His­tory of Col­or­ing

Annie's Coloring Pages - - Front Page -

In a time when col­or­ing books are used as a means for de-stress­ing and re­lax­ation, it’s in­ter­est­ing to note that the first col­or­ing and paint­ing books in the United States were in­tro­duced as ed­u­ca­tional tools to de­velop cog­ni­tive abil­i­ties and to en­hance a stu­dent’s un­der­stand­ing of tan­gi­ble ideas. Col­or­ing books and pages were also widely used for chil­dren’s spir­i­tual ed­i­fi­ca­tion.

The “Lit­tle Folks” Paint­ing Book was pro­duced in 1879. It was pub­lished by the McLough­lin Brothers and il­lus­trated by Kate Greenaway, with ac­com­pa­ny­ing sto­ries and po­ems writ­ten by Ge­orge Weatherly. The McLough­lins later be­came part of the Mil­ton Bradley Com­pany, known world­wide for its lines of chil­dren’s toys and books. Who’d have guessed that over 130 years later, col­or­ing books would be ranked among the best-sell­ing book ti­tles for adults?

Col­or­ing books for adults have grown in pop­u­lar­ity as a way to re­lax and re­lieve stress and as a means to con­nect so­cially with in­di­vid­u­als who share this pas­sion via Col­or­ing Meet-Up and Face­book groups. Li­braries and com­mu­nity cen­ters across the coun­try are also join­ing the col­or­ing move­ment by host­ing work­shops and events to bring col­or­ing en­thu­si­asts to­gether.

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