For anyone who read Frances Hodgson Burnett's The Secret Garden (or saw any of the film adaptations), Johanna Basford's best-selling coloring book Secret Garden, will evoke fond memories of young, displaced Mary discovering the garden, Colin and her true nature in the timeless classic.
From the black-and-white and goldleaf dust jacket to the book's final page, Basford—a Scottish author, illustrator and "ink evangelist"—has drawn delicate flora and fauna in designs so intricate, it's hard to believe they aren't computer generated.
Throughout Secret Garden are hidden items (there's a key on where to find them all at the back, and even that is beautiful), mazes, puzzles and instructions such as "draw a flock of birds perched on the scarecrow" and "draw a swarm of butterflies and blossoms." Rather than come off as condescending, these games and activities invite even grownups to engage beyond simply coloring in the lines, although that alone is captivating enough to keep even the most distractible adult occupied for hours.
Though activity/coloring books are usually geared toward children, Basford's Secret Garden is, as it reads on the back "for artists and gardeners of all ages." Still, if it feels strange to buy a coloring book for yourself, pick one up for a kid in your life and enjoy it with them. Just make sure to get two sets of colored pencils, pens or crayons—might as well have a set on hand when you discover how much you want a copy of Secret Garden for yourself.