Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Review: The Time Chamber - A Coloring Book for Adults

For my third book from the Blogging for Books program I decided to try something a little different.  First I'd done a gardening book and then a cooking book.  This time I went for a coloring book.  I say its "a little different" because there is hardly any text, the other two had been non-fiction, and, well, its a coloring book.  I wasn't expecting the chance to review a coloring book, but was happy to seize it.
I really, really, really like coloring.  I am tempted to say I love to color, but find that word overused which make me hesitate.  Its close to accurate though.  I find coloring to be both relaxing and yet stimulating, fun solo or in groups, a wonderful creative outlet, especially for those, like myself, that are not especially talented at drawing.  I may not be able to draft a pretty picture on my own, but boy-oh-boy can I make it pretty with my markers and colored pencils.  I also enjoy that its a hobby you can spend five minutes on--or five hours--its easy to pick up and put down as life calls.

The book I requested is called The Time Chamber: A Magical Story and Coloring Book by Daria Song.  (Sidenote:  How is that for a great last name!?)

The Time Chamber is the story of a red-haired fairy living in a magical cuckoo clock, but who goes on a night time adventure outside of the clock accompanied by a happy little owl.
The cuckoo clock is in the bedroom of a little girl.  When the little girl falls asleep the fairy leaves the clock to see what she can see.  The coloring pages, as a result, are a whimsical, fantastical representation of the little girl's home.  The homey imagery is detailed and lovely and appealed to me very much--beds, table settings, doors, keys, chandeliers, books, teapots, books, thread, clocks.   The first pages I was drawn to color was the two page spread titled, "Something Strange in the Library."  I suppose that's not surprising given my infatuation with reading.  I did enjoy that there were more simple, one-page scenes as well.  Sometimes pages so detailed as the library can be daunting.  Sometimes I want just a simple owl to color.  This book has a good mix of both.
I found it interesting that the fairy has been specifically identified as having red hair.  Since the pages are not colored it seems an interesting detail to include in the text.  I have a bias for redheads so it doesn't bother me--in fact I quite like it as so many faeries are depicted as blonde--but it seemed interesting.  It made me wonder if Daria Song was a redhead, but no.  She's Korean with dark hair.   Not that it matters.  Either way, she sure can draw.

I also found in noteworthy that the fairy never reveals her full face in the book.  Not once.  She is always turned slightly in profile or viewing the world through opera glasses or has an arm conveniently placed as to obscure her face.  I wondered about this.  Was it to add to her mystery?  Was it so the reader/colorer could interpret her more freely?  Was it to help differentiate the fairy from the little girl?  It certainly must have been deliberate on the part of the author.  It makes me curious.
The Time Chamber reminds me of a different coloring book I own--a birthday present from my friend, Derek--called Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford.  They are both the fanciest coloring books I've ever seen with elaborate scenes to color as well as a storyline to follow.  They even have dust jackets which can also be colored, too.  They are both super fun to get creative with.

The fairy from the cuckoo clock takes an assortment of objects with her when she leaves for her adventure.  These items can be found "hidden" throughout the coloring book.  It ties the book together from beginning to end and adds an addition element of interest when coloring.  Its a bit of a treasure hunt, too.  This is another similarity to the Enchanted Forest coloring book.
I dislike that the pages are two-sided.  That is about my only complaint (about both books, actually).  I worry sometimes that my markers will show through--though I am careful and so far they haven't.  If I tear a page out in order to hang it up or turn it into a postcard I lose the page on the backside.  Its a fairly minor complaint though and maybe the book is just supposed to be colored and then later read like a regular book--that its intended to be more than just a coloring book.

All in all it is a fun, unusual and delightful coloring book.

Full Disclosure:  I received a free copy of this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my review.


  1. I stumbled across colouring books for adults last year at the airport and chuckled at them, but then it dawned on me, actually not bad _ i scribble quite often on paper and this was more tastefully and creatively done. I will check out your gardening and cooking reviews of these. Thank you.

    1. It seems like adult coloring is blowing up! Its everywhere! Fine by me. More books to choose between. There didn't use to be such a selection!


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