By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
While it’s too early to call a stocking stuffer, those planning ahead might want to stock up now.
With the recent spate of bison, moose stomping, and bear mauling, a family may think twice before booking a trip to Yellowstone or any other national park in the west.
Because one minute the family is watching Old Faithful break out enjoying a snack and the next Aunt Carmen has been tossed by a bison or your 9 year old daughter has been run over by a buffalo.
To help parents teach their kids that Yellowstone National Park isn’t Disneyland, a coloring book has been created by Wyoming artist Andy Robbins to help instill a healthy respect for the outdoors.
Not for everybody
“Yellowstone National Park: A Careful Coloring Book” is not your average coloring book. It becomes graphic at times, but the author warns pencil artists of its gory content.
“This coloring book is not for everyone!” says the preface. “It depicts scenes of graphic violence, including disembowelment, dismemberment, electrocution, and immolation. Recommended for mature colorists only!
On Robbin’s websitehe further cautions, “If there is a way to die in Yellowstone, you will find it illustrated here, ready for your coloring pleasure.”
One of the first pages available for coloring shows the unfortunate results of a bison impaling a young woman with a selfie stick.
How to color the spray innards is up to the artist, of course, though one Instagram user recommended silver for the selfie-stick, pink for the kidneys and burgundy for the intestines.
“I can’t stop laughing,” she says. “This book is excellent.”
On another page, a young man who appears to be boiling can be animated with pencils.
He appears to be bathing (violently) in a hot spring while a tourist snaps a photo of the bubbling corpse on her smartphone while a young boy watches casually with a box of juice in his hand.
More graphic pages follow like the depiction of two bears dining on a hiker. The hiker, by the way, looks like the guy who just got boiled. If so, it’s not a good vacation for him.
A bear has a severed arm in its mouth, the hand still holding what appears to be pepper spray.
The other bear appears to be enjoying the hiker’s foot as his car keys, gut, and heart are all up in the air.
There seems to be gratuitous violence on this page though, as an eyeball pops out of its socket for no apparent reason.
That said, there are plenty of opportunities for good coloring on this page. So maybe it’s okay.
“Practical and fun!” wrote a commenter. While another said: “Oh the grandkids will love this!”
Everyone on Amazon seems to like it too. Five stars all the way, which is hard to come by.
“A masterpiece!” wrote one reviewer, acknowledging that a sense of humor is needed for maximum enjoyment. “I just received this book and can’t help laughing as I flip through the pages.”
Another reviewer found the book “informative”.
“I had a lot of fun coloring these pages and learned a lot about not dying in Yellowstone National Park,” she wrote.
For those who don’t want to wait, there’s a handy map to download that might come in handy.
Just in time for Yellowstone’s 150th anniversary celebration, Cowboy State Daily reporter Jen Kocher and graphic designer Tim Mandese have created a map of Yellowstone titled “Scaldings, Maulings, Murders And Other Unnatural Deaths” for your viewing pleasure.