For the last five or so years, "Paradise Books" have been the only game in town when it came to Spider-Man coloring books. Then a few months ago, Marvel simultaneously announced a block of book deals with DK Publishing, Harper Collins, Meredith Books and Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books. We've already seen some kids story-books from "Meredith", and now here's some coloring/activity compilations from too.
This is the baby of the recent Meredith range. At the standard 8 1/4" x 11" the front profile is the same as the big daddy Meredith "Jumbo" Spider-Man Color and Activity Book, but with only 64 pages it's nowhere near the same depth or weight. With the same cheap newsprint pages with B&W printing, with the same easy tear-out perforated pages, the notable factor in favour of this smaller version is the inclusion of a single bound-in page of glossy color stickers.
The art and activities are the same as the JUMBO version, with the same rather disappointing transfer process used to extract the art from the pages of Ultimate Spider-Man. The color stickers are a much more faithful reproduction of Ultimate art, though there's a rather meagre single page, only eight character stickers. Still, what can you expect for $2.99?
For three bucks, I guess this is about right. Despite the sometimes grainy quality of the lines on the art, the pictures are still perfectly adequate, and still carry much of the impact of Mark Bagley's lovely Ultimate Spider-Man art. The stickers add a little something extra, and sixty-four pages should keep even the most enthusiastic child busy coloring for an whole afternoon.
Three webs. Satisfies all you might expect of a book like this.