Book animals

Learning while relaxing

Image source: valessiobrito,

Guest Post by Elle Smith

My realization of just how much animals matter came one day on an accidental trip to the zoo. I had at the last minute decided to take my children to the zoo whilst in a city break to Dublin.

We did the normal protocol of buying the guidebook, and started to follow the numerical order around the zoo. Sure, it is always interesting to see wild animals and observe them for a few moments. However, after about fifteen minutes, we arrived at an enclosure and for some reason, probably boredom, I had stopped checking the guide.

I was completely mesmerized as this enclosure contained a pair of snow leopards. I stood in awe at the beauty of these fluffy cats, momentarily forgetting they were wild beasts. It was only when the keepers turned up with what would have been a Sunday roast for the cast of the Swiss Family Robinson that I remembered these were definitely wild cats, as I watched them viciously tear apart the flesh and bone.

It was on this day that I realized I could not sit back and not even play a small part in stopping the eradication of these beautiful creatures.

There was no way I could get to Central Asia, as I have a young family. My way to become active in the battle to save these animals would be a more measured one, and creating miniature oil paintings was certainly that.

This was the start and since 2014, I have painted no less than twenty artworks. However, this did not seem enough, as although the paintings do capture attention, they do not really explain why these animals are facing extinction.

My idea was to somehow educate the population about the snow leopard–it was simply make it fun! I came up with the cool concept of a colouring book, with facts and information about each species, including of course my favourite, the snow leopard. The reader would colour in and create their own version of each animal and its surroundings. The idea was great, as it catered to adults and children alike. The best part is that each book would be truly unique on completion of the illustrations.

Well, this was the inspiration behind the “Colour Us Back” series of books, and in particular with my animal book, to symbolically colour each animal and offer that species significance. There is scope for several other ideas in the series, and I am already working away on them now. I just LOVE the idea of learning whilst relaxing!


Here’s a peek at Elle’s colouring book.


Looking for a way to make learning fun?

Do you have children who like technology a bit too much?

Why not relax and learn at the same time?

The “Colour Us Back” books are a new concept inspired by Elle Smith, where the reader symbolically colours back into significance things that we do not want to disappear from the planet–in this case, ten endangered animals.

This compact, easy-read format book has ten chapters covering ten of the most endangered animals on the planet. The reader is given a brief description of each animal, fun facts, and of course a sketch to colour in. Each book can be creatively coloured with backgrounds inspired by the reader’s imagination and learning about each animal. This enables the reader to create a unique keepsake book.

Book Buy Link: Amazon

About the author

Elle Smith is a passionate author, contemporary artist, and fashionista who is based in London in the United Kingdom. She is a multi award-winning creative for her art and poetry, and a master of her craft as she composes stunning art paintings and beautiful, inspirational poetry.

Author Links

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