Parents' Guide to

The Anti-Coloring Book App

By Christy Matte, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 8+

Creative inspiration with so-so tools, pressure to buy.

App iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad Free to try Entertainment
The Anti-Coloring Book App Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

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For kids who love to draw, these prompted coloring pages provide some solid creative inspiration, but the app has some glitches and oversights. Sure, the artwork feels a bit dated and the prompts occasionally feel too narrow, but there's still plenty to love about the content. And if kids find a prompt they especially enjoy, they can draw several versions as opposed to the one they could do in the print version. If there's a complaint here, it's that the drawing tools feel rudimentary. The color palette is limited to 10 base colors, plus the lighter/darker versions, rather than taking advantage of the full range of colors the display can handle. The tools have no size controls, and several of them draw in shapes rather than the smoother lines you'd expect. The author deliberately left out a paint bucket, presumably to avoid "lazy" coloring, but the truth is that those buckets make digital drawing easier and more fun. Scribbling in every last pixel is an exercise in frustration rather than creativity. While the pairing of a book with each coloring page is a clever idea, linking out of The Anti-Coloring Book App to shopping sites, YouTube, etc., is unnecessary and inappropriate for most kids. This creative endeavor will appeal most to kids who prefer drawing to coloring, and who have the talent to create something with simple tools (or the carefree attitude to not care about the results). Thankfully, the base app is free, so you can give it a test run and see what your kid thinks.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad
  • Subjects: Arts : drawing
  • Skills: Creativity : imagination, making new creations
  • Pricing structure: Free to try (Three coloring pages included in free version; additional packs are $0.99 each)
  • Release date: August 21, 2017
  • Category: Entertainment
  • Topics: Space and Aliens , Wild Animals
  • Publisher: Susan Striker
  • Version: 2.3.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
  • Last updated: February 14, 2018

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