Colouring in books were always my favourite thing to do when I was little. I loved the thrill of filling a page blank page with my own hand, creating a world of colour from nothing but a few black lines. That thrill doesn't have to stop just because I have grown up. Colouring in as a hobby is becoming more and more popular thanks to ladies like Johanna Basford, creator of The Secret Garden; and Andrea Barras, fellow South African blogger, entrepreneur and creator of You Biscuit.
Andrea has had an amazing response from South Africans worldwide with her #ColourInSA A1 sized poster for children & adults. Her poster is inspired by South Africa's beauty and individuality as a country and showcases a lovingly illustrated collage of South African objects, animals, structures, plants, products, icons and symbols that all South Africans can relate to. To find out more about the poster and to place your order, click here. It's wonderful to see a piece of art uniting so many people all over the world.
I fist came across The Secret Garden while teaching my middle school students here in Korea. While walking around the classroom I glanced down and noticed a pair of students flicking through a beautifully illustrated book. Instead of being mad at them for not filling in their worksheets, I stopped to ask them about the book. The told me it was 'for stress' and then went on to show me pages and pages of intricate designs, just waiting to be adorned with colour.
I went online and searched for 'anti-stress' books and up popped The Secret Garden. There is an insane amount of pressure on middle and high school students in Korea to achieve the best grades in order to get into the few elite Universities. My students (13 - 15 year old girls) leave school at 6pm only to head straight to after school academies where they will study until until midnight before returning home to finish their homework. These colouring books have become a way for them to relax, to allow their creativity to engage while letting their minds unwind from the pressures of their textbooks.
Each and every page of this book is a treasure trove filled with illustrations of birds, flowers, owls, butterflies and so much more. And it's not just a colouring in book. The book opens with a list of treasures to be found, a design loves 'Where's Wally'; 63 beetles, 20 songbirds, 116 butterflies, 13 owls...this book will keep you entertained for hours. The Secret Garden has been translated into 14 different languages, the Korean version is the one pictured in this post.
As a thank you to all you wonderful readers I will be giving away a copy of The Secret Garden this week! Make sure to pop on over to my Facebook page to find out how to enter. >>>