The matte finish and monochromatic covers of Taro Gomi’s DOODLES and SCRIBBLES create an odd presence on bookstore shelves — an eye-catching negative space among the shinny, toxic colors of the other coloring books. Even before you pick it up, it’s clear these are going to be different. And lots of fun.
More than coloring books or activity books, these require imagination, creativity, and participation from the — what to call them? readers? artists? users? kids? OK, kids. But they have to be a little older, like five and up. Any younger than that and these books will be wasted.
The genius of these books is that instead of prescribed images whose lines we need to stay in, we get open scenarios: “Fill these glasses with your favorite ice cream”, “Draw faces to match these names”, “Here are two music boxes. Draw the music they are playing.”
Besides kids, these books could be perfect for any college art student, someone in the hospital, or for leaving around at a party for your friends to fill with whatever inspires them. The pages aren’t perforated, so you’ll be less likely to tear them out to put on your ‘fridge.
A third book, SQUIGGLES, is due in stores this September. I’m looking forward to getting my hands on a copy of that, too.
Squiggles: A Really Giant Drawing and Painting Book
Expected release date: September 6, 2007