at reasonable prices.
A colouring book, a packet of crayons and coloured pencils, a rubber and frequently licked forefinger, and a tongue busily poking out from between tiny teeth, what else was there to keep a small child occupied on a rainy seaside Bank Holiday Monday? Any boring place adults dragged you to became just about bearable if you hadn’t left behind your half finished colouring book, or, bliss, been given a new one as a bribe.
Nowadays even tiny tots are digital natives and carry their smart phone or tablet around with them. Parents don’t seem to find this at all outlandish. For all I know they have drawing apps on the gadgets and doodle childish scribbles on a screen rather than a nice rough paper book with creases and dog-eared corners. Not to mention chocolate ice cream stains.
It seems, however, that parents have rediscovered colouring books for themselves. At one point in the past few weeks colouring books for adults were rated first and second on Amazon’s bestseller lists. When I first saw mention of them I thought the ‘adult’ part meant just what it usually means, sexually explicit, a bit smutty, porno for retarded types who need to follow graphic instructions.
Far from it. I have since learned that these colouring book have romantic, if somewhat misleading, titles like ‘Enchanted Forest’ (hm, that could still give you the wrong impression?), 'Secret Garden' (golly!) or 'Animal Kingdom’ (Roar!). Do you think the titles are deliberately chosen to tempt you?
Then there are the people who are keen to help you de-stress yourself, find yourself through art, realise what a busy mum you are and how a return to mindfulness can make you into a better person. There are adult colouring books to cater for all needs, therapy on the (not so) cheap for you and a nice little earner for all graphic artists who get on to the bandwagon in time.
I expect this craze will die a natural death once the market is saturated and consumers, beg pardon, recipients of therapy, realise that they had perhaps best leave childish pursuits to children. In the meantime, if colouring books light your candle, feel free to indulge. In small doses it’s probably harmless. Now where did I leave the coloured pencils I bought decades ago?