Recently, I was contacted by Cindy Elsharouni who inquired as to whether or not I would be willing to review some coloring books and journals that she creates. I was initially a little hesitant…sometimes unsolicited requests can put me in a situation where I have to tell the creator that I’m uncomfortable reviewing their work. In this situation, however, I was needlessly worried! Elsharouni sent me the four items pictured above (at my request) and they are absolutely lovely!
The collection she sent to me includes 2 items for adults and 2 for children. The first is a gorgeous coloring book: The Animal Creations Coloring Book for Adults. It has approximately 50 beautifully detailed coloring pages included. All four of the books that Elsharouni provided to me for review have lovely, heavy weight covers that feel expensive and are of very nice quality. The price for each book, however, is incredibly affordable! (None were more than $7 at the time of this writing!)
I’m a bit of a coloring book snob and the took the liberty of coloring a page just to test the quality of the paper and printing. The book held up very well! There was no bleed-through on to the next page which means the paper is a nice thickness and the pages are not printed back-to-back (a pet peeve of mine…why should I be limited to 1/2 of the pages in the book?) The only constructive feedback I have about this wonderful coloring book is that the pages are not perforated so I can’t remove my colored pages without cutting them. There is, however, plenty of margin so…if I chose to get out my scissors, I would be able to cut out the picture safely!
The second adult title that Elsharouni provided for me is the One Minute a Day Gratitude journal. It contains 40 weeks of spaces for daily gratitude entries with prompts. It allows the writer to date the entries so you both 1) aren’t required to start in the middle of the book if you buy it in June and 2) could feasibly skip around to different prompts and not complete it ‘in order.’ The prompts are thoughtful (things like ‘Something that made me laugh…’ and ‘A significant person in my life…’) and there is sufficient room to record a thought or two. Remember…this is a ‘one minute a day’ journal! The book boasts the same heavy cover and nice cardstock that I referenced in the coloring book and is beautifully laid out and printed!
Finally, Elsharouni provided me with two titles for kids! The first, a ‘Gratitude Journal for Kids’ that features unicorn theming…contains daily prompts for 90 days worth of journaling combined with lovely illustrations and quotes that can be colored. The second, a ‘Dinosaur Journal for Kids’ is filled with lined paper with a image or two of dinosaurs on each page that the child can color in!
I love that both of these books combine illustrations to be colored with opportunities for writing…sometimes kids at the target age for these books are more interested in coloring than journaling but getting them into the book to think about writing can be key!
I also love that neither book is marketed in a gender-specific way! If my son wishes to journal in the unicorn journal…there’s nothing there that says ‘THIS JOURNAL IS FOR GIRLS’ as so many others do. I also know a great number of girls who would be thrilled to have the dinosaur journal for their own! I wish there were gratitude prompts in the dinosaur journal…but perhaps Elsharouni has a less ‘pink and purple’ children’s journal that does highlight gratitude! (Or perhaps she’ll consider creating one?)
The idea of gratitude journaling for kids also makes me super happy! I think that teaching our children appreciation and gratitude greatly improves the quality of their lives and their outlook upon them. I know that when I take the time to be grateful for what I have, I’m just happier overall!
The quality of the illustrations in all of the books is fantastic! The drawings are detailed and compelling while leaving room for artistic interpretation for whomever colors them in! I think any of these books (for adults or children) would make a wonderful gift…or a little treat for yourself at an incredibly reasonable price!
To get a copy of any of the books I reference above, please use the following links: