Category Archives: Arts & Crafts

Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble

Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble (Drawn In Bible Study)Title: Esther: Finding Yourself in Times of Trouble
Series: Drawn In Bible Study
Author: Eugene H. Peterson
Publisher: NavPress
ISBN: 978-1-63146-787-5

~ What ~
Part of the Drawn In Bible Study series, this 112-page hardbound targets those who like a creative way to study the book of Esther in the Holy Bible. The story is divided into four sections that are twenty pages each and include black and white illustrations to color, questions, commentary, and author’s notes. The Message of the Holy Bible is quoted, and it ends with notes per chapter on how to lead a Bible study and advertisements.

The story of Esther is told within four chapters that explain her relationships with pagan King Xerxes, cousin Mordecai, evil Haman, and God. With drawings to color, questions with areas to write in answers, and a few highlighted author’s notes, the reader can spend time focusing on how this iconic woman saved many Jews from genocide through her faith in the Almighty.

~ Why ~
Many readers find a deep connection to God by reading His Word and doodling as they concentrate on what is being taught. With Esther being one of my favorite Bible characters, I enjoyed reading her story again and how she trusted God through her trials and tribulations. Including over twenty drawings that include scenes or wording, the story flows between the pages with a total of sixty-five questions spread throughout, ending with comments and prayers.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship may not be interested in this type of coloring Bible study book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling. The book does not lay flat so may be hard to color, and some pictures are on both sides of the paper, so felt tip pens may bleed through the pages.

~ Wish ~
Being a fan of the King James Version of the Bible, I do not care for The Message. I wish the illustrations were only on one side of the page so they could be removed and framed.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical devotion on Esther with coloring pages for someone creative, this will make an excellent choice.

Thanks to Tyndale Blog for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Biography, Christian

Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yours

Yellow Owl Workshop's Make It Yours: Patterns and Inspiration to Stamp, Stencil, and Customize Your StuffTitle: Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yourself
Author: Christine Schmidt
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-7704-3365-9

“My intention was to get you to think critically like a designer and teach you the skills you need so you can adapt the techniques to make awesomely personal goods that suit you,” Christine Schmidt writes in the introduction to her book, Yellow Owl Workshop’s Make It Yourself: Patterns and Inspirations to Stamp, Stencil, and Customize Your Stuff.

~ What ~
At one-hundred-and-ninety-two pages, this oversized paperback with folding cover flaps targets do-it-yourself crafters. After an introduction of studio essentials, six chapters of crafts are followed by templates, two appendices, principles, resources, further reading, acknowledgments, and an index.

The six divisions cover abstract and geometric patterns, everyday patterns, custom motifs, occasions and celebrations, flora and fauna, and travel-inspired patterns. From dyed washer paper, a carve-a-stamp, monogram leather clutch, drawing with chocolate, animal tessellation, and a mud cloth pillow, over thirty projects are given. Each design has the time, level of difficulty, type of learning skill, remix, and materials in a column on the left side of the page with a description, numbered instructions, and photographs on the rest of the opened pages.

~Why ~
Having a degree in art, I love working with different mediums, including working with tie-dying silk. I like the layout and plethora of information and suggestions in this book as it helps both the novice and seasoned artist. The projects that I may try are stamped clay ornaments, wax seal, and the DIY delftware. With the materials needed listed, the book gave me more ideas as I have never worked with embossing powder, Saral transfer paper, and solar dye and wash. I love that the book included the vast array of templates and explanation of materials and tools at the back.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like DIY crafts or creating homemade items will shy away from this designer book. Others who learn by visuals may wish there were more details and photographs of the steps to each project.

~ Who ~
Artist and founder of a paper goods company, Schmidt is also an author of several books with her company’s products sold worldwide.

~ Wish ~
I wish more than thirty projects were included in this well-written book. Unlike the author, I use vinegar and a microwave to set my dyes into the silk.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a step-by-step guide on stamping, stenciling, and customizing creative items, this is a keeper.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

 

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review

The Beginner’s Bible Activity Book

The Beginner's Bible Activity BookTitle: The Beginner’s Bible: Activity Book
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75979-9

“Color this letter to God. Trace the letters. Sign your name,” the ending project states in Zondervan’s children’s book, The Beginner’s Bible: Activity Book.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible series, this numbered sixty-four-page oversized paperback targets young children from four to eight years old. The book involves several well-known stories taken from the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible in the form of creative activities for children to do.

The illustrations are taken from other The Beginner’s Bible sources and cover Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Joseph, Moses, Ruth, David, Daniel, Jonah, and Jesus’s birth, ministry, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection, plus John’s revelation. The activities range from word searches, counting, mazes, dot to dot, finding differences, and matching to tracing letters and numbers, drawing, and coloring.

~ Why ~
What makes this activity book special is that a child can read one of the other books in The Beginner’s Bible series and see the same pictures in color and copy them or make a different colorful design. The projects range from a preschooler to beginner reader to comprehend. I like that there are so many different topics, including letters to complete telling Jesus you are sorry for your sins and you love Him, as well as a Dear God letter to color and sign.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about Bible stories will pass on this book. Some drawings that may concern some might be Goliath dead and Jesus being taken and crucified on a cross. Others may misconstrue that baptism is necessary for salvation when it states Peter quoting, “Tell Jesus you are sorry for your sins and be baptized.”

~ Who ~
No information is provided on the illustrator.

~ Wish ~
I wish more coloring books were published that mimicked stories in books for children to color. I prefer all pronouns of God capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical activity book that syncs with other books in The Beginner’s Bible series, this will keep children occupied during quiet time or a rainy day inside.

Thanks to Zondervan for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

The Beginner’s Bible Coloring Book

The Beginner's Bible Coloring BookTitle: The Beginner’s Bible: Coloring Book
Illustrator: Denis Alonso
Publisher: Zondervan
ISBN: 978-0-310-75013-0

“With loads of coloring fun and faith especially for little ones, the finished pages can be displayed to encourage creativity and memory of the classic Bible stories,” the back jacket book cover states in Zondervan’s children’s book, The Beginner’s Bible: Coloring Book.

~ What ~
Part of The Beginner’s Bible series, this sixty-four-page oversized paperback targets young children from four to eight years old. The book involves thirteen well-known stories taken from the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible in the form of sixty black and white illustrations to color.

The drawings are taken from other The Beginner’s Bible sources and cover Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah, Moses, David, Daniel, Jonah, and Jesus’s birth, ministry, miracles, crucifixion, and resurrection, sometimes listing the corresponding chapter or chapters in the Bible.

~ Why ~
What makes this coloring book special is that a child can read one of the other books in The Beginner’s Bible series and see the same pictures in color and copy them or make a different colorful design. The pictures are expressive while being detailed enough for advanced artists. The finished artworks could be removed from the book and displayed.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not want to promote teaching a child about Bible stories will pass on this book. Some drawings that may concern some might be the ten plagues, Goliath being killed, the fiery furnace, Jonas in the big fish, and Jesus’s crucifixion.

~ Who ~
No information is provided on the illustrator.

~ Wish ~
I wish more coloring books were published that mimicked stories in books for children to color.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical coloring book that syncs with other books in The Beginner’s Bible series, this will delight a young artist.

Thanks to Zondervan for furnishing this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book

The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker and Activity Book (Berenstain Bears/Living Lights)Title: The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book
Authors and Illustrators: Jan & Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75384-1

“Jesus’ friends found an empty tomb on Easter morning. Follow the maze. Help Jesus’’ friends find him,” the instructions state in Jan and Mike Berenstain’s book, The Berenstain Bears Easter Fun Sticker & Activity Book.

~ What ~
Part of the Berenstain Bears / Living Lights series, this numbered thirty-two-page oversized paperback targets children four to eight years old, especially those that like games, puzzles, and activities of the well-known family of bears and Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. Included at the back of the book are over fifty reusable stickers.

Set up as an activity book involving Easter, the pages are filled with projects related to the Berenstain bear family. There are mazes, counting, patterns, alphabet games, finding objects, following lines, crossword and word puzzles, spotting differences, matching seasons, key coding, connect the dots, coloring, and attaching stickers.

~ Why ~
This is a fun activity book at Easter for young ones as there are so many different things to do. I like the colorful designs, and many of the activities encompass Jesus being risen from the dead and the Berenstain Bear family participating in church and family events. Several of the games incorporate God’s creation, candy, springtime, going to church, dressing up, and spending time with the family, as it innocuously explains God’s love, Jesus’s Jerusalem entrance, His Last Supper, and the angel announcing His resurrection.

~ Why Not ~
Since the book is aimed at beginner to early readers, those in the four-to-five year age bracket may not know how to do some of the tasks regarding crosswords or key coding. Those who do not celebrate Easter’s true meaning may not like the inferences to Jesus’s resurrection although there are no Bible verse references, and it is one way to spread the Word. The stickers are mainly about the bears and spring, not Jesus’s death and resurrection.

~ Who ~
Since Stan and Jan passed away years ago, their son Mike continues to follow in his parents’ footsteps with the Berenstain Bear series and products. He lives in Pennsylvania.

~ Wish ~
With some of the more difficult activities, the book should be for six to eight-year-olds. It would have been nice to add a few Bible verses and mention Christ died on the cross for our sins. I prefer all pronouns of God to be capitalized for reverence.

~ Want ~
If your child likes the Berenstain Bears series, he or she will be creatively occupied with this activity book during Easter and springtime. While a four-year-old may want to play with the stickers and color, older children will enjoy the more complex games and puzzles.

Thanks to the Z Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am evaluating freely.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under **** Good - Will Be Glad to Pass On to Others, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Promises for You Coloring Devotional

Faithgirlz Promises for You Coloring Devotional: 60 Days Discovering God's Hope and LoveTitle:  Promises for You Coloring Devotional
Series: Faithgirlz
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-76119-8

“Inside are coloring backgrounds you can fill in before or after your time with God,” the introduction states in the book, Promises for You Coloring Devotional: 60 Days Discovering God’s Hope and Love.

~ What ~
Part of the Faithgirlz series, this one-hundred-and-twenty-eight-page hardbound targets girls eight to twelve years old, but it could be used by older females. With sixty devotionals, the right side of the pages and part of the left side have black and white artistic design to color with a promise of God highlighted on the left side. The topic includes a written out verse or two from the Bible, followed by a paragraph or two about the subject. Below are several blank lines to write thoughts and notes. The ending has a page regarding asking Jesus into one’s life with a full blank lined page for notes. The New International Version of the Holy Bible is quoted.

The sixty short titled devotions are divided into five sections of promises of strength, courage, and hope; forgiveness, comfort, and safety; truth, wisdom, and beauty; faith, trust, and joy; and gifts and blessings. The drawings involve flowers, leaves, hearts, birds, foods, objects, and patterns to name a few.

~ Why ~
Girls who love to draw, doodle, or fill in coloring books will love this book that promotes discovering God. I like that the written words are short and to the point, hopefully stimulating a young girl to consider all God offers while improving her relationship with Him. The paper used is thick so the ink should not bleed through to the other side.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not have a personal relationship may not be interested in this type of coloring book. Others may not care for coloring or doodling. Parents may wonder if the child will spend more time coloring than concentrating on the devotion to God, but it is a good starting point to be in His word over a sixty-day period if one is done each day.

~ Who ~
No information is given on the author or illustrator of this Faithgirlz book.

~ Wish ~
Although the last page is about eternal salvation, it does not mention Jesus shed His blood on the cross for our sins and was raised from the dead. I wish all pronouns of God were capitalized for reverence. Including a ribbon marker would be thoughtful.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a Biblical devotional with coloring pages for a young artistic girl, this will make an excellent choice.

Thanks to Z-Blog Squad for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

The Berestain Bears Hugs and Kisses

Title: The Berenstain Bears Hugs and Kisses Sticker & Activity Book
Authors and Illustrators: Jan & Mike Berenstain
Publisher: Zonderkidz
ISBN: 978-0-310-75382-7

“Use the code to find out what the Bible says about love,” the instructions state in Jan and Mike Berenstain’s book, The Berenstain Bears Hugs and Kisses Sticker & Activity Book.

~ What ~
Part of the Berenstain Bears / Living Lights series, this unnumbered thirty-two-page oversized paperback targets children four to eight years old, especially those who like games, puzzles, and activities of the well-known family of bears and the subject of love and God. Included at the back of the book are over fifty reusable stickers.

Set up as an activity book for Valentine’s Day, the pages are filled with projects related to the Berenstain bear family and love. There are mazes, counting, patterns, alphabet games, finding objects, following lines, crossword and word puzzles, spotting differences, matching seasons, key coding, connect the dots, coloring, and attaching stickers.

~ Why ~
This is a fun activity book during the “love” holiday for young ones as there are so many different things to do. I like the colorful designs, and how many of the activities encompass the theme of compassion and love involving the Berenstain Bear family. Several of the games incorporate grandparents, parents, siblings, and friends. Topics from the Bible include God’s creation, Noah’s ark and verses from I Corinthians 13 and I John 4.

~ Why Not ~
Since the book is aimed at beginner to early readers, those in the four-to-five year age bracket may not know how to do some of the tasks regarding crosswords or key coding. Those who do not correlate Valentine’s Day with God and His love may not like this book although there are few religious references. The stickers are a little hard to remove but are reusable.

~ Who ~
Since Stan and Jan passed away years ago, their son Mike continues to follow in his parents’ footsteps with the Berenstain Bear series and products. He lives in Pennsylvania.

~ Wish ~
With some of the more difficult activities, the book should be for six to eight-year-olds. It would have been nice to add a few cut-out Valentines to give to others.

~ Want ~
If your child likes the Berenstain Bears series, he or she will be creatively occupied with this activity book during Valentine’s Day. While a four-year-old may want to play with the stickers and color, older children will enjoy the more complex games and puzzles.

Thanks to the Z Blog Squad for this book that I am evaluating freely.

This review will be posted on DeeperShopping and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Pinterest, Godinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

Grammarly was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review, Childrens, Christian

Extraordinary Ordinary Moments

Extraordinary Ordinary Moments: A JournalTitle: Extraordinary Ordinary Moments
Author: Jorey Hurley
Publisher: Clarkson Potter/Publishers
ISBN: 978-0-553-45946-3

“Each page offers a new opportunity to jot down a story, paste in a picture, or doodle something from your imagination,” the inside front jacket cover states in Jorey Hurley’s book, Extraordinary Ordinary Moments: A Journal.

~ What ~
At three-hundred-and-sixty-three pages, this thick paperback targets those who like to doodle, draw, or keep a design or written journal. After an introduction, all pages have colored simplistic drawings on the corners or bottom with a  short one line instruction to spark creativity. The book owner can either draw or write down something regarding the given topic on the page.

The random topics usually start with the word “something” and may include a concept, idea, or object to focus on such as something unstoppable, wild, eternal, elegant, or snuggly to more complex examples like something you love about love, that brings you into the moment, or right in front of you. The book is meant for relaxation while appreciating your surroundings and stimulating your thoughts.

~Why ~
Having a degree in art, I like to spend time drawing without any limitations or pressure. I like how this journal allows one to think out of the box as they write or draw daily. I like some of the challenging topics that may take time to consider such as something that seems good, but you shy away from with an illustration of radishes at the bottom. Its adjoining page as a drawing of a piece of kale with room to write or draw something new you tried that may or may not have worked out.

~ Why Not ~
Those who do not like keeping a journal of their thoughts or doodles will pass on this idea, but it would make a thoughtful gift for the creative person.  I found several of the designs did not correlate with the instructions or that the directions were rather mundane or boring as if I would not want to spend my precious time thinking about something so trivial.

~ Who ~
A freelance illustrator and graphic designer, Hurley has studied art history at Princeton, design at FIT, and law at Stanford. The author of three children’s books, she lives with her husband and children in Northern California.

~ Wish ~
Since the illustrations are somewhat sophomoric and simple in design, they lack a little punch and are rather rudimentary. I wish there were more pop and wow to the existing artworks that would further stimulate the brain and creativity.

~ Want ~
If you are looking for a journal that offers space to draw or write daily, this may be a good option, but it lacks in depth and detail. For the writer, it would be helpful if lines were included on the pages.

Thanks to Blogging for Books for this complimentary book that I am freely reviewing.

This review will be posted on Blogging for Books and Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under *** OK - Don't Love It, Don't Hate It, Arts & Crafts, Book Review

My Pocket Coloring Book: Sea World Coloring

pocket-seaTitle: My Pocket Coloring Book: Sea World Coloring
Author: Shira Kidron
Publisher: Shira Kidron
ISBN:  978-965-92531-4-2

“This time, I incorporated an underwater theme meant to bring you a peaceful coloring experience that will connect you to your inner emotional journey,” states the back cover of Shira Kidron’s book, My Pocket Coloring Book: Sea World Coloring.

~ What ~
Second in the My Pocket Coloring Book series, this seventy-four-page five-by-eight-inch spiral bound book is for those who like to doodle, draw, and fill in drawn pictures relating to the ocean. With an owner’s page, introduction, and final page of the author’s biography and advertising, both sides of the remaining pages have black and white designs to color. A sky-blue burlap bag with the book’s logo and a corded drawstring complete the package.

With mainly sea animals and underwater plant life depicted, they are displayed singularly or a random arrangement with black or gray lines within the illustrations. Also included are whales, jellyfishes, octopuses, squids, turtles, fish, mermaids, seaweed, and mandalas that are incorporated into the images.

~ Why ~
As an artist, I find inner solace and tranquility whenever I design or create. I like how the hand-drawn illustrations are fanciful yet detailed enough to get lost in artistic abandon. With the book having a metal spiral, the pages lay flat, making it easy to access the complete drawings. A thick cardboard backing offers plenty of support if coloring on your lap. Crayons, gel pens, colored pencils, and watercolors can be used. I love that the durable canvas bag is roomy enough to carry the book along with a small pack of pens or pencils.

~ Why Not ~
Those who feel restricted or overwhelmed coloring a page should try it to see how they are in control of the outcome, with no rules to follow except for staying within the lines. Some may not like that some coloring tools such as paint and gel pens may bleed through to the back side’s illustrations. Others may find some drawings are too detailed with small sections to be filled in individually. A few pages stick at the spiral and have to be gently separated.

~ Who ~
Having left a high-tech career to be a mother of three girls, Kidron has created several coloring books to calm and connect with one’s inner soul. The author of coloring-on-the-go pocket coloring books, she is dedicated to using art as therapy.

~ Wish ~
Wanting to use the finished pages to frame under glass, I wish the pages were one-sided to ensure no bleeding. Enclosing pencils would be a thoughtful touch.

~ Want ~
If you like an adult coloring book that can be carried with you in a small canvas tote, this may inspire your creativity as it produces calmness and serenity while completing. It would make a thoughtful gift for those who like to color.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

This review will be posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review

My Pocket Coloring Book: Mandalas Coloring

pocket-mandalasTitle: My Pocket Coloring Book: Mandalas Coloring
Author: Shira Kidron
Publisher: Shira Kidron
ISBN:  978-965-92531-4-2

“Especially designed to fit into your bag, this book will take you on a mandala coloring journey, drawing intuitively from one unknown point to another,” states the back cover of Shira Kidron’s book, My Pocket Coloring Book: Mandalas Coloring.

~ What ~
First in the My Pocket Coloring Book series, this seventy-four-page five-by-eight-inch spiral bound book is for those who like to doodle, draw, and fill in drawn pictures relating to mandalas. With an owner’s page, introduction, and final page of the author’s biography and advertising, both sides of the remaining pages have black and white designs to color. A bleached off-white burlap bag with the book’s logo and a corded drawstring complete the package.

With mainly mandalas depicted, they are displayed singularly or in rows, sometimes with headers, footers, or frames within the illustrations. Also included are flowers, petals, leaves, and butterflies that are incorporated into the images.

~ Why ~
As an artist, I find inner solace and tranquility whenever I design or create. I like how the hand-drawn illustrations are fanciful yet detailed enough to get lost in artistic abandon. With the book having a metal spiral, the pages lay flat, making it easy to access the complete drawings. A thick cardboard backing offers plenty of support if coloring on your lap. Crayons, gel pens, colored pencils, and watercolors can be used. I love that the durable canvas bag is roomy enough to carry the book along with a small pack of pens or pencils.

~ Why Not ~
Those who feel restricted or overwhelmed coloring a page should try it to see how they are in control of the outcome, with no rules to follow except for staying within the lines. Some may not like that some coloring tools such as paint and gel pens may bleed through to the back side’s illustrations. Others may find some drawings are too detailed with small sections to be filled in individually. A few pages stick at the spiral and have to be gently separated.

~ Who ~
Having left a high-tech career to be a mother of three girls, Kidron has created several coloring books to calm and connect with one’s inner soul. The author of coloring-on-the-go pocket coloring books, she is dedicated to using art as therapy.

~ Wish ~
Wanting to use the finished pages to frame under glass, I wish the pages were one-sided to ensure no bleeding. Enclosing pencils would be a thoughtful touch.

~ Want ~
If you like an adult coloring book that can be carried with you in a small canvas tote, this may inspire your creativity as it produces calmness and serenity while completing. It would make a thoughtful gift for those who like to color.

Thanks to the author for this complimentary book that I am freely evaluating.

This review will be posted on Amazon with links on Bookfun.org, Godinterest, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google+.

GRAMMARLY was used to check for errors in this review.

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Filed under ***** Great - A Keeper, If You Borrow It, Give It Back!, Arts & Crafts, Book Review