Adult coloring titles for 2016 include Wave: A Journey Through the Sea of Imagination for the Adventurous Colorist by Shantell Martin (Tarcher Perigee, May, $15), which uses an accordion-style format to unfold a nine-foot-long continuous illustration. The Magic of Mandalas and The Magic of Flowers (Barron’s, March, $9.99) both include a stand-up display for adults to showcase their finished drawings and are available in an eight-book counter display.
Harper Design offers two titles that allow readers to draw alongside the greats: Collaborate with Zio: The Artist’s Sketchpad, Coauthored and Colored by You by Zio Ziegler (June, $14.99) features the work of artist and muralist Zio Ziegler, and Color Your Own Monet and the Impressionists (May, $14.99) has a three-millimeter board cover that acts as an easel. For landscape lovers, Harper Design’s Color New York: 20 Views to Color In by Hand by Emma Kelly (May, $14.99) captures the iconic cityscape of the Big Apple, and Color Paris: 20 Views to Color in by Hand by Hennie Haworth (May, $14.99) does the same for the City of Light.
Fairies pop up in several titles, including Zendoodle Coloring: Magical Fairies by Nikolett Corley (St. Martin’s/Castle Point, July, $12.99) and two titles from Harper Design by Marcos Chin, Fairies in Wonderland: An Interactive Coloring Adventure for All Ages (March, $14.99) and Fairies in Wonderland 20 Postcards: An Interactive Coloring Adventure for All Ages (March, $9.99).
Mélange Funeste by Edward Gorey (Pomegranate, Jan., $13.95) features 16 mix-and-match Gorey creatures that can be combined in a variety of ways to create unique characters.
Faith-based titles include Broad Street Publishing’s Noah’s Ark: Coloring the Great Flood (March $14.99) and A Walk in the Garden: Coloring Beauty (April, $14.99), as well as Baker Publishing’s Live Free (Feb., $12.99) and Live Fearless (April, $12.99) by Margaret Feinberg, which highlight verses from the Bible and include blank space for written reflection.
Another permutation of the coloring trend is the emergence of coloring kits, which bundle coloring books with crayons, colored pencils, or pens. Kindelsperger of Quarto says the success of kits is because they’re “so easy to buy and get started. It’s a great, easy gift, and it’s also a great self-purchase.” Quarto has two portable 2016 coloring kits by coauthors Lacy Mucklow and Angela Porter: Portable Color Me Happy Coloring Kit and Portable Color Me Calm Coloring Kit (Jan., $15.99).
Kathleen Schmidt, director of marketing and publicity for Running Press, says the publisher has seen great success with its mini-kits, which are only a few square inches, and is expecting a good run through the spring and Mother’s Day promotions. “It’s a trend I don’t see going away anytime soon,” she says.
While publishers keep churning out coloring titles, many are thinking about how coloring can be a gateway to other artistic pursuits.
Draw Your Big Idea: The Ultimate Creativity Tool for Turning Thoughts into Action and Dreams into Reality by Heather Willems and Nora Herting (Chronicle, May, $19.95) explores “how when you draw and color and doodle you actually retain information better,” Chronicle’s Bach says. “It’s using drawing and coloring in order to help inspire self-expression, strength, and focus.”
Quarto’s Kindelsperger says, “There will be a lot of unfinished coloring books in America. But for some people, they’re going to want to take the next step. In a nutshell, we’re working on things for the coloring book graduate.” Quarto has Learn to Draw Calligraphy Nature (March, $14.99) by designer and illustrator Andrew Fox and Drawing Geometric Kit by Tilman Zitzmann (March, $19.99).
The field journal Do Big Small Things by Bruce Poon Tip (Running Press, April, $18) allows users to record their adventures and log the various ways little things can make up the big picture. Failed It: Buying This Book Is the Best Mistake You Will Make by Erik Kessels (Phaidon, April, $12.95) features photographs of failures in advertising, product design, and signage to remind creative types that mistakes are a part of the process.
Advice from My 80-Year-Old Self by artist Susan O’Malley (Chronicle, Feb., $16.95) features the results of a project in which O’Malley, who recently died, asked more than 100 people, “What advice would your 80-year-old self give you?” and transformed their responses into vibrant text-based images. It’s a book that Bach says “fits so nicely into that inspirational gift message that people like to give and receive.”
For those who like the great outdoors, there’s How to Be a Wildflower by Katie Daisy (Chronicle, March, $19.95) an illustrated field guide encouraging self-discovery through encounters with nature, and The Wander Society by Keri Smith (Penguin, March, $20), based on the practice of enjoying unscheduled time.
Insider Brooklyn: A Curated Guide to New York City’s Most Stylish Borough by Rachel Felder (Harper Design, June, $26.99) takes readers on a meandering trip through one of the world’s hippest destinations, and A Woman’s Guide to the Wild: Your Complete Outdoor Handbook by Ruby McConnell (Sasquatch, March, $18.95) is a handbook for outdoors-loving women, whether they’re experienced trailblazers or newbies inspired by Cheryl Strayed’s Wild.
Two crowd-pleasing dishes get the gift-book treatment in Fries! An Illustrated Guide to the World’s Favorite Food by Blake Lingle (Princeton Architectural Press, April, $16.95) and Where to Eat Pizza (Phaidon, April, $29.95), a global guide to the world’s other favorite food.
Chronicle’s Bach says that cocktail and appetizer titles make popular gift titles “both for people who want to give hosts gifts, and those who need to plan a quick, easy party.” The New Cocktail Hour: The Essential Guide to Hand-Crafted Drinks by André Darlington and Tenaya Darlington (Running Press, April, $22) stirs together the history, trends, and techniques of mixing up cocktails at home. Southern Appetizers: 60 Delectables for Gracious Get-Togethers (Chronicle, May, $19.95) offers up party-food recipes with a Southern twist.
Bach of Chronicle says, “I can’t tell you how many people come in asking for titles for boys and men. They want that perfect signature men’s gift, and I love being able to quickly put those books in buyers’ hands.”
Within this category, Bach says booze is always very strong. Chronicle titles include Drink Like a Man, from the editors of Esquire (June, $22.95), which takes 83 years of the magazine’s drinking wisdom and transforms it into 125 cocktail recipes including the “13 drinks every man should know how to make.” To chart all that drinking, Quarto has a Jiggers and Drams Whiskey Journal (March, $12.99), a personal notebook for jotting down tasting notes of bourbons, whiskeys, and rye.
Packaged in a flexibound format with rounded corners, Dad Hacks: Helpful Hints to Make Life Easier by Dan Marshall (Harper Design, May, $15.99) offers fully illustrated, easy-to-follow DIY solutions for common problems fathers face everyday, such as reheating leftovers and dealing with rusty razor blades.
Men’s fashion designer Mark McNairy offers his irreverent take on sartorial history in F**k Ivy and Everything Else (Harper Design, Feb., $29.99). Elizabeth Sullivan, executive editor at Harper Design, calls it a “modern-day guide to manners and dressing for guys that’s not stuffy. It’s the kind of book you’d give your son, or I could see it being on the table of a college dorm room, because it’s very funny.”
For animal lovers, there’s Dog Love by Ann Devito (Penguin, Feb., $18), which pays homage to a wide range of dogs, and ToastHampton: How to Summer in Style by Katie Sturino and Katie Lee (Harper Design, May, $16.99), featuring the popular celebrity dog Toast, sporting her toothless grin and slack tongue while modeling high-end fashion brands in the Hamptons.
Thunder Bay Press offers Cat Origami by Román Díaz (April, $19.99) and Dog Origami by Seth Friedman (April, $19.99), two 80-page origami project books for dog lovers and cat lovers to re-create their favorite breeds.
As marijuana becomes legal in more states, publishers are putting out more weed-related titles, including The Ganja Gourmet: The Joy of Cooking with Cannabis by Jeff the 420 Chef (Harper Wave, June, $29.99), which introduces home cooks to the world of cannabis edibles, and Weed: The User’s Guide: A 21st Century Handbook for Enjoying Marijuana by David Schmader (Sasquatch, April, $18.95), which provides a witty guide full of history, recipes, safety and legality tips, and medical information.
To capitalize on the tiny-living movement, Harper Design offers 150 Best of the Best Loft Ideas by Inc. Loft Publications (June, $29.99) and 150 Best Tiny Home Ideas by Manel Gutiérrez Couto (June, $29.99), featuring small living spaces from around the world. Nanotecture: Tiny Built Things (Phaidon, March, $24.95) is a browsable compendium of innovative, tiny structures from tree houses to homes for animals.
Taking the offline movement into the home is Forgotten Ways for Modern Days: Kitchen Cures and Household Lore for a Natural Home and Garden by Rachelle Blondel (Tarcher Perigee, June, $25), which offers a full-color guide to using ingredients from the natural world to create organic cosmetics, cleaners, and health remedies. The Little Book of Healthy Beauty: Simple Daily Habits to Get You Glowing by Pina LoGiudice (Tarcher, July, $15) gives readers tips on natural beauty and health remedies.
The Barber Book (Phaidon, March, $24.95) celebrates the hairstyles of the 20th century. Celebrity stylist Susan Moses gives women the confidence and know-how to dress for their body shape in The Art of Dressing Curves: The Best-Kept Secrets of a Fashion Stylist (Harper Design, April, $35). Marta Schooler, publisher at Harper Design, says the title is “a perfect example of what we think is a hot trend, which is dressing a woman who is not size 2.”
Tarcher Perigee has three titles in the coming months to help readers in their pursuit of happiness: 15 Things You Should Give Up to Be Happy: An Inspiring Guide to Discovering Effortless Joy (March, $16) by Luminita D. Saviuc is based on a blog post by Saviuc that went viral; the workbook I Am Here Now: Field Notes for a Curious and Creative Mind by the Mindfulness Project (June, $16) contains exercises and tips on living in the moment; The Positivity Kit: Instant Happiness on Every Page (June, $15) by Lisa Currie is an interactive journal featuring prompts focused on the good things in life.
Happiness Is... 500 Ways to Be in the Moment by Lisa Swerling and Ralph Lazar (Chronicle, March, $12.95) illustrates 500 inspiring ways to relish simple moments. Kindfulness by Ajahn Brahm (Wisdom, Jan., $9.95) offers readers an introduction to Brahm’s take on meditation.
Sewing Happiness: A Year of Simple Projects for Living Well by Sanae Ishida (Sasquatch, April, $22.95) features 20 simple sewing projects tied to Ishida’s memoir of living with chronic illness, and all are designed to promote health, creativity, and inspiration.
Movies & TV
One franchise that has a strong track record is Harry Potter. Schooler says, “We’ve been publishing Harry Potter titles that go with the movies for about 10 years, and the enthusiasm just doesn’t wane.” Harper Design is publishing Harry Potter: The Artifact Vault by Jody Revenson (June, $45), which chronicles the designers and craftspeople behind the films. On the promotion end, Schooler says, “the studios do such a good job marketing the movies that we can ride along with that.”
Other television and film tie-ins include The Walking Dead: Mini Decapitated Groaning Walker Kit (Running Press, March, $12.95), which gives lovers of the award-winning AMC zombie show a decapitated groaning zombie head and a book of quotations and images from the series. Insight Editions has a variety of gift-book journals and sketchbooks based on film and television titles, from The Game of Thrones Rule Journals to items from Gotham, Ghostbusters, and more. Golden Girls Forever by Jim Colucci (Harper Design, April, $35) pays homage to the classic TV show through interviews, photographs, and other ephemera.
For Mom and Dad
For Mother’s Day, Blue Mountain Arts has I Love You, Mom (Feb., $9.95) and Granddaughter, I Love You So Much by Suzy Toronto (May, $9.95). Meanwhile, 21 Days of Joy: Stories That Celebrate Mom compiled by Kathy Ide (Broadstreet Publishing, April, $14.99) offers stories that celebrate motherhood. Willow Creek Press features photographs of animal mothers and their young in The Book of Moms (March, $14.95). Chronicle is coming out with Letters to My Mom and Letters to My Dad (March, $14.95), which Bach called “so gifty. They are the essence of gift books, because they’re a gift you’re going to give someone to fill out and will be an heirloom and have longer, lasting meaning.”
To the Best Mom Ever! and To the Best Dad Ever! (Sourcebooks, April, $7.99) allow children to make their own gifts to give to their parents throughout the year and to celebrate Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.
Running Press is offering mini-kits, based on TV shows or other entertainment platforms, including You Are a Badass Talking Button: Five Nuggets of In-Your-Face Inspiration (March, $9.95), based on author Jen Sincero’s New York Times bestseller You Are a Badass, which includes a 32-page portable guide and desktop button that provides inspiration.
Activities & Crosswords
St. Martin’s has a bevy of crossword books from New York Times crossword puzzle editor Will Shortz, ranging in difficulty from The New York Times Decaf Crosswords (May, $11.99), described as easy puzzles that “won’t keep you up at night,” to the more difficult The New York Times Double Shot Crosswords (May, $11.99). For the number-oriented, there’s Will Shortz Presents Lazy Day Sudoku (June, $12.99) all the way to Will Shortz Presents Genius Sudoku (July, $9.99).
Princeton Architectural Press has a weekly calendar, Redstone Diary 2017: The Time Diary (July, $24.95), featuring work of artists such as On Kawara, Louise Bourgeois, Edvard Munch, and others, all on the subject of time. Willow Creek Press has a wide range of calendars, many based on popular animals, including Instagram sensations Doug the Pug and Pumpkin the Raccoon.
To accompany food and drink titles, Chronicle offers Cocktail Coasters: 15 Coasters with Cocktail Recipes (March, $14.95), reusable coasters featuring cocktail recipes, and Owl Drink to That (April, $14.95),
a coaster set pairing animal drawings and drinking puns. Chronicle’s Bach says, “Anything food-related becomes a much stronger gift item because people tend to buy others things about food.”
Compendium has two new additions to its Write Now line of journals that include original artwork and inspirational quotes: We Must Go and See for Ourselves, a journal designed to encourage adventure, and Life Is Always Now, which encourages users to live in the moment (Jan, $6.95).
The Compact Novel Journals series (Canterbury Classics, May, $14.99) are gifts for lovers of classic literature. The printed lines of these notebooks are made from the complete text of classic literary works, rendered in a tiny font.
Earthbound Journals produces handcrafted leather journals with embossed designs, antique-style metal clasp locks, and handmade recycled cotton paper. Sizes and prices vary.
Princeton Architectural Press has Thoreau Notecards (March, $14.95) featuring quotes from the author with envelopes reflecting the four seasons, and San Francisco: Portrait of a City Notecards by Fred Lyon (March, $15.95), which presents the mid-century photographer’s photos of the city. Fotofolio offers a Clyfford Still Notecard Box, featuring the works of the Abstract Expressionist painter, and a Basquiat Postcard Box.
Cyclepedia: 100 Postcards of Iconic Bicycles (Thames and Hudson, May, $22.95) showcases 100 bicycles from the history of cycling, and for those who can’t get enough of those Eames chairs and other design wonders, there’s Mid-century Modern: 100 Postcards of Iconic Designs (Thames and Hudson, May, $24.95).
Gibbs Smith offers several tote bags, including a “Dewey Decimal for President” tote ($20) and the reader-nerd classic “Talk Wordy to Me” ($20).
Children’s Coloring Books
Schmidt of Running Press says the popularity of adult coloring books has not significantly affected the children’s coloring market. “I see kids coming to the adult coloring books. We’re looking for ways to have some market crossover,” Schmidt says.
“As a category, kids’ coloring books are out there, but they haven’t been as giftable or sophisticated,” Bach says, adding that Chronicle has two new coloring titles from Laurence King that “are the gateway into more sophisticated kids coloring.” To the Moon (March, $14.95) and To the Ocean Deep (May, $14.95) fold out and feature a six-foot scroll to color in. “I think kids are going to go nuts for that, because it’s format-driven, which makes it really exciting and not just your typical coloring book,” Bach says.
Arriving on the heels of last fall’s bestselling Harry Potter Coloring Book (which has sold more than 230,000 copies since its November publication) are Scholastic’s Harry Potter Creatures Coloring Book (Jan., $15.99); Harry Potter Postcard Coloring Book (March, $9.99), with 20 postcards to illustrate; and the Harry Potter Poster Coloring Book (March, $24.99), featuring 20 large one-sided prints perfect for coloring.
Where’s Waldo? The Coloring Book by author/illustrator Martin Handford (Candlewick, June, $12) offers Waldo fans the opportunity to color in the complex landscapes he hides in.
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers has four new coloring books (January 19, $7.99–$8.99, ages 6 and up): The Coloring Studio: Extraordinary Machines; The Coloring Studio: Once upon a Fairy Tale; The Coloring Studio: Amazing Animals; and The Coloring Studio: Imaginary Cities, all of which encourage children and adults to color together.
Bach says that at Chronicle, children’s is an area of growth. “Even when markets are down, people still buy for their kids. In the retail industry people are clearly merchandising for children, and I foresee that as an area for continued growth for us, because it’s such a strong gift-giving opportunity.”
The Unwanteds Complete Collection by Lisa McMann (S&S/Aladdin; April, $127.99; ages 8-12) presents all seven fantastical books in the New York Times–bestselling Unwanteds series in a collectible boxed set.
Cookbooks & DIY
For kids age 10–13 who like to cook, there’s Ballpark Eats: Recipes Inspired by America’s Baseball Stadiums by Katrina Jorgensen (Capstone Young Readers, Feb., $15.95), featuring recipes from America’s big league stadiums. And for those with a green thumb, there’s The Ultimate Guide to Gardening: Grow Your Own Indoor, Vegetable, Fairy and Other Great Gardens by Lisa J. Amstutz (Capstone Young Readers, April, $12.95, ages 8-14) filled with easy how-to projects for gardeners of all levels.
Titles that foster confidence in kids include Do Your Happy Dance! Celebrate Wonderful You by Charles M. Schulz and adapted by Elizabeth Dennis Barton (Simon Spotlight, March, $7.99), and What Can I Be? by Ann Rand, illustrated by Ingrid King (Princeton Architectural Press, April, $17.95).
The editors of Klutz have several DIY art titles, including Shimmer Art ($21.99; ages 12 and up), Color In Stained Glass ($21.99; ages 8 and up), Create Your Own Quote Art ($19.99; ages 8 and up), and Smash Bot Battle ($19.99; ages 8 and up), a kit to build paper robots.
CatBook by B. Kliban and Zoe Burke (Pomegranate, Feb., $10.95) is a board book featuring Kliban’s famous cats accompanied by rhyming text.
Harry Potter merchandise keeps selling, and Running Press has several themed mini-kits, including Harry Potter Wizard’s Wand with Sticker Book and Harry Potter Hermione’s Wand with Sticker Book (March, $12.95), both of which feature a replica of a wand plus a wand stand and a 16-page book with full-color stickers. The Harry Potter Coloring Kit (May, $9.95) includes 30 illustrated cards, 10 colored pencils, and three magnetic frames to display art.
The Toothfairy Kit (Compendium, Jan., $36.95) contains an illustrated book telling the story of the Tooth Fairy, a star pillow with a small pocket for holding teeth and treasures, and a keepsake journal to record the experience of losing a tooth.
Fill-Me-In by author/illustrator Moose Allain (Big Picture Press, April, $16.99) is a fill-me-in journal intended to encourage creativity.