Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The Macmillan Jungle Book

The Macmillan Jungle Book
Artists: various


The cover

My colouring

Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book was first published by Macmillan in 1894. The illustrations were done by Kipling's father. Unlike the Macmillan Alice which includes Tenniel's original illustrations on virtually every page, there are none of the original Kipling illustrations in this book. What we have in this colouring book is a jungle extravaganza.

At a glance…..

Size - 225 x 287, 96 pages
Single-sided images - no
Images into the spine - yes
Paper - white, smooth and sturdy
Perforated - no
Water based pens - okay, with care
Who will love it - those who are looking for jungle themes, those who love strong colours and those who like a connection to a classic story.

You can find out more…..

At Book Depository;  Amazon US;  Amazon UK
and at Mighty Ape NZ

Tell me more…..






Comment: Once I realised that the only inclusions from the original Jungle Book were 10 pages with quoted text and none of the original illustrations, I realised that this was a very different book to the Macmillan Alice.
Instead this is a jungle themed book put together from the images of a few artists. Text is added where it teams up with certain illustrations, so the text isn't a narrative in itself.
For those of you who love jungle images, this book has it all. It is arguably the most approachable jungle themed colouring book to date.
Now I want to go and look at Kipling's original illustrations!













Drawing and Design: the images are taken from Shuttlestock and/or drawn by these artists - Ian Cunliffe, Nadiya Vasilkova and Eliz Huseyin, one of whom also worked on Alice. Despite various artist input, there is a cohesion to the drawing as a whole. There's a slight generic feel to some of these images; as if you've seem something similar in colouring magazines and compilations. The foliage patterns and the bejewelled animal faces are ideas I've seen elsewhere.

Bejewelled animals

Most of the designs are strong, not too intricate and ideal for beginner colourers or those who don't like highly detailed images. The boldness of the drawings seems to beg for bright colours, such as water-based markers. You'll struggle to get enough depth of colour from pencils I think. Remember to test your pens on a back page first to check for bleeding and shadowing.
Line length is good, medium thickness and it shouldn't take too long to colour these images. You certainly won't need a magnifying glass!
There are several black background images too which is fantastic. There is a wonderful array of jungle animals and many varied textures of foliage, and several of the images are double spread wallpapers.
What is immediately obvious, even from the cover, is the mix of line drawing and greyscale. Check out the eyes in some of the following examples and the cover above. It's a really interesting mix and I think it works well.

Greyscale eyes and muzzle
Paper and Layout: the paper is sturdy and white and will take water-based pens well if used with care. While several images are double-page spreads, the book lies flat enough to not give problems with images disappearing into the spine. The book is glue and string bound.
However there is one issue that this publisher needs to address, as it occurred in the Macmillan Alice book too. Even with really gentle handling, and before I had even looked in detail at this book, the book had come away from the cover. You can see this in the image below. It is easily remedied with some PVA glue run down the spine of the cover and reattached to the book.

Inside fold out cover showing cover separating from the book
More images -












* This book was sent to me by the publisher for an honest appraisal. Thanks.


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