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Review | Little House Coloring Book

It seems these days that there is a coloring book for almost any topic or theme that a coloring book fanatic could imagine. There is, literally, something for everyone. For coloring fans of the generation that grew up on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s books and the Little House on the Prairie tv series, that something might just be the Little House Coloring Book.

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Little House coloring book

I was gifted Laura Ingalls Wilders’ classic series of books by my grandparents for holiday gifts over a series of years when I was in elementary school. I read them obsessively and became such a fan that our family visited the Ingalls/Wilder historic sites in DeSmet, South Dakota on a family vacation during my high school years.

So when I saw the Little House Coloring Book containing some of Garth Williams’ illustrations from the most famous edition of the series – the edition that I own in hardcover – I just couldn’t resist adding it to my library of coloring books! Williams’ illustrations are just as iconic as the stories themselves.

The book contains illustrations from all of the books that are considered part of the original Little House series (Little House in the Big Woods through The First Four Years). Since the Ingalls books were not heavily illustrated and some of the illustrations were small, the coloring book adds in text elements and combines some smaller elements to make repeating patterns on pages.

Little House coloring book page

One of the challenges of working in a coloring book such as this is that you are working with and trying to emulate the style of a familiar artist. Most of the Little House illustrations from Williams that are included in the coloring book were published in black & white sketch form, so there isn’t a specific example to copy from for coloring them. But Williams’ style in the images that he did complete in full-color for the books (such as for the covers) is very beautiful and distinctive.

For those who grew up loving and admiring the Williams illustrations and want to color in that same look, you may be interested to know that Williams usually worked in colored pencil and ink wash for his children’s book illustrations (he’s also famous for illustrating other books such as Charlotte’s Web by EB White).

For the illustration above, from On the Banks of Plum Creek, I used watercolor with limited success to try to mimic the look of Garth Williams’ ink wash look. I should have diluted my colors more.  For the illustration in progress below (from the same book), I am using colored pencil with a blending pencil.  This technique has me much happier with the results compared to the look of Williams’ work, but I have still not entirely got it nailed yet.

Little House coloring book page

This coloring book has been a lovely nostalgic walk down the memory lane of one of my childhood favorites, and also an artistic challenge.

Little House Coloring Book has 90 coloring pages and a cover price of $15.99 (but is currently available on Amazon for around $11).

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Nancy Nally

Owner/Editor
Nancy Nally is the owner of Nally Studios LLC., and the Publisher & Editor of ScrapbookUpdate.com and CraftCritique.com. Nancy also served as the “Modern Business” columnist for Northridge Publishing’s Creative Retailer magazine for several years, before becoming the magazine’s editor from 2013 until its closure in 2014. Her writing has also appeared in CLN Online and CHA's Craft Industry Today. In addition to writing, Nancy is also an experienced speaker and presenter, having given business seminars at many recent Craft & Hobby Association trade shows. From 2011 until 2012, she was the founding co-host of the Paperclipping Roundtable podcast, and she can also be seen on five episodes from the second and third seasons of the PBS television series Scrapbook Soup. Nancy also does freelance public relations work and consulting for private companies about the scrapbook industry’s trends and business climate.

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2 Responses to Review | Little House Coloring Book

  1. Cindy deRosier May 11, 2017 at 11:47 am #

    How cool! I didn’t read the Little House books as a kid, but I read them as a teacher and fell in love.

  2. Jann Schott May 11, 2017 at 4:54 pm #

    Very nice coloring! When I homeschooled my daughters in the early 2000s, we used the Prairie Primer. My girls loved it. This would be a neat Coloring book to go along with the lesson plans.