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Clare's Coloring Cottage Review by Heidi Shaw

Clare Willis

You have got to check out Clare's Coloring Cottage. This is the best place to find the widest variety of coloring books and games imaginable. Not silly, Wal-Mart-like coloring books, these are museum quality, detailed, and interesting! The selection is so vast you can find a book on virtually any topic you may be studying, from animals to zoology! If you can't find it here, Clare can find it for you, or it doesn't exist.

Clare Willis decided when her oldest son was young that folks shouldn't have to travel to out of the way museums, or be restricted access to great books, because they couldn't get across country to the museum or tourist area providing that book. She has made it possible to browse and find coloring books on just about anything. There are books on scientific topics, historical topics, and everything in the natural world, as well. I also reviewed a neat card game that is perfect for those long car rides or trips to the dentist or doctor. The same size as a standard deck of cards, laminated and sturdy, this little pack has a game idea or activity on every card. Called 52 Family games, I think this will come in extremely handy when we go to visit Great Grandpa next month. You can take turns picking and playing great games like "crack-up" where you take turns trying to make the others laugh. No fair looking away - the first to giggle is the loser (or winner, since he gets to go next!).

Don't think these are just for the wee ones either. Coloring books could supplement any topic you are studying. I have seen Bullfinch's Mythology, which any high school student would be challenged by. It has stories and pages to color that correspond to the book. Ulysses, Hercules, Daedelus, and Cupid are all represented. This book would make a great complement to a study on ancient history for your middle schooler on up. The Dover books are here, Running Press, and many other small publishers that combine to make an exciting selection possible. We enjoyed the legends and heroes set that Clare sent us; it had books on Pocahontas, Johnny Appleseed, Paul Bunyan, and Davy Crockett. On the web site you will see that Clare has cleverly grouped books into sets that coordinate with many different areas of study. I could go on and on listing them but I really think you ought to check out the site and discover for yourself the possibilities. I have had a great time and my four-year-old and sixteen-year-old are both sitting together, coloring and learning!

-- Product Review by: Heidi Shaw, The Old Schoolhouse® Magazine