There is a new book from Bergli Books called The Big Swiss Colouring Book; it is the inspired project of three art teachers from one of the Zurich-area international schools.
Really, this book recommends itself; you don’t need me to tell you why you would should get it. If you see the book, it will sell itself to you, because you will likely immediately want a copy, and you will certainly know one or more people (either in Switzerland or, perhaps, in your homeland) who would love a copy. It is published in three languages: English, German, and French. All editions have all three languages in them, but there are some where English is foremost, some where German is, and some where French dominates.
So I am really writing this to make you aware of this coloring book’s existence. It is for adults or for children (its subtitle is “For Mindful Adults and Creative Kids”) with pictures of Swiss landscapes, cities, and customs. Some of the pictures are more abstract and inspired by Swiss scenes or designs. All of the pictures are beautifully done. Creating this coloring book was a brilliant idea, and you will ask yourself why no one thought of it before. You will also be glad that these three women (authors Joanna Moon, Caroline Little, and Janet Howell) did think of it and brought their lovely idea to fruition.
Coloring books for adults are popular lately, sold as stress-busters or mindfulness exercises. It seems that many people do consider it therapeutic to color in designs. In fact, I received the following advice from a therapist: during phone calls on stressful topics, work on a coloring book page (or an easy Sudoku, but I choose coloring) to keep emotions from becoming overwhelming. I guess that is less mindfulness than it is a calming distraction, but a positive exercise nonetheless.
The teachers who created The Big Swiss Colouring Book told me that they use mindful drawing in their classes, and they have also left space for some drawing in their coloring book designs – for example, a girl’s dress on which to draw a pattern, or some automobiles whose blank bodies beg for creative paint jobs.
Whether for coloring, drawing, or both, however, this book is a delightful tribute to a country that is well known for its big beauty and perhaps less known for the gorgeous small corners. Both are beautifully represented here. And by the way, there is an index in the back listing the subject of each picture, which is a thoughtful addition.
And so if you did not previously know that this book existed, now you do, and you will want one. Find it through Bergli books (I also saw it on amazon.de) and enjoy.
By Carol McDonald
Carol has lived in Zurich for 18 years. Trained as a librarian, she currently teaches English as a second language and an integration course, and volunteers at the American Women’s Club library.