Sunday 27 March 2016

Midnight colouring – Anti-stress Art Therapy For Sleepless Nights

Midnight Colouring – Anti-stress Art Therapy For Sleepless Nights illustrated by Kate Larsen (Pan Macmillan)
RRP $19.99
ISBN 9780752265926

Reviewed by Ramona Davey

The moment I saw this book available for review I jumped at the chance. My insomnia comes and goes with no rhyme or reason. There is no knowing how long each new bout will last -- one bad night or a couple of sleeplessness nights or four nights with as little as three consecutive hours of sleep. I have tried getting up, walking around the house, herbal teas, meditation but I had not tried a colouring book before.

Anyone who has walked into a book shop or even a newsagency recently will see how popular this kind of book is at the moment. And it is no wonder why: they are therapeutic.

One night when it was getting late and the family had all fallen asleep, I was still wide awake. I could feel the familiar sensation of anxiety rising in my chest at the possibility of another night with no sleep. So I got out the family box of textas and began to colour in. I chose a page with a row of cute little houses, bushes and trees. I stopped thinking about the outside world and began to concentrate on the colour scheme I wanted to use for the buildings. Yawn.  Then I wondered, did I want the trees to be autumn colours or summer? Yawn.  And were they brown dirt tracks or grey roads curving across the page? Yawn. My mind had relaxed. My eyelids were getting heavy. It had worked!

The second time I coloured in a wonderful under-the-water scene while I listened to a writers’ podcast. Then one night I caught my 10 year old daughter colouring in a page. So it suits all ages. The biggest surprise of all was its size. It fits perfectly into a handbag.

This great little book is filled with hand-drawn illustrations that long to be coloured in. Some are single page and others are double page spreads.
I had as much fun colouring them in as illustrator Kate Larson must have had designing and drawing each page.

I look forward to colouring in the whale page next. J

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