Adult Colouring Books are a thing, in a HUGE way. Below we collect a few of our favourites for your consideration. These are great for the kids on your list (the more detailed pictures force our six year old to slow down and think about what she’s doing in a way coloring books for kids do not) or the adults, who might even find them therapeutic.

Read Part One of our Budding Illustrator Gift Ideas HERE and Part Two HERE. Read our Gift Guide for the Future Author HERE.

fantastic citiesFantastic Cities
By Steve McDonald
Published by Chronicle Books

This book is phenomenal. A collection of wonderfully detailed cityscapes, featuring gorgeous buildings and complex overhead views of labyrinthine streets mixed with amazing kaleidoscopic Escher-inspired bizarro worlds that don’t quite make any sense.

McDonald’s drawings are beautiful and scream out to be finished. It’s not outside the realm of believability that a few completed spreads from Fantastic Cities could end up framed and hanging on the walls. A great one for grown ups and the more adventurous little ones as well.

The best of the genre.

enchanted forestSecret Garden / Enchanted Forest
By Johanna Basford
Published by Laurence King

Johanna Basford creates some of the more well thought out adult colouring books, using her highly detailed and whimsical line drawings to hide special treasures for the colourist to find along the way. She also leaves room for prompts, encouraging the user to complete some drawings if the mood strikes.


keep calm color onKeep Calm and Color On
By Katie Martin
Published by Sourcebooks

Approaching the adult colouring book from the stress-relieving angle, Katie Martin mixes her fabric-inspired drawings with quotes encouraging the user to slow down, in their colouring and also in life. Possibly the book skews a bit a young, as the patterns aren’t quite as detailed as the best of the adult colouring books (see Fantastic Cities…), but too much detail might distract from the summoning of inner peace.

A definite favorite of ours.

four seasonsFour Seasons: A Coloring Book
By Aiko Fukawa
Published by St. Martin’s

Four Seasons, like the title suggests, presents a series of pages to colour, depicting the four seasons. Those familiar with Fukawa’s work won’t be surprised to find that the line drawings in this collection lean a bit further towards the child-like than other books in the adult colouring book genre. There’s not a look of experimenting with the form here, but the pictures are very cute, and I like how some pages, rather than featuring one large image to color, are broken up into smaller images that could be colored in a unified way or attacked individually.

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