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Colouring books for adults_edited.jpg

Colouring in books for adults

Picture and listening from BBC radio 5 live in short.



   The conversation begins.


   1. What is a colouring in book?

   2. Did you like colouring in when you were younger?

   3. Can you paint or draw?

   4. Who is your favourite artist? Why?

   5. What is your favourite painting? Why?

   6. Where is your favourite art gallery? 

   7. Have you ever bought a painting? If yes what painting?

   8. What is the most famous painting you have ever seen?

   9. What is an illustrator?

 10. Now lets listen to a short clip from the BBC Radio 5 live-in short programme. In this listening clip Johanna Basford talks about her book          secret garden which is a colouring in book for adults. Just listen for now and don't worry if you don't understand everything.

Click on the picture to listen

 11. What do these words mean? Match the verbs to their correct letter and meaning.


2.Trend 3.Publisher

4.To pitch an idea

5.Give it a shot


7.Put it down to

8.To focus


10.Plugged into

11.In flow

12.To flourish


A. To grow or develop successfully.

B. To get to know and receive information about something, or tostart using or being involved in it.

C. Doubting that something is true or useful.

D. Great worry caused by a difficult situation, or something that causes this condition.

E. To be engaged in an activity at a good pace.

F.  Liked, enjoyed, or supported by many people.

G. A new development in clothing, make-up, etc.

H. Making you feel slightly frightened or worried about your abilityto achieve something.

I. The main or central point of something, especially of attention or interest.

J. The reason being.

K. A speech or act that attempts to persuade someone to buy or do something.

L. To have a go at doing something.

M. An organization that publishes text or music.

12. Now lets listen to the short clip again. This time read and fill in the gaps on a seperate piece of paper.


Man: Johanna, I mean, you must have thought okay some people are going to like this but could you have imagined it would be this

          P                        ?

Johanna: No, we started um. I worked on this book in 2012 and we released it in 2013 and um back then colouring in for grown ups just                       wasn't the t                       that it is now. So my p                        actually wanted a childrens book, so when I p                   them the idea                 of a colouring in book for grown ups you can imagine sort of how quiet they were.

Man: Well what did they say?

Johanna: I really, you know this is the thing and I was like yeah for sure, all my art works have been black and white for years and um and                     my commercial illustration client's have been saying that they want to colour it in. So I drew up the first five pages and sent them                   to my publishers, I was like yeah I think people might want to buy this why don't we g                              .

Man: Okay, I've got to say when I was first, had one of these book's thrust into my hand's..

Woman 1: You were s                     .

Man: Unusually for me I was s                      um but actually I mean I had a little go this morning. I can, I can see where the relaxation might             come in. What, what do you p                                   ? Johanna, is it just having a f                   on something completely outside every                   other bit of stress in your life. Is that it?

Johanna: Yeah, I mean there's a little bit of, you know the fact that your not p                         into the internet. It's an analogue activity, so                        your not staring at the screen but there's also the thought that your i                       so your sort of consumed in a task. That's how I                  feel when I'm drawing the pictures but then I really think that everyone has a little creative spark in them, you just need the right                    opportunity and encouragement to let that f                     and when you do your really happy and maybe a blank sheet of paper is                    quite d                         to people, but with a colouring book I've just drawn the outline for you, you just need to bring the colour.

Woman 1: Yeah I completely get that because I can't draw to save my life, I have to say my mum is brilliant my daughters are both really                        really good at art but I just, I. Ask me to draw an elephant, I wouldn't even know where to start. It'll be all out of proportion, it'll be                  a bit rubbish but actually kind of, a bit of use of colour you know you can be quite creative.

Man: But don't you just still get to the end and go, well look I couldn't have drawn this and all I've really done is colour it in?

Johanna: No, not at all. It's a mini collaboration..

Man: Is it? 

Johanna: I couldn't have coloured it in the way you have..

Man: Sure you could.

Johanna: We have worked together to make something beautiful. 


13. Now listen to the clip one more time to check and correct your answers.

The conversation continues.


14. Would you buy this book?

15. Do you think it's a good idea?

16. How many people do you think have bought Johanna's book? It's currently number 3 in the Amazon chart's.

17. What do you think these quote's mean?

“I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart.” Vincent van Gogh

“Creativity takes courage.” Henri Matisse 

“If I could say it in words there would be no reason to paint.” Edward Hopper 

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.” Andy Warhol 

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