Title: Fantastic Cities: A Colouring Book of Amazing Places Real and Imagined
Author/Illustrator: Steve McDonald
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Genre: Colouring
Book format: Paperback
Sweet Strawberries: Sweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet StrawberrySweet Strawberry

Review: Fantastic Cities is a great colouring book that anyone both adults and kids will enjoy. It’s bigger than I thought, A4 in height and because it is square in shape, the same length across. The book is perhaps a touch thinner than Millie Marotta’s or Johanna Basford’s books or Animorphia but only a little. All the pages are a crisp white and are nice and thick, but are printed on both sides so I don’t know how felt pens would fair (I always use pencils).

Fantastic Cities book page image one
©The Strawberry Post

Every page of fantastic cities is a wonderful overview of a city. As if taken from the point of view of a low flying bird. There are pictures of houses, sky scrapers, factories, even a port and, strangely, there is one picture of a lot of cars called ‘traffic jam’! (see the picture below). Every city picture takes up one side of the two open pages, no double page spreads that end up reaching the very centre of the book, so no worrying about colouring in the pictures into the crease, and each picture also comes with the information of which city it is written close to the spine.

Fantastic Cities book page image three
©The Strawberry Post

As well as actual cities, this book also has mandalas of cities. I never knew anyone could make a mandala of a city, but it does work. It looks as if the city picture was put into a kaleidoscope. 🙂 I am slightly disappointed by the mandalas though, just because there are some perfect round mandalas but others are only part of a mandala – see the next picture below to know what I mean. To me this is the only downside to this book, I always prefer circular mandalas, but that really is the only downside I can see.

I really love this book as for me I love truly detailed pictures. I love looking at a picture and seeing something in one place and another thing elsewhere, but all within the same picture, a bit like Where’s Wally. I also like it as it’s different from Millie Marrotta or Johanna Basford or the many other adult colouring books that are on the market at the moment. While I like those books and they are very pretty and often full of greenery and flowers, there’s something about colouring a city…It’s just different and  fun for me, perhaps because I grew up in the city?

Fantastic Cities book page image four
©The Strawberry Post

Overall I’d really recommend this book to anyone who wants to colour in something different. All of the cities are real (apart from the mandals or course) and feature places in Mexico, India and Germany to name a few, and cities like Kuala Lumpur, San Francisco, there’s even Picadilly Circus in London! It’s very fun and I really love this book, for the amount of colouring you get it really is worth the price and I really recommend it! It’s taking a long time to colour in just one picture 🙂

Fantastic Cities book page image two
©The Strawberry Post

Here is a rough list of the places that appear in this book: San Francisco, New York, Sydney, Melbourne, London, Istanbul, Tokyo, Singapore, Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Johdpur and other city in India, Rio de Janeiro, Ilullisat- Greenland, Toronto and other cities in Canada, Himeji-Japan, Shibam-Yemen, Guanajuato- Mexico, Bremen and other German cities, Santorini – Greece, and just possibly others I have missed.

-Review first appeared August 2015 – now republished here.


Do you enjoy colouring books?  What cities would you like to see in this book?  Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂