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50 Amazing Coloring Books to Celebrate National Coloring Book Day

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As recent studies have shown, adult coloring books aren't just trendy—they may be used as an effective relaxation technique, too. To celebrate National Coloring Book Day, why not reap the benefits and unwind with one that speaks to your unique tastes in entertainment, literature, and design? From Golden Girls to Shakespeare, we've rounded up 50 of our favorite coloring books that we've written about through the years.

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1. ART OF COLORING: GOLDEN GIRLS

Create a colorful world around Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia, and Rose with this 100-plus page coloring book, which features images of the main characters, plus a few of their favorite things (like cheesecake).

Find it: Amazon

2. THE PRINCESS BRIDE: A STORYBOOK TO COLOR

The classic 1987 movie The Princess Bride can now be found in colorable form. You can add bursts of flames to the Fire Swamps and give young Fred Savage a creatively hued bedspread as you color your way through 80 pages of illustrations by Rachel Curtis.

Find it: Amazon

3. LOST OCEAN

This nautical coloring book by Johanna Basford is sure to tickle any seafarer's fancy.

Find it: Amazon

4. TROPICAL WORLD

You'll probably want to break out your brightest colored pencils and pens to make the tropical animals of this book really pop.

Find it: Amazon

5. COLOR ME JANE: A JANE AUSTEN ADULT COLORING BOOK

The sparkling world of Jane Austen offers up a whole slew of designs and clothing to fall under the tip of your colored pencil. Illustrated by Jacqui Oakley, the book is inspired by all of Austen's greatest stories, from Pride and Prejudice to Sense and Sensibility. The 80-page book offers characters, patterns, and accessories that all need a splash of color.

Find it: Amazon

6. TOLKIEN'S WORLD

This unofficial coloring book takes inspiration from the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. There are over 90 pages in the book that come from six different artists. You can enjoy coloring all the fantastical locations and creatures, including elves, orcs, and hobbits.

Find it: Amazon

7. THE OFFICIAL BOB'S BURGERS COLORING BOOK

Grab some crayons and color all your favorite Bob's Burgers characters in a variety of amusing situations, from striking power poses to dressing up for Halloween. The book also comes with lots of fun activities like designing your own burger and, of course, making up your own punny specials for the chalkboard.

Find it: Amazon

8. HARRY POTTER COLORING BOOK

Enter the magical world of Hogwarts once more with this new series of coloring books. This book has over 90 pages just waiting for your colored pencils to give them life. When you're finished, you can try one of the other books in the series, like Magical Places & Characters, or Magical Artifacts.

Find it: Amazon

9. THE TIME CHAMBER

Follow a small fairy as she enters the human world and sees everything from a new viewpoint. Color in the ornate objects that the tiny magical being encounters on her journey.

Find it: Amazon

10. COLOR THERAPY

This book was specially made with stress relief in mind. Each section utilizes a different hue, so users can pick the color that matches their mood.

Find it: Amazon

11. THE INDIE ROCK COLORING BOOK

If you have a music lover in your life, this is the perfect gift. Illustrated by Andy J. Miller, this delightful book features bands like Bon Iver, Broken Social Scene, and The National. All the profits are split between the bands' charities of choice. Rilo Kiley's Pierre de Reeder writes a heartfelt forward that really captures the charm of the project.

Find it: Amazon

12. BUN B'S RAP COLORING AND ACTIVITY BOOK

This is the perfect activity book for any hip-hop lover. There are 48 pages of coloring and activities including some notable names like Kanye West, Earl Sweatshirt, Tupac, and Drake.

Find it: Amazon

13. COLOR ME CALM

Therapist Lacy Mucklow and artist Angela Porter worked together to create 100 different designs to color when you're feeling stressed out.

Find it: Amazon

14. SPLENDID CITIES

This delightful coloring book features a number of different real-life cities like London and Moscow—and some imaginary ones as well.

Find it: Amazon

15. COLOR THIS BOOK: NEW YORK CITY

If you love Broad City, you need this book. It's illustrated by Abbi Jacobson, who actually went to MICA before becoming an actress. Her art school background is showcased in this beautifully drawn book of various New York sights. If the west coast is more your style, you can also check out her San Francisco book. And if that's still not enough for you, check out this one by Mike Perry (the guy who does Broad City's cool opening titles).

Find it: Amazon

16. WUTHERING HEIGHTS

Emily Brontë's gothic novel paints a pretty vivid picture of the Yorkshire moors, and the misty landscapes and brooding characters make for excellent subjects in a coloring book. Each illustration is coupled with a quote from the book, so you can relive the drama once again as you color.

Find it: Amazon

17. ANNE OF GREEN GABLES

Anne Shirley might not have been able to get rid of her carrot-colored locks, but with this coloring book, you can give her the raven- or auburn-hued hair she always wanted. Unlike many other coloring books, this one offers a coherent storyline that unfurls as you color. Illustrations are done by Jae-Eun Lee, who breathes new life into the iconic characters.

Find it: Amazon

18. WONDERLAND

The surreal and colorful world of Wonderland is a prime coloring book candidate because it welcomes bold and adventurous choices. If you want to give the Mad Hatter pinstripes and Alice a black dress, no one's stopping you—just don't mess with the Red Queen. Amily Shen gives the world and its characters a highly detailed look and even adds in new elements, like Alice's tiny bowler hat.

Find it: Amazon

19. THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA

This official coloring book offers a new way to enter the wardrobe. Color through the world of Narnia and enjoy scenes, characters, and designs from all seven books.

Find it: Amazon

20. ESCAPE TO SHAKESPEARE'S WORLD

Experience the stories of William Shakespeare in a completely new and interactive way. This 96-page coloring book features designs and patterns directly inspired by The Bard's work.

Find it: Amazon

21. COLOR ME SWOOOOON

Every once in a while, you need to pour yourself a glass of wine and indulge in some good old fashioned swooning. This book of dreamy hunks does not discriminate; you can be any skill level to color in all your favorite heartthrobs.

Find it: Amazon

22. THRILL MURRAY

Bill Murray lovers (everyone) can rejoice! Twenty-three illustrators were commissioned to create the pages of Thrill Murray, which takes scenes from all your favorite Bill movies, from Groundhog Day to The Life Aquatic.

Find it: Amazon

23. EDGAR ALLAN POE: AN ADULT COLORING BOOK

You're going to need a lot of black and red before diving into this Poe-themed coloring book. Illustrator Odessa Begay brings the creepy motifs of Poe's work to each page, which are all laid out on thick, high-quality paper.

Find it: Amazon

24. THE DR. SEUSS COLORING BOOK

This new coloring book is an ode to the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss. Inside, you can color familiar characters like Horton, the Lorax, and the Cat in the Hat.

Find it: Amazon

25. THE OFFICIAL A GAME OF THRONES COLORING BOOK

This is not a coloring book for the faint of heart—besides the graphic content, the intricate linework makes for some intensely difficult coloring. You can color the Weirwood trees, house sigils, and scheming characters from the books.

Find it: Amazon

26. BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER ADULT COLORING BOOK

This 45-page tome, from Dark Horse Publishing, features classic scenes and characters from the Joss Whedon series created by a number of artists, including Buffy comic book veterans like Karl Moline, Rebekah Isaacs, and Georges Jeanty.

Find it: Amazon

28. CREATURES GREAT AND SMALL

This coloring book is both relaxing and educational, providing the owner with valuable information about the subjects on each page.

Find it: Amazon

29. THE ANCIENT ALCHEMY COLORING BOOK

Color in sacred symbols and designs like celtic knots, mandalas, and more.

Find it: Amazon

30. COLOR ME LISA FRANK

Fans of Lisa Frank are in for a book bursting with gleeful unicorns, castles, and of course, rainbows. You're going to need a huge pack of crayons if you want to do this thing justice.

Find it: Amazon

31. DOODLERS ANONYMOUS EPIC COLORING BOOK

Doodlers Anonymous is a collective of artists that works as a home for eccentric and unconventional illustration art. For this unique coloring book, 90 contemporary artists from all over the world came together to lend their illustrations. Each page features a different artist and a different style.

Find it: Amazon

32. OUTSIDE THE LINES

If you're unimpressed by 90 different artists, how about 100? All sorts of creative minds—like animators, cartoonists, fine artists, graphic artists, illustrators, musicians—offered their talents to make this incredible coloring book a reality. 

Find it: Amazon

33. ANIMORPHIA

You may know artist Kerby Rosanes from his Sketchy Stories blog. Rosanes creates mind-bending scenes of objects and animals bursting into tinier objects and animals. The wildly detailed illustrations promise hours of coloring enjoyment. For added fun, certain pages are intentionally unfinished and encourage the colorer to draw their own designs.

Find it: Amazon

34. MID-CENTURY MODERN ANIMALS

Illustrator Jenn Ski has a flair for mid-20th century art and design. She created a series of coloring books in this style that ranges from folk art to botanicals. This animal-themed coloring book features simplistic but beautiful designs that are perfect for animal and design lovers alike. 

Find it: Amazon

35. NATURAL WONDERS

Patrick Hruby’s artwork is striking for its solid blocks of contrasting colors that pop right off the page. Now you can pick your own color scheme for his blocky, minimalist style. The 32 illustrations feature natural scenes of animals, flora, and landscapes. There’s even a guide in the back of the book that shows what each picture looks like with color.

Find it: Amazon

36. CHARLEY HARPER COLORING BOOK

American illustrator Charley Harper is also an artist known for his blocky and colorful artwork. These pieces are perfect to translate into black and white linework to put in a coloring book. The horizontal coloring book features Harper’s iconic drawings of birds and illustrations he did for Ford Times. When you're done, you can peel the work right out of the book and stick on a wall or fridge.

Find it: Amazon

37. THE OFFICIAL OUTLANDER COLORING BOOK

Lovers of the novels and Starz television series Outlander will enjoy reliving it all with this official coloring book. You’ll need to grab a lot of green pencils to fill in the rolling hills of the Scottish Highlands.

Find it: Amazon

38. SECRET NEW YORK

Created by Paris-based artist Zoe de Las Cases, this coloring book focuses on the little things in New York City. Color your way through Manhattan to Brooklyn, one tote bag or sneaker at a time.

Find it: Amazon

39. WILD SAVANNAH

Illustrator Millie Marotta creates extremely intricate coloring books that are so beautifully detailed, they almost don’t need to be colored. Her patterns of the savannah’s flora and fauna offer a great way to relieve stress and be creative.

Find it: Amazon

40. DISNEY VILLAINS

Break out your red and purple crayons, because you’re going to need them if you want to do Disney’s best villains justice. Color in the extravagant outfits of villains like Cruella De Vil and Ursula (preferably while cackling maniacally). The fancy cover, a thick board with double metallic foil stamping, is fitting for any villain.

Find it: Amazon

41. THE MAGICAL CITY

Illustrator Lizzie Mary Cullen takes cityscapes and deconstructs them into swirly abstract designs perfect for the creative colorer. Cullen took inspiration from cities like London, Rome, and Luxor when creating this unusual coloring book. 

Find it: Amazon

42. THE ART OF NATURE COLORING BOOK

For the budding scientist in your life: a coloring book filled with scientific drawings from the 18th and 19th centuries. There are 60 pages of vintage illustrations of animals and flora to fill in.

Find it: Amazon

43. ALEXANDER GIRARD COLORING BOOK

Bring home the illustrative magic of Alexander Girard with this coloring book that transforms some of his work into simple line art to color. Girard, also known as Sandro, was an interior and textile designer who made some extremely charming and retro artwork.

Find it: Amazon

44. COLOUR ME GOOD HARRY STYLES

Get lost coloring in the eyes of One Direction’s front man Harry Styles. Ever wonder what Harry would look like as a blonde? Now you can find out! You can also design and draw some cool tattoos for the singer to sport. Once you finish coloring, you hang up your work with this themed duct tape.

Find it: Amazon

45. BAIT: OFF-COLOR STORIES FOR YOU TO COLOR

Palahniuk contributed eight brand-new short stories to this book, and a slew of comic book artists provided nearly 50 black-and-white accompanying illustrations. Artists involved in this project include Hellboy's Duncan Fegredo, Lady Killer's Joelle Jones, and The Suiciders’s Lee Bermejo.

Find it: Amazon

46. THE WALKING DEAD COLORING BOOK

Illustrated by comic book artist Robert Kirkman, the creator of the iconic comic book series, the book features 96 pages of images. Sure, the comic may be in black and white, but this coloring book is your chance to finally give the story some color. Think the walkers should be green like traditional zombies? No problem! Want them to be blue? Hey, it's your coloring book.

Find it: Amazon

47. DOCTOR WHO COLORING BOOK

Attention Whovians: It might be time to break out your wallets and purchase this 96-page-long coloring book featuring planets, galaxies, doctors, and of course, the TARDIS. The illustrations are done by artists James Newman Gray, Lee Teng Chew, and Jan Smith.

Find it: Amazon

48. WONDER WOMAN COLORING BOOK

Celebrate Wonder Woman throughout the years with this new coloring book that comes out in October. Color in the star-spangled hero as she explores her homeland, Themyscira and fights crime in the United States. The 80-page coloring book offers hours of entertainment.

Find it: Amazon

49. COLOUR ME SWIFTLY

The “Colour Me Good” series has a ton of different celebrities to choose from, including Ryan Gosling and Harry Styles. Another option is pop star Taylor Swift. Illustrator Mel Elliott has created 16 line drawings of the singer for you to color in.

Find it: Amazon

50. SUPERNATURAL

Color in your favorite fraternal paranormal hunting duo as they drive across the country in their black 1967 Chevy Impala (or any color car you want, really). This 96-page coloring book features a whole host of characters, angels, and monsters from the CW show Supernatural that could all use a bit of color. Each page is intricately detailed, so colorers will need plenty of time on their hands to get through it all.

Find it: Amazon

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10 Regional Twists on Trick-or-Treating
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Walk around any given American neighborhood on the night of October 31, and you’ll likely hear choruses of "trick-or-treat" chiming through the area. The sing-songy phrase is synonymous with Halloween in some parts of the world, but it's not the only way kids get sweets from their neighbors this time of year. From the Philippines to the American Midwest, here are some regional door-to-door traditions you may not have heard of.

1. PANGANGALULUWA // THE PHILIPPINES

Rice cakes wrapped in leaves.
Suman

The earliest form of trick-or-treating on Halloween can be traced back to Europe in the Middle Ages. Kids would don costumes and go door-to-door offering prayers for dead relatives in exchange for snacks called "soul cakes." When the cake was eaten, tradition held that a soul was ferried from purgatory into heaven. Souling has disappeared from Ireland and the UK, but a version of it lives on halfway across the world in the Philippines. During All Saints Day on November 1, Filipino children taking part in Pangangaluluwa will visit local houses and sing hymns for alms. The songs often relate to souls in purgatory, and carolers will play the part of the souls by asking for prayers. Kids are sometimes given rice cakes called suman, a callback to the soul cakes from centuries past.

2. PÃO-POR-DEUS // PORTUGAL

Raw dough.
iStock

Instead of trick-or-treating, kids in Portugal go door-to-door saying pão-por-deus ("bread for god") in exchange for goodies on All Saints Day. Some homeowners give out money or candy, while others offer actual baked goods.

3. HALLOWEEN APPLES // WESTERN CANADA

Kids trick-or-treating.
iStock

If they're not calling out "trick-or-treat" on their neighbors’ doorsteps on Halloween night, you may hear children in western Canada saying "Halloween apples!" The phrase is left over from a time when apples were a common Halloween treat and giving out loose items on the holiday wasn't considered taboo.

4. ST. MARTIN'S DAY // THE NETHERLANDS

The Dutch wait several days after Halloween to do their own take on trick-or-treating. On the night of November 11, St. Martin's Day, children in the Netherlands take to the streets with their homemade lanterns in hand. These lanterns were traditionally carved from beets or turnips, but today they’re most commonly made from paper. And the kids who partake don’t get away with shouting a few words at each home they visit—they’re expected to sing songs to receive their sugary rewards.

5. A PENNY FOR THE GUY // THE UK

Guy Fawkes Night celebration.

Peter Trimming, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 2.0

Guy Fawkes Night is seen by some as the English Protestants’ answer to the Catholic holidays associated with Halloween, so it makes sense that it has its own spin on trick-or-treating. November 5 marks the day of Guy Fawkes’s failed assassination attempt on King James as part of the Gunpowder Plot. To celebrate the occasion, children will tour the neighborhood asking for "a penny for the guy." Sometimes they’ll carry pictures of the would-be-assassin which are burned in the bonfires lit later at night.

6. TRICKS FOR TREATS // ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI

Kids knocking on a door in costume.
iStock

If kids in the St. Louis area hope to go home with a full bag of candy on Halloween, they must be willing to tickle some funny bones. Saying "tricks-for-treats" followed by a joke replaces the classic trick-or-treat mantra in this Midwestern city. There’s no criteria for the quality or the subject of the joke, but spooky material (What’s a skeleton’s favorite instrument? The trombone!) earns brownie points.

7. ME DA PARA MI CALAVERITA // MEXICO

Sugar skulls with decoration.
iStock

While Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is completely separate from Halloween, the two holidays share a few things in common. Mexicans celebrate the day by dressing up, eating sweet treats, and in some parts of the country, going house-to-house. Children knocking on doors will say "me da para mi calaverita" or "give me money for my little skull," a reference to the decorated sugar skulls sold in markets at this time of year.

8. HALLOWEEN! // QUEBEC, CANADA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
iStock

Trick-or-treaters like to keep things simple in the Canadian province of Quebec. In place of the alliterative exclamation, they shout “Halloween!” at each home they visit. Adults local to the area might remember saying "la charité s’il-vous-plaît "(French for “charity, please”) when going door-to-door on Halloween, but this saying has largely fallen out of fashion.

9. SWEET OR SOUR // GERMANY

Little girl trick-or-treating.
iStock

Halloween is only just beginning to gain popularity in Germany. Where it is celebrated, the holiday looks a lot like it does in America, but Germans have managed to inject some local character into their version of trick-or-treat. In exchange for candy, kids sometimes sing out "süß oder saures"—or "sweet and sour" in English.

10. TRIQUI, TRIQUI HALLOWEEN // COLOMBIA

Kids dressed up for Halloween.
Rubí Flórez, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Kids in Colombia anticipate dressing up and prowling the streets on Halloween just as much as kids do in the States. There are a few significant variations on the annual tradition: Instead of visiting private residencies, they're more likely to ask for candy from store owners and the security guards of apartment buildings. And instead of saying trick-or-treat, they recite this Spanish rhyme:

Triqui triqui Halloween
Quiero dulces para mí
Si no hay dulces para mí
Se le crece la naríz

In short, it means that if the grownups don't give the kids the candy they're asking for, their noses will grow. Tricky, tricky indeed

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arrow
Lists
10 Regional Twists on Trick-or-Treating
Original image
iStock

Walk around any given American neighborhood on the night of October 31, and you’ll likely hear choruses of "trick-or-treat" chiming through the area. The sing-songy phrase is synonymous with Halloween in some parts of the world, but it's not the only way kids get sweets from their neighbors this time of year. From the Philippines to the American Midwest, here are some regional door-to-door traditions you may not have heard of.

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