Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Holiday Gift Guide: These Quirky Adult Coloring and Activity Books from Offshoot are Perfect Ways to De-stress While Having Fun (Review)

Disclosure: I was sent review copies from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

A couple months ago I received a sampling of books from Offshoot Books.  They have both adult-rated content and content for kids.  I was sent books from their adult site, and have to say that these books had me laughing and saying "oh my" as I went through the books.  After reviewing so many children's books it was a breath of fresh air so to speak to have a selection of adult books in front of me.  What I love so much about Offshoot Books is that they cater adults who are weary about run-of-the-mill books.  Their book offering includes an assortment of adult activity and coloring books, notebooks and planners and books that focus of engage readers with a unique style and flair you don't see in the American market.  I was sent a few activity books and a coloring book, and have to say that these unique and oh so fun books hooked me on Offshoot, and I can't wait to order more books for myself and to give as gifts this upcoming holiday season. 

Here, before I share my review and thoughts on each, take a look at the books I was sent:

Title: Shop-o-holic ISBN: 9789386198341 Specs: 9”x 8.5”; 104pp; perforated Price: $12.95

"A gateway to the secret fantasy world of shopaholics, who would rather shop than color! A cheerful collection of all that a shopaholic would dream of (and afford!) is brought to life through gorgeous designs and patterns. Delightful activities unleash their irresistible urge to splurge. So the shopaholics shop for their dreams and color them wild—rather than shop till they drop, they color till they drop!"

Title: Painting the World Red ISBN: 9789386198358 Specs: 111.7”x 8.3”; 64pp Price: $13.95

"“Not all those who wander are lost.” But the mad tribe of Fifi and her gang lose their way as they travel across the world. And you too are sure to lose your sense of time as you strive to find them in these mind-boggling pages. The madness of Fifi and her troupe and of the way they travel become the order of the day. Regular travel will seem dull and dreary as you find yourself gathered up by the whirwind speed of the Fifi-mania of these vibrant spreads."

Title: Shocked! ISBN: 9789386198402 Specs: 9.5”x 7”; 64pp Price: $9.95

"Pressure, deadlines, workload and race against time. Banging heads and lost in files, oh my god, I have lost all smiles—an alarming microscope of the oddities of life in the workplace fishbowl, the book works as a buffer for your daily rants and curses. Caustically funny illustrations make it the book your boss would never want you to lay your hands on. So, here is the chance to cope with office drama and fine tune your worries and frustrations with this awesome book of activities"

Title: Comedy in Tragedy ISBN: 9789385976773 Specs: 8.5”x 8.5”; 72pp Price: $12.95

"“Nothing can come of nothing.” The comic in Shakespeare’s tragedies mockingly swings the far-seen end into full view of its characters, making true the words of the great author. The readers are able to feel the flow and majesty of the great plays as they engage in the intricacies of the activities. “Having nothing, nothing can he lose!”"

These are just a handful of the fun and entertaining book made for adults looking to de-stress or decompress after a long work week or crazy day at the office.  I, for one, enjoying grabbing one of these books when I was looking for a way to unwind and not put too much effort into thinking.  As soon as you open up to a page in one of these activity books and start to answer the questions or read the text, you can't help but smile or laugh.  And, as you continue to make way your way through the pages, it is like the stress melts away and you forgot about the day and find yourself in the moment, enjoying an "adult" moment.  These are not your usual coloring or activity books and that is what makes them so great, as they are unpredictable and will spark your imagination and thought process, and leave you wanting to sit and do more.  

Here are my thoughts on each of the books mentioned above...

  • Comedy in Tragedy -  Fans of Shakespeare will be in for a treat with this activity book that is chock full of fun games and puzzles.  From fill-in-the-blanks and crossword puzzles to mazes and even su-do-ku and break the code puzzles, you will not want to put this book.  If you find yourself not in the mood to complete an activity page, then grab a box of crayons or colored pencils and add color to the Shakespeare-inspired coloring pages.  A personal favorite of mine was the counseling pages in this book, where you play the therapist and can give advice to the likes of Ophelia, King Lear, Hamlet and Othello.  Thinking of these troubled and confused characters, what advice would you give them?  Fans of open-book-tests will love the pages in this book that give you the opportunity to complete popular Shakespeare speeches in your own words.  How would you finish this speech, "When shall we three meet again..."  See, these are so much fun and things you would never expect to find in an adult activity book.  But, they are all welcoming activities and ones you will find yourself getting lost in the pages, as you chuckle and come up with some crazy lines and responses.  You don't have to be a Shakespeare fan to enjoy this book either -- remember this book if for fun, and you will not be graded on it! :-)
  • Shocked!: When the Office Doesn't Rock! -- Are you having one of those days you wish you could just get up and say "I quit."  Or, what about wanting to tell your boss or irritating co-worker just how you feel?  Well, if work is not your happy place and you are looking for an outlet to vent about it, then this book is for you.  Just be sure you don't bring it to work to work on or let it get into the wrong hands, as you don't want to not have a job to go to.  When you open the pages of this book you are checking out of work and checking into your own free-for-all when it comes to saying and writing down what you are really feeling and thinking.  You will be asked to trace someone's dual face on page, fill in thought bubbles of you and your co-workers around the water bubbler, recall funniest, weirdest and most interesting interview memories.  Oh and don't forgot those infamous office you have photos or does someone else that shouldn't?  And, if you were to enter a karaoke contest who would you choose as a partner at the office and what song would you guys sing.  I could go on and on sharing all the wacky activities you will find in this book, but instead, why not pick up a copy for yourself today and start looking at your office and work environment in a different least in a funnier way at home so you can find some fun and happiness in each day.
  • Shop-o-holic (with activities) -- OK, so you don't want to be the one who pulls out an adult coloring book to color. Boring you think. Well, they really aren't, depending on the type of coloring book and the types of thing you like to color.  I, for one, can't do those symbolic or ones filled with loops, spirals and weird designs.  They just take too long and really do a number on my already tired eyes at the end of the day. But, this coloring book, with activities mixed into the coloring pages really was fun to do.  It is geared towards the person who loves to shop...not just clothes shop, but also shop for unique finds, antiques, etc.  What is also different about this coloring book is that most of the pages pose questions for you about a purchase. For example, which outfit would you choose to dress down or up in, which combined bags to equal $90 meet your fancy, and adding in images in the background or foreground of a coloring scene.  There is something different on each page, and you will not be doing repetitive coloring or seeing the same design twice in this coloring book.  Really a unique book and one that will have even the non-coloring book fans enjoying quiet time coloring.
  • Inside Out of Sight: Painting the World Red -- This book reminds me of those Where's Waldo or iSpy books.  This book is perfect for those who love to travel or wander, or simply like to admire sights and sounds of new places.  As you flip through the pages of this book you will be greeted with eye popping illustrations full of detail that will have your eyes wandering the page taking in each and every detail.  Look for a boarding pass on one page and then a missing passport, person in a group of people, etc.  This look and find book is travel themed and sure to adults of all ages.  It will be hard to put down this book once you start looking for the missing item or person.  It really is an addicting book, and one I want to buy more books from this "Inside Out of Sight" series.  Have a hard to shop for person on your list?  Then, get this book and boggle their mind as they try and find a needle in a haystack, or in this case, Fifi's passport or Jingo's boarding pass.  This was my favorite of all the books I was sent from Offshoot books, and I know you will agree when you pick up a copy of it, too. :-)

You can check out all the other books available through Offshoot books by checking out their current fall catalog here: And, books can be purchased through most book and online retailers.  I plan to order more Offshoot Books from Amazon, and add them to gifts I plan to give family and friends this holiday season.  They will be surprised when they see the books and then start flipping through the pages.  When they realize it isn't your usual run of the mill activity or coloring book and they see how much fun they are in store for, they will be thanking me for such a great gift, and for also introducing them to Offshoot Books.

I hope you have a chance to check out these "adult" books from Offshoot and that they help you unwind after a long day at the office or with the kids.  Everyone feels better when they are laughing and smiling and these books will do just that.

Disclosure: I was sent review copies from the vendor in exchange for an honest review.  All views shared are mine and mine alone.

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