This blog is devoted to exquisite picture books. Story books, with pictures. However, not all illustrated children’s books are narrative in nature. Sometimes they tell us about the boreal forest, or the gifts animals bestow upon us. And others, like My Beastly Book of Silly Things, defy categorization. It is a colouring book, yes, but it is also a quirky collection of drawings, puzzles, and activities, beautifully illustrated, with deliciously subversive instructions to colour outside the lines. Not directly, of course, but slyly…through a series of exercises designed to push the boundaries of creativity…and perhaps taste, but only if you’re an adult. My inner eight year old boy found this book hilarious, especially the page with instructions to ‘draw farts for everyone’, but even though this sort of humour skews toward boys, many girls will find the book funny too, especially those preferring MAD magazine to Bieber Beat. The appeal, however, is broader than children of the crayon age, and to be honest the book made me laugh, and made other so-called adults around me laugh, with nary a crayon or a lego in sight. My Beastly Book of Silly Things is the colouring book you wish you’d had as a kid.

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