I love looking through used book sales for bargains, and at a recent sale, I found a gem! It’s The Anti-Coloring Book by Susan Striker. The cover says that it’s good for ages 6 and up, but many of the pages would work for younger children, too.
What makes this an “anti-coloring” book is that children don’t color the pictures — they draw them! But they don’t have to figure the pictures all out on their own. Each page has the beginnings of a picture, along with a prompt for the child of what to add to complete it.
For example, one page shows a gift box with the top partly removed. The prompt reads: Today is your birthday. Inside this box is the present you want most in the world. Can you see it? The child then draws the object he or she wants to receive as a present. Another page features a large rectangle. The prompt reads: Design a wrapper and make up a name for a delicious new candy bar. Another page shows a father, mother, and three children from behind. The prompt reads: What are these people looking at?
The prompts leave lots of room for creative “answers”, much like journaling prompts often do. Yet even kids who are intimidated by writing can do these. They get to decide what a photographer is taking a picture of, design a robot that does chores, and show what flowers on Jupiter might look like. And they don’t have to spell anything correctly – they just draw!
The best part: there are lots of these books! There are six in all, plus other creative books like The Circus Anti-Coloring Book, The Newspaper Anti-Coloring Book, and The Anti-Coloring Book of Celebrations, all by Susan Striker. You can find them online, or maybe even at a used book sale near you!
Photo by: Jenn Durfey