Coloring Animal Mandalas / Wendy Piersall
Berkeley, CA: Ulysses Press, c2014.
I was offered a lovely book for review recently, from the new-to-me Ulysses Press in Berkeley. Since I have both used and taught mandalas as an expressive art practice previously, I was instantly interested.
And this is a lovely book! It includes 31 intricate mandala images featuring cats, birds, sea creatures, horses, bugs and more. Some are very detailed, and would take much attention to colour in. Some are a little more free-form, with larger spaces to fill. All are very lovely.
I think my favourite ones are those featuring shells and fish. They seem to have an organic flow that really appeals to me. But there is one with swans that I'll have to work on first, considering my city's emblematic swans! I can see that these images are going to be quite enjoyable for a long while.
Have you ever used pre-made mandalas yourself? The act of concentrating and colouring them in is quite peaceful and relaxing. I usually like to focus in on the experience of colouring while letting my mind rest -- it's something we were quite skilled at as children but forget to do as grownups. Piersall's designs are unique and pretty, many of them resembling the intricate detail of a mosaic.
If you haven't tried this 'adult colouring book' experience before, I'd say that this collection offers a fun starting point. It's a nice size and printed single-sided for colouring, on paper that will play with crayons, pencils or markers equally well. Adults and older children would both enjoy these images, I think.
If you want to see some sample images, check out Piersall's animal mandala page on her larger website (which is full of activities and worksheets for kids, also great). Also, pop over to her blog to print off a free hedgehog design that didn't make it into the final book -- too cute.