5 Things to Look for in an Outstanding Doodle Book
Have you ever looked at the plethora of doodle books/coloring books on Amazon and wondered, “Which one? What in the world should I get?” Especially if it’s for someone else, like a teen-ager. Eek-gads. I don’t want to get something my grandkids will hate. I want them to be excited by it, can’t wait to explore it, etc.
So, how do you know what to look for? I bought 3 doodle books for research and I’ll show you the best parts of all three.
There are five components to a really good doodle book.
1. Colorful and bright. It should be visually stimulating, attention-grabbing.
2. User Friendly. It should have a “how-to-use” section that gives you an idea what you can do with that book. Of course, you don’t have to use it like it says. You don’t need to color inside the lines. It’s ultimately up to you to decide how to use it.
3. It should have both guided pages and total blanks. Sometimes it would be nice to just get feelings out there. Other times, it helps to have a prompt when you feel numb or blank.
4. The pages should be big enough to write or doodle on for your purpose.
5. Thought provoking. Guided pages should guide you, evoke feelings from you, make you think about things in a different way while giving you the freedom to express those feelings in the way you want.
Not every doodle book is for everyone.
Coloring for the whole family has made a resurgence. It used to be, if I needed some therapeutic coloring time I’d swipe one of my kids’ books and some old, broken crayons, find a quiet spot (usually when no one was at home), sit down and color.
Now there are oodles of coloring books on the market on every topic in the world for grown-ups. There are still coloring books for kids, but I don’t think they appreciate them like adults do. I rarely see children coloring anymore, except in church when devices are not readily available.
I don’t enjoy the new-fangled, Zen type of coloring books. They seem tedious to me. So, let’s look at three examples I bought.
First, is the Doodle Diary by Dawn Devries Sokol.
It’s quite up to date with trendy stuff tweens would love. It’s definitely colorful. It has over 150 pages of color. There is an extensive “how-to” section that defines terms and tools to use. It uses high-quality paper for less bleed-through. It has both guided and blank spaces, but the pages are only 5.25 by 7.25 inches. This is a great size a girl can throw in a purse or bag, but it limits the size and number of doodles she can draw.
It’s strengths are in the thought-provoking section. I get the feeling that whatever thoughts and feelings a young girl may have are welcome in this book. Ms. Sokol shows different methods of art journaling and doodling, and different things to try on almost every page.
Next, is the biggest book I’ve ever bought from Sam’s Club. It’s the Best Friends Forever Doodle Pad.
Its pages are a whopping 10.5 by 14.5 inches with more than ample room for doodling. In fact, it’s a little too big for my taste, but I can totally see my 12-year-old granddaughter stretched out on her bedroom floor doodling each page for hours and hours.
The colors are bright and bold, it encourages the kind of thoughts tween girls are into, cutesy, fashion, BFF kind of things.
The left side of the two-page spread is a color coordinated frame over a blank page. It coordinates to the right-side page that asks the questions. It doesn’t have a “how-to” page because the instructions are on each individual page. There are 159 pages of doodling fun.
Last, is my favorite doodle book, Doodle and Draw Everything by Start Little, Learn Big!
It’s designed to teach elementary aged kids how to draw simple shapes. I bought it for myself to help me learn how to doodle cute stuff. I can draw if I have a picture to look at, but I come up short in the idea department. I bought it at Sam’s Club, but I have seen a couple of editions of this book on Amazon.
This book has everything I want. It’s bright and colorful. It’s just the right size for me at 8.5 x 10.5 inches, and it has 253 pages. Capitalizing on simple shapes it gets kids to finish sequences, and problem solve. For me, the simple shapes are just what I needed to help me improve my doodling skills.
Find doodle styles you like and give it a shot!