious artist busy for several days. There are also several pages in the book, which feature multiple smaller images inspired by plants, and are fairly abstract, which could be colored fairly quickly and easily without the commitment of feeling like a whole page has to be finished. The majority of the pages are the standard full-page images, waiting for an artist to come along with colored pencils or pens. It is in these pages that the theme of “A Walk in Eden” is most fully present.
Most of the full-page images present a mix of plants and wild spaces, often with a single piece of modern society, such as a pickup truck or telephone, abandoned amidst the plants. For readers who enjoy a bit of a puzzle element, the book has a checklist in the back that readers can use to search for items throughout the pages as they color. This book is highly recommended for readers with a bit of free time who has a sense of humor. Unlike some of the other adult coloring books on the market, this mostly steers away from very small or very intricate designs, so it shouldn’t be overwhelming for most adults, even those who haven’t colored before. This isn’t a coloring book I would give to children, there is some very slight nudity, and some of the humor does appeal to a more adult sensibility, but overall this is a great addition to a sometimes crowded and trendy field.
Katie Richards is a lifelong reader and story-lover. She formalized this love with master’s degrees in art history and English. In addition to her work with the Portland Book Review, she works as an adjunct instructor at Metropolitan State University of Denver. She lives outside of Denver, Colorado with her partner and four spoiled cats. In her free time she also enjoys knitting, sewing, and the beautiful outdoor scenery of Colorado.
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