Painting for Peace: Coloring Book Review & Giveaway

Thank you to Painting for Peace for sending this book to me. This is my honest and unbiased review. I received no other compensation. This post does contain affiliate links.

On August 9, 2014, in Ferguson, Missouri, white police officer Darren Wilson fatally shot Michael Brown.

When a jury in November announced its decision not to indict officer Darren Wilson for the killing, some protests gave way to vandalism, leaving local businesses’ windows shattered. Members of the St. Louis art community came together, eager to help however they could. And they began to paint.

Photo: Ryan Archer

They painted messages of hope and peace over hundreds boarded-up windows. They continued painting for days, attracting other participants. The also talked about their community and what they hoped for in the future.

Writer Carol Swartout Klein created an award-winning children’s book about the project, Painting for Peace in Ferguson.  The author then collaborated with illustrator Robert O’Neil to create the  accompanying book: Painting for Peace: A Coloring Book. Funds from the sale of both books is given to the Greater St. Louis Community Foundation charity.


Painting for Peace: A Coloring Book features line drawings based on the Ferguson paintings, peaceas well as a few original images. The cover is a partially colored-in example of the drawing on the Title Page.  The inside front and back covers have photographs of some of the original murals.  The introduction is followed by 21 single-sided drawings, each preceded by a relevant quote by a famous person such as Helen Keller and Maya Angelou. The stories behind ten of the murals is then presented.  The last page has three bookmarks to color and cut out.



Most of the designs are based on the murals painted on Ferguson as part of the Painting for Peace project. All emanate a sense peace and hope in some way – with people, words, flowers and scenes. The designs peaceare a mix of realistic and abstract, and some include short written sentiments. Some fill the page with line work while others have white space to add your own embellishments if you want. A few of the drawings have frames drawn around them; none run into the gutter.



The cover of this 8-1/2″ x 11″ book is made of heavy, matte, and smooth card stock. The binding is peacestapled and lies flat very easily for coloring.

The paper is a heavy and bright white.  It does have a smooth surface without much tooth so there is hardly any white speckling with colored pencils. However, you will have to lay down a couple of layers of softer core pencils, such as Prismacolor, and burnish with a colorless pencil or marker to get bold colors. Blending is good, as you can see in my example to the left.

Designs are printed single-sided, so all coloring media work well.  However, alcohol-based markers will bleed through to the other side, which has the quote for the subsequent illustration.  Water-based markers only left the barest of shadowing with multiple passes of color.

The printing is very good, with no pixellation, although some of the line work in drawings with tiny detail isn’t 100% clear.


The coloring book designs range from simple to complex making this a coloring book for adults and children – a great way to have some family time together!  The balance of designs with open, large elements combined with designs with more detail makes it perfect for any mood and talent. For more experienced colorists, larger elements provide an opportunity to blend different colors or use texture strokes. And even the more detailed drawings don’t have to be intimidating as you don’t have to color every tiny element but instead use wider sweeps of color and let finer line work provide texture and embellishment.

Therapeutic Benefit

peaceSimply put, this is definitely a “feel-good” coloring book, full of peace and hope.  Having a bad day? Really read the quote for one of the drawings while you color and focus on the image and you’ll experience at least a bit of relief from any negativity you are carrying around. It just feels good to color these pages.

The Verdict

From the first page to the last, this is a fantastic coloring book for adults, and for any other member of the family as well. With its beautiful construction and variety of meaningful and unique drawings, it would make a wonderful gift, even for your self.  I rate it 4★ out of 5★.

Painting for Peace: A Coloring Book for All Ages is available at for $8.42, for C$12.82.  Also available from Book Depository.

And don’t forget to check out the accompanying, award-winning children’s book, Painting for Peace in Ferguson, a wonderful tool for talking with children about how we all have something to contribute to helping our communities. Available at for $13.55, for C$16.53 and Book Depository.


The Giveaway!

The folks behind Painting for Peace have given me one copy each of Painting for Peace : A Coloring Book and the accompanying children’s book, Painting for Peace in Ferguson to give away to one of my readers!

Getting in on the fun is easy-peasy: simply follow the instructions in the Rafflecopter below. The giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada and starts today, December 24, 2016.  Entries close on December 31, 2016 at midnight Eastern. Be sure to come back every day for new and more entry options to improve your chances of winning! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

41 Comments on “Painting for Peace: Coloring Book Review & Giveaway

  1. I try to focus on the positive things and try to look at the bright side.

  2. I think it is most important to start each day with JOY and PEACE & HOPE will follow.

  3. I try to bring peace by practicing gratitude. My life has been very difficult because of physical and mental health disabilities but I am very fortunate I have some good people in my life who help me when the struggles are at their worst and when things aren’t so bad. I try to remember to always say please and thank you even if a person gets paid for their work. Recently I have begun to let let go of things that really don’t matter that much, if at at all in the grand scheme of life.

    I also try to be an example to those around me that despite physical and mental health issues life can still be a good thing to be enjoyed.

  4. Who receive the money from the coloring book? The artist who developed the book or the family members of the victims.

  5. Pray for peace with an awesome time to color. But victims family get the books for free?

  6. What an awesome, detailed review of what seems to be a fantastic work of art! I look forward to checking this one out, thanks again for filling all of us in on Painting For Peace!

  7. I bring happiness in to my life and everyone around me through prayer. Thank you for the chance 😀

  8. I have a small shelter for elderly cats. I have 12 at the moment, having lost 3 this year. This brings me the greatest happiness of all.

  9. I would talk… talk… and listen. And hope they listen too. We need to try and see both sides. Pray, pray and pray some more.

  10. I try my best to read from unbiased sources and educate people to the problems in the world.

  11. I love coloring books. Coloring is one of my favorite ways to de-stress and relax. It helps me focus on the positive feelings and deal creatively with the negative.

  12. I try to bring hope into my world by volunteering my time and money to local charities that help people in my community.

  13. fyi, the link to your pinterest account is not correct in the rafflecopter form.

  14. I always take a few minutes at the end of the day (when the kids are in bed…) and just be alone with my thoughts. Sometimes I just read. Regardless it’s important for my me time!

  15. I focus on positive things and I try and relax with games and coloring.

  16. I try to bring peace by helping people and pets raising money to help them out by donating my work in order to help charities.

  17. I smile and speak to everybody since you never know the struggles someone is facing. A simple smile and hello can save a person who feels all alone.

  18. Peace and hope in the world: well, it would help if politicians actually cared about other people.

  19. Kindness and try to make someone’s day brighter. A smile to a stranger, a kind word, and helpful hand.

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