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coloring book | activity book

Coloring books have entertained children since the 1880s when McLoughlin Brothers offered "Little Folks' Painting Book." As the title of the 1880s book suggests, most such art books were colored with paints until the 1950s brought Crayola's box of 64 crayons, placing an abundance of hues and shades at a young artist's fingertips. Considered by parents as a quiet, solitary activity, coloring simple illustrations in specially printed books was seen as a way to encourage children's artisitic talents. Early coloring books featured illustrations of characters from popular newspaper comics such as Richard Outcault's Buster Brown, Harold Grey's Li'l Orphan Annie. Later books, from the 1950s and 1960s, offered illustrations of scores of TV figures such as Dennis the Menace, Daniel Boone, the Lone Ranger, Julia Baker, and the Flintstones. These days, most TV shows and movies aimed at youngsters have series of coloring books, reminding kids of their favorite characters even when the shows are over.

  • Manufacturer: Modern Publishing
  • Material: paper | cardboard | metal
  • Origin: New York, NY
  • Licenser: Mattel, Inc.
  • Object ID: 114.7209
  • Credit Line: Gift of Garth, Andrea, and Kellan Parker
Creative Commons License