Since releasing her first book, Secret Garden, back in 2013, Johanna Basford has sold over 20 million copies of her series of colouring books and even been awarded an OBE to mark her phenomenal achievements. The original queen of colouring shows no signs of slowing down having just released her fourth title and with a special festive edition due out this Christmas.
Like all of her previous titles, Magical Jungle isn't just a colouring book - it’s an inky treasure hunt too! Amongst the books thick, ivory pages there is a host of creature to find and colour including 3 lemurs, 16 elephants, 20 parrots and 63 butterflies. The pages’ compositions are nice and varied too, with pages ranging from the inky, detail-filled drawings Johanna is best known for to layouts containing more white space for you to add your own jungalicious details to. All these elements work together to make colouring-in the Magical Jungle a creative and inspiring experience.
It’s a very close race but Magical Jungle is probably my favourite of Johanna’s books to date, thanks in no small part to it’s tropical theme (another popular trend I am 100% on board with). You might expect that after so many books (not to mention postcards, calendars and other products) that Johanna’s illustrations might begin to feel a little tired or repetitive but still each of her drawings, whether its a slithering lizard or shiny leaf, feels as fresh and intriguing as the real thing.
Creatives often struggle to find a relaxing pass time when they have successfully turned their hobby into a profession and I think that Johanna’s books are the perfect solution. They have all the creative output with out any of the stress (not that of trying to stay inside the lines of course). I assure you there is nothing more relaxing that stepping inside Johanna’s tranquil Magical Jungle, mingling amongst wild life and brushing against glistening foliage, with just one question on your mind - what colours should I use to bring this luscious landscape to life?