A first Christian coloring book for adults is touching hearts in Thailand where believers number a scant one percent of the majority Buddhist population. The 40-page Love Is features text from 1 Corinthians 13 and original illustrations by OMF publisher Kanok Bannasan.
A launch timed before Valentine’s Day resulted in 500 copies sold within the first six weeks. Besides providing stress relief, the book has been enriching marriages.
“My friend, a non-believer, bought it for her husband for Valentine’s Day,” said Phunkum Pornsuda, of the Kanok production staff. The couple often quarreled and struggled with their relationship. “But when she was coloring this book, it caused her to reflect on her love for her husband once again.”
After the couple colored a page of a heart together, the wife posted it on social media with their photo and verses on love. “Praise the Lord! We hope that she will be touched by God’s true love,” Pornsuda said.
The adult coloring book craze that originated a few years ago in Europe has sold millions worldwide. The idea took root in Thailand when MAI’s Ramon Rocha suggested producing a Christian adult coloring book to Kanok Bannasan’s director, Yanasiddhi Tasannee.
Noting the book’s initial success, Tasannee conceived a coloring competition with cash prizes that further boosted sales and social media buzz. Participants had to purchase the book and choose from one of three designated pages to color.
A friend of the book’s graphic designer, Watcharawee Sonprint, had heard the Gospel before “but the coloring competition revived her interest in God,” he said.
That friend was among 50 attendees at the May 10 awards event and talk, “How Coloring Affects Our Moods,” at Kanok’s office. Talks were led by an artist, a psychologist and the editor of a youth column.
“Her entry received the 2nd runner-up prize of 2,500 Baht ($75 USD). She had never read any Christian books before but she used part of the prize money to buy many of our books. We hope that she will come to know God through our ministry,” Sonprint said.
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