“Life is full of beauty. Notice it. Notice the bumble bee, the small child, and the smiling faces. Smell the rain, and feel the wind. Live your life to the fullest potential, and fight for your dreams.” – Ashley Smith

Joy and beauty. Two things we miss most in this hurry-hurry world of ours. The sound of wind through the trees. The sight of a field of flowers. The scent, and taste, of chocolate chip cookies straight out of the oven. Joy.

I felt a bit of that joy when I received Daria Song’s “The Time Garden.” Printed in a large format on beautiful paper, the cover pictures an ancient tree, dropping copper and gold blooms through the sky. The shimmer immediately caught my eye and made me smile. Flipping through the pages, I immediately thought of the excesses of the Victorian times – pattern and design just this side of overwhelming, and yet balanced and flowing in line. And there is a rather sneaky Steampunk Vibe as well – clocks, gears and engines scattered about like secret whispers in the wind.

Artful references to opera (Ouvre Ton Coeur by Georges Bizet), a trip to the Salle du rêve (the dream room). The wisdom of the owl, juxtaposed with the transience of the Sakura, the Japanese Cherry Blossom. The movement and pure merriment of the Ghirardelli Cable Car, the Pier 39 Carousel. And when is the last time you browsed an antiquarian book store? How I miss Borderlands Science Fiction Bookstore in San Francisco . . . how I miss San Francisco!

This ‘coloring book’ is so much more than that. As an adult, I love colour, and this gorgeous format, the story of a little girl and her miraculous journey, is so amazing. Drawn in meticulous detail, it is such a joy to flip through, searching for the tiny messages and beautiful storyline. I haven’t started playing with it yet, but it is very high quality paper, and I think I will try it with coloured inks? The frontispiece will be the perfect place to try out colour before I begin, but for now just turning pages is relaxing.

“Focus on the journey, not the destination. Joy is found not in finishing an activity but in doing it.” – Greg Anderson

I received this book from Penguin books and Bloggingforbooks.com in exchange for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own, though, and I really do find it to be amazing!