I’ve already reviewed a few adult coloring books for Wink and thought I had moved on, but then Patterns of the Universe came my way and I couldn’t resist. When I was editor of Craft Magazine we used to cover projects that involved mathematical crafting, such as crocheting a hyperbolic reef. Although mathematical coloring is a lot simpler, it’s just as fun to see what kind of beauty will emerge when you play with patterns, numbers, and chance.
This coloring book is split into two sections: Coloring and Creating. The first offers your basic color-in-the-lines patterns, but they’re all math based and come with a short description to help you appreciate what you’re beautifying. The second Creating section includes simple instructions on how to create patterns, mostly through randomness, such as Coin Hex, which asks you to choose for your hexagon pattern only two colors (but I chose three). Then you must toss a coin (or number generator in my case) to determine the color for each hexagon. The point of an activity like this? Even though your colored pattern is random, “stare at it and you will see patterns. It’s a reminder that we find randomness very difficult to comprehend.” Very difficult indeed. I’m only one-quarter of the way through Coin Hex and already I see all kinds of patterns popping out of the page.
Patterns of the Universe: A Coloring Adventure in Math and Beauty
by Alex Bellos and Edmund Harriss
2015, 144 pages, 8.4 x 8.4 x 0.5 inches (softcover)