2020 Holiday Gift Guide Review & Giveaway
I am so excited to continue the 2020 Holiday Gift Guide with the first of our ideas for holiday gifts, from the wonderful Marjorie Sarnat: Christmas Cats coloring book!
Disclosure: This coloring book was kindly sent to me by Marjorie Sarnat and her publisher, Dover Publications; I did not receive any other compensation. This post contains affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I’ll earn a tiny commission, at no additional cost to you. Read my full disclosure here.
Have a cat-loving colorist on your holiday gift list? Or thinking of yourself? Consider having a “meowy” holiday with the 31 playful illustrations in Christmas Cats from Marjorie Sarnat. This newly-published coloring book from Dover Publication’s Creative Haven line is filled with festive images for everyone who loves this special season. And cats!
The art on the the front cover is a colored-in image from the book. The inside front and back covers each show a full-page colored example. These are beautifully done and are invitations to dive right in.
The title page has a half-page design to color, or you can use it to test your media as the book does not have any blank pages for this purpose.
Cats, cats and more cats! Each of the 31 illustrations in Christmas Cats includes at least one cat or kitten. All designs are packed with festive elements such as poinsettas, holly, a crackling fire, snowy landscapes, decorated trees and so much more.
The adorable scenes include a pair of cats ice skating on a starry night, a tangle of little kittens on a page of lost mittens, caroling felines, and even a Santa cat with his nice-kitty list surrounded by presents.
Each design is pretty elaborate and fills the page; only a few have space to practice your background skills.
Line thickness is medium-to-fine, but black and relatively easy to see. Some illustrations also have frames as part of the design. Altogether, the designs will provide hours of fun!
Note that if you aren’t a fan of coloring scenes, and/or prefer patterns or mandalas, this probably is not the right book for you.
The cover is a glossy card stock. The spine is glue bound, but isn’t overly stiff: I found it easy to make the book lie flat with just a bit of bending.
The paper is bright white and smooth. Soft-core pencils, such as Prismacolor Premiers lay down very nicely, and you can layer for different colors and/or pressure shading. With a quick pass of my colorless blender pencil the finish was rich and glossy.
Water based markers did not feather outside the lines, but did leave some light shadowing on the back of the page. Alcohol markers, such as Sharpies and my Adaxi art markers did bleed through the paper, so put a piece of cardstock or a few sheets of paper behind the page if you use these.
Illustrations are printed only on one side of the paper, so no need to worry about wasting an image on the reverse. Pages are also perforated and you can easily remove them for gifting, framing, etc. Images also have a 1/4 to 1/2-inch border all around them. This is an important feature means you don’t lose any of the design if you remove it from the book. None of the illustrations run into the gutter.
The designs in Christmas Cats are on the complex side, and many have small elements. So, this coloring book is best suited for colorists with the dexterity and patience to color the small spaces.
Because there are a lot of elements on each page, and some lavish decorative elements – e.g. filigree, leaves and berries – colorists with vision impairments may find this a challenging coloring book.
Christmas Cats is not a coloring book that you will breeze through – it could take a few hours to finish coloring one design. However, this means that the pages really draw you in and give you something to focus on.
The small details mean that it is suitable for varied concentration levels. If you are having difficulty concentrating, pick a small part of an image – some holly, candies, a tree – that you can finish in a smaller amount of time. Or you can dive into a whole illustration if your concentration is a little better or you feel the need to be distracted.
The line thickness means that it may be a challenge for those with fine motor or vision impairments. As always, please check the images before making up your mind.
I love Marjorie Sarnat’s coloring books, and this one is no exception! I rate Christmas Cats a rare 5★ out of 5★ and can highly recommend it for almost any non-beginner colorist, and especially cat and Christmas fans.
Thinking about giving Christmas Cats as a holiday gift? Just pick up a package of gel ink pens or a pack of colored pencils and drop them into a gift bag with the book. (My fave right now is this bag that can then be used as a shopping bag, reducing waste – with the book.) You could also add a calming scented candle.
I am giving away a copy of Christmas Cats to one lucky reader!
Simply complete the entries in the form below, and don’t forget to bookmark this page and return every day for more chances to win! This giveaway will close on November 15, 2020 at 12:00am and is open to adult residents of the US and Canada (excluding Quebec).a Rafflecopter giveaway