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Aaron’s First Coloring Storybook!

The Baker’s Dozen Coloring Book
A Grayscale Adult Coloring Book and Children’s Storybook Featuring a Christmas Legend of Saint Nicholas

Pictures by Wendy Edelson
Story by Aaron Shepard

General Info
Sample Art
Sample Text

What is a “coloring storybook”? It’s a coloring book, a storybook, and more! You can color just the pages you want, and enjoy it like any fine coloring book. Or finish them all and create a wonderful storybook, a keepsake all your own, or one to lovingly share with children and grandchildren. Imagine their excitement and delight—and yours too!—when you read to them from a book you helped illustrate yourself! It’s a gift your loved ones can treasure forever, a true family heirloom.

In this coloring storybook from Skyhook Press, based on an authentic legend, you and your loved ones will learn the origin of the term “baker’s dozen” and hear how Saint Nicholas taught a baker to be generous.

*************Please note: This “grayscale coloring book” (or “greyscale colouring book”) has pictures already shaded in gray, calling for a different kind of coloring. But that doesn’t make it harder—in fact, it makes it easier to get stunning results! For tips, search online for “grayscale coloring.”

Wendy Edelson has applied her award-winning skills to a wide range of illustration projects, including picture books, pet portraits, posters, and puzzles. Among her clients have been Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, the Seattle Aquarium, Pacific Northwest Ballet, the U.S. Postal Service, Cricket Magazine, McGraw-Hill Education, and the American Library Association. More recent projects have included producing coloring pages for Etsy and illustrating Quackling, another retelling of Aaron’s. The pictures in this coloring book were converted to grayscale by Skyhook Press from Wendy’s original watercolor illustrations.

Aaron Shepard is the award-winning author of many children’s books from publishers large and small. Once a professional storyteller, Aaron specializes in lively retellings of folktales and other traditional literature, which have won him honors from the American Library Association, the New York Public Library, the Bank Street College of Education, the National Council for the Social Studies, and the American Folklore Society. After first hearing the legend of the baker’s dozen from storyteller Sheila Dailey, Aaron retold the story himself with the help of texts dating as far back as 1896.

Skyhook Press
Hardcover ~ 2018
Paperback ~ 2018

Amazon | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon AU
Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Book Depository


• Adapted from a beloved children’s picture book, with an inspiring traditional Christmas legend retold by award-winning children’s author Aaron Shepard, and 15 pages of lovely, finely detailed art by award-winning children’s illustrator Wendy Edelson.

• For stunning results, pictures are all in grayscale, but grayscale with a difference! Much of the gray has been removed to reduce the risk of muddiness and allow more natural flesh tones, while deepest blacks have been preserved to provide full contrast.

• Pictures are printed on one side of the paper only, and backed with gray to reduce see-through. Plus, they’re framed with black for cleaner edges and dramatic presentation.

• High-quality paper, pure white for maximum brightness, contrast, and color fidelity. With smooth, matte coating to reduce bleed and feathering and to consume less of your coloring media. Acid-free to last for generations without becoming yellow or brittle.

• Printed on a color press for superior quality, but with all pictures in pure black ink to avoid tinting.

• Blank lines right on the title page for colorist’s signature and date.

• Bonus picture page at the end for tests, experiments, or practice.

• Thumbnails of original color illustrations on the back cover to serve as suggestions, examples, and inspiration.

• Available in both paperback and hardcover, with no difference in paper. Choose between economy and ultimate durability—or practice on the paperback before tackling the hardcover!

• Pages may be freely copied for personal use. Practice on as many copies as you like before coloring in the book!

• Colored pages may be freely shared with credit. Show off your work, give as gifts, or even sell as individual works of art.


“Absolutely stunning.”—Coloring Queen, YouTube, June 14, 2018

“As you know, I’m not particularly into grayscale. I find it difficult to color. But to be honest with you—as you’ll see later when you see the page that I colored—it wasn’t as difficult as I thought it was going to be. It turned out really, really well—very bright and vibrant. And you wouldn’t expect that, looking at the depth of the shadowing in these images . . . I’m actually quite pleased at how it turned out, and quite surprised as well . . . The paper is very good quality.”—Colour with Claire, YouTube, Sept. 11, 2018

“The illustrations are absolutely gorgeous. I absolutely love, love the illustrations. I love how detailed they are. I can’t wait to dive in . . . This is the kind of book I could just sit and go really slow and just absolutely get lost. I know a lot of people make goals about coloring books to finish in a year, and honestly, something like this, a storybook, would be ideal . . . I’m super excited about this coloring book. If you are someone who loves grayscale, you’re going to love this book. And if you’re someone who’s not comfortable with grayscale but would like to give it a go, I think you would have a lot of luck with this book . . . You are actually helping the illustrator to illustrate the story. And that’s what they want you to feel. They want you to be the third person to work on this book. So, it’s not just going to be Aaron and Wendy who have worked on this book. But once it become yours, then you become the third person in this book, to bring it completely to life . . . I am so addicted to the pictures. They are so detailed, and when they’re colored, they are going to be so fantastic and, yes, amazing.”—A Colorful Life, YouTube, June 1, 2018

“Isn’t it cool? Look at the shadows, and the highlights, and the lighting. I absolutely love it . . . It’s so fun to think about coloring a whole storybook.”—Dede Willingham, YouTube, May 30, 2018

“A beautiful book you’re going to love . . . Gorgeous, detailed pictures . . . The shading on this is perfect. The grayscale is not too dark you can’t color over, and not too light you don’t know where to shade. It does all the shading for you . . . A wonderful gift for anyone. It’s a great keepsake. You can color the whole book through and have a wonderful story to read . . . I cannot wait to color this. I want to color it for my children to read . . . I recommend for everyone.”—Jennifer Shaffer Art, YouTube, June 20, 2018

“Absolutely gorgeous.”—Dan-Cin Art Studio, YouTube, June 9, 2018

“Definitely the best grayscale coloring book I’ve ever seen. Usually, I am not a huge fan of grayscale coloring books, but this one is a real gem, and I immediately fell in love—mostly because of the amazing artist style . . . I can imagine what a joy it will be when I color it in December . . . I think it’s perfect for studying shading, for studying light and dark color, for studying how to use contrast . . . I was happy how each of these art supplies behaved. They were able to cover the gray really nice, and the color is solid and bright. So, I’m absolutely in love with the quality of the paper, the quality of the printing. I think it will be my favorite coloring book for Christmastime . . . This book is suitable for beginning colorists. It’s really much easier to color this kind of book.”—Coloring with Alena, YouTube, June 19, 2018

“Oh, my God, this is absolutely beautiful.”—The Art Spirits, YouTube, July 14, 2018

“The grayscale images are simply gorgeous, and it’s perfect for Christmas! . . . Some seriously highly-detailed pictures. For those of you who are grayscale fans, this is going to be absolutely wonderful . . . I think it’s probably the most lovely grayscale coloring book I have ever seen . . . I know you’re probably thinking, well, there’s only fifteen images. But look at these details, guys. Each one of these is going to give you hours upon hours upon hours of fun . . . I’m ready for it to be Christmastime now, because I really am going to color one of these.”—Simple Art for Adults, YouTube, July 6, 2018

Sample Art

Sample Text

In the Dutch colonial town later known as Albany, New York, there lived a baker, Van Amsterdam, who was as honest as he could be. Each morning, he checked and balanced his scales, and he took great care to give his customers exactly what they paid for—not more and not less.

Van Amsterdam’s shop was always busy, because people trusted him, and because he was a good baker as well. And never was the shop busier than in the days before December 6, when the Dutch celebrate Saint Nicholas Day.

At that time of year, people flocked to the baker’s shop to buy his fine Saint Nicholas cookies. Made of gingerbread, iced in red and white, they looked just like Saint Nicholas as the Dutch know him—tall and thin, with a high, red bishop’s cap, and a long, red bishop’s cloak.

One Saint Nicholas Day morning, the baker was just ready for business, when the door of his shop flew open. In walked an old woman, wrapped in a long black shawl.

“I have come for a dozen of your Saint Nicholas cookies.”

Taking a tray, Van Amsterdam counted out twelve cookies. He started to wrap them, but the woman reached out and stopped him.

“I asked for a dozen. You have given me only twelve.”

“Madam,” said the baker, “everyone knows that a dozen is twelve.”

“But I say a dozen is thirteen,” said the woman. “Give me one more.”

Van Amsterdam was not a man to bear foolishness. “Madam, my customers get exactly what they pay for—not more and not less.”

“Then you may keep the cookies.”

The woman turned to go, but stopped at the door.

“Van Amsterdam! However honest you may be, your heart is small and your fist is tight. Fall again, mount again, learn how to count again!

Then she was gone.

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