by Lucy Fyles

cant-sleep-coverThe Can’t Sleep Colouring Book
Publisher: Michael O’Mara Books Ltd
Copyright: 2015
Number of designs: 100+
ISBN-10: 1782434070
ISBN-13: 978-1782434078

Creative Colouring For Grown-Ups: The Can’t Sleep Colouring Book is one in a long line of beautiful adult colouring books published by Michael O’Mara Books. From paper aeroplanes to planets, unicorns to umbrellas, hot water bottles to mountain scenes, this book has it all and then some. This is by far the most varied book content I’ve seen so far and there truly is something for everyone from the quirky to the beautiful, intricate and flowery to geometric and patterned. This book is a wonderful place to start your adult colouring journey so that you can discover what sorts of pictures you like colouring the best.

The paper quality, as with all Michael O’Mara books, is wonderful. It’s bright white and nice and thick so you can use just about any colouring medium you choose, including felt-tips pens which are often the nemesis of colouring books. The paper doesn’t get chewed up when you colour over yourself a couple of times and the outlines are all the crispest black and range from thick to delicately thin through the designs.

My favourite medium to colour with is fineliners and I did find that I had to colour very carefully with them as the paper is ever so slightly too thin and little dots were appearing through onto the back of the page. Almost certainly, though, you wouldn’t notice them once you’d coloured the design on the back, too.

So, to the mental health part. The images are really varied meaning you will definitely be able to find a calming picture that will help to settle your mind. The levels of intricacy range hugely throughout the book. So on a good day, when your concentration levels are high, you can complete some of the more complicated pages. But when you just need to zone out during a rubbish day where your mind won’t stop racing, you can add colour to one of the simpler, more basic pictures and still get the calming effects you desire.

The images are positive and many include nature themes of flowers, animals and weather. The patterned pictures are great to practice meditation and mindfulness techniques to keep you in the present moment and focusing on adding beautiful colours to the pages. I’m not sure how much this book would aid your sleep, but it would certainly distract you if you can’t nod off and calm your thoughts. Hopefully that would result in a more peaceful night.

Review Breakdown

  • Complexity: Beginner to Advanced
  • Book Size: 8.3 x 11.7 inches
  • Design Borders: All designs have a margin of about 1/4 inch
  • Design Lines: Varies
  • Paper: above average thickness
  • Printing: double-sided
  • Binding: glue-bound

The only thing I struggled with when reviewing this book was trying to choose which picture to colour first. So many beautiful pictures jumped out at me while I was flicking through and it took me ages to decide which one I’d attempt first.

This is a lovely thick book with double-sided images so you really do get a lot for your money. No colour has been added to the pages so you’re free to choose any colour scheme you like and could easily use one medium throughout, or mix and match as you fancy.

Another great thing about this book that many others don’t have is a small blank border around each picture, so the images are not lost into the spine. Any of you seasoned colourers will know the frustration of not being able to colour that last 1cm of picture in the middle of the book and the unprofessional look it gives your work. None of the images in this book are printed into the spine, though, so you will be left frustration-free!

I would highly recommend this book, particularly if you’re wanting to dip your toe into the world of adult colouring. It’s a great price for so many pictures. The variety of image content and intricacy levels means that the book will adapt to your needs as they change on good and bad days.

Editor’s Note:

Lucy is a UK member of my Facebook group, Coloring Books for Adults. She reviews books specifically for those suffering from mental illness. Lucy is able to bring a unique viewpoint to this target group, as both a person who suffers from her own severe anxiety disorder, and as someone who has worked with psychiatric inpatients. You can read Lucy’s blog for more information, or connect with her through Facebook.

(Since the UK uses the alternate spelling of “colour”, you’ll find “coloured pencils” and other alternate spellings used in her reviews.)

Do you have this book? What do you think of it? Let us know in the comments!

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