Thoughts And Ideas
Published in

Thoughts And Ideas

A Review of “The Parables of Jesus” Colouring Book Devotional

Colour Me Somewhat Impressed

“The Parables of Jesus” Book Cover

It’s almost summertime (at least up here in the northern hemisphere), and you know what that means, right? Fun in the sun and adult colouring! Colouring is something I tend to do from time to time to relieve me of stress, so I jumped right at it when FaithWords, a Christian publisher, offered reviewers a chance to review any of three newly published colouring books for adults. I thought this might be a fun exercise to do — reviewing an art book where I draw up (pun intended) the parameters for how I was going to review the title in question. And it was fun, coloring away like mad in the book I chose with some new Crayola Twistable wax crayons that I bought myself as a treat specifically for the task of reviewing one of these books.

But, first, a word must be said about the two books I didn’t choose. One was A Giving Heart: A Coloring Book Celebrating Motherhood. As a guy, you’ll probably guess three times correctly as to why I didn’t choose that one. Then there was the Joyful Inspirations Colouring Book, but that seemed too cutesy for me. So that left me with The Parables of Jesus. Now, I’m not sure who did what, writing and illustration-wise, but it was co-authored by Laura James and Katara Washington Patton.

The book is both a colouring book and a devotional. There are 46 devotions based on the teachings of Jesus, coupled with a prompt to do more journaling or drawing, and then, right underneath it (everything in the book is largely printed on the right side of the pages) is a drawing for you to color. Given that the prompts also encourage your artistic side and encourage you to draw things not in the book, you could have potential hours and hours of fun with this title. The colouring, theoretically, never runs out!

I’ll first turn to the devotional aspect of The Parables of Jesus. These writings are, unfortunately, quite Catholic. I’m all for the doing of good works because I’ve already earned God’s grace angle, but this book comes at you with the do as Jesus says or you’ll die in a ring of fire angle. I really was befuddled with just how old school the devotional aspect was, and I wasn’t taken by it. At all.

The art, on the other hand, is largely interesting. I liked that women play a prominent role as subjects in the colouring activities. I also liked that the drawings were rather folksy.

The degree of difficulty ranges. Some of these drawing — and I picked three at random — are easy to do. Some are a little harder. But none seem to be so intricate that you’ll have to abandon your wax crayons for well-sharpened pencil crayons.

There’s one illustration in the book that’s a little on the funny side. It has one person grabbing the neck of another and wringing it. I actually laughed out loud the first time I saw it and wondered if I should colour the face of the person being strangled blue.

Kidding aside, and getting back to the task at hand, I can say that the lines of the illustrations are fairly fat, so you won’t get too much run off from your crayon into another colour you’ve put on the page. The thing I also liked about the drawings were that they offer a degree of choice in the patterns with colour you can create.

For instance, you can colour leaves all the same colour. Or you can go individually, leaf by leaf, and colour them all differently — especially if you have a big box of crayons to use. You could also colour one half of the leaf one shade of green, and another leaf another shade of green, and do that for all of the leaves. So, yes, there’s a great deal of variety to be had in terms of how you can pick and choose what to color.

The nice thing about The Parables of Jesus is that it is forgiving when you make a mistake. I found I’d start a drawing and use the wrong colour on something, but, by the time I was finished the piece, found that things had more or less turned out okay. The book seems to reward a level of abstraction, so if you colour a tree trunk purple and black, you might just get away with it.

Overall, I had a lot of fun with The Parables of Jesus. It’s too bad the messaging is a bit off, but the colouring sure was fun. I even found that by colouring in these pictures, you were really bringing to life Jesus’ words. So if you just go by the attached Bible quote and then turn the page to the corresponding picture and start to colour it in, you might find that the Holy Spirit quietly enters you and lifts you up as you fill the page.

The only other thing that I can think of that’s a drawback is that this is more of a coffee table book to show guests. There are no perforations in the pages for you to rip the pages out and hang them. (In fact, one of the devotional prompts recommends that you rip the page out for a friend to colour in, but how do you do that when there are no perforations?)

On the plus side, the colouring didn’t seem take all that long to do, which is important as I can be impatient in creating my masterpieces.

Therefore, while the book is not a 10 out of 10 and it loses marks on the devotional side, the illustrations are fun to colour in. If you can ignore the really stout Catholicism of the devotional write-ups, you’ll find a lot of exuberance to spare in working with the book. The Parables of Jesus is a fun little book to work in, and I’m sure I’ll return to this book to complete the other 43 drawings that I have yet to work on. Colouring fun (in the name of Jesus) awaits!

Laura James and Katara Washington Patton’s The Parables of Jesus: Coloring Book Devotional was published by FaithWords on January 3, 2017.

Buy this book from Amazon(India)

Of course, if you like what you see, please recommend this piece (click on the green heart icon below) and share it with your followers.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Zachary Houle

Zachary Houle

Book critic by night, technical writer by day. Follow me on Twitter @zachary_houle.