Biology Coloring Book

Biology Coloring Book coverThe Biology Coloring Book

Submitter: I am starting at a PreK-8 small private school with a media center jam packed with gems like this. I’m not entirely sure what the focus of this book is or how it got into the collection. It’s not necessarily a bad book. It’s pretty technical, like a textbook. But coloring? I feel that if someone were keen on presenting a different way of interacting with biology, there are more effective methods than coloring.  Beside that, this science book is older than me, and it hasn’t ever circulated. There are undoubtedly much better bio books that could fit in this book’s shelf space. I’d always be nervous about circulating a coloring book in a library anyway, but with this one? Three guesses which illustrations are the only ones that have been colored…

Holly: Yeah, I’m not surprised about which page was colored in (See below – potentially NSFW!). Coloring books are usually the kiss of death for school libraries. Between it’s age and the fact that it has never circulated, I’d think it was an easy weeding candidate.

Mary’s daughter is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in biology. She might like this! Hey, Sarah, if you need a study break there’s still some unfinished coloring on the reproductive system page…

coloring instructions


reproductive system


  1. When I was in college (*cough* 20 years ago *cough*), I remember pre-med students having this book to study and learn anatomy, which may well have been the intent of the book. I can’t see it ever making sense in a K-8 library!

  2. I had a different version of this book, for a marine biology class in high school, and I colored in a few of the pictures but didn’t find it that useful for studying. In any case, coloring books are not a good choice for a library!

  3. I’m a medical librarian and while we would buy this, in the pre=internet days coloring books were very common ways for students to learn anatomy. We have all electronic versions now, like designed to let students manipulate and ‘color’ in the components to help them learn. To me the only awful part of this is that obviously the first kid colors it in and after that it is useless.

  4. These anatomy coloring books are meant more for college students. I had one when I was taking anatomy & physiology in nursing school and it was very helpful. This is definitely not the sort of coloring book meant for young children.

  5. I have a few of these coloring books. But they’re definitely more for high school/college students (or maybe younger students who are reaaaally into biology, like young me) or adults who are into both biology and coloring books. These are pretty great for the right audience. And as long as they have permanent, non-library homes.

  6. One of my middle school science teachers often photocopied pages out of that book for us to color as homework assignments (not sure about the legality of that, but…) I remember coloring that cell on the cover. There was one about insect anatomy, too; I know there were more but I can’t remember them all.

    1. I had some other books in this series (and still do — I’m colouring the Neuroanatomy one now!). I can’t speak for this one, but in the Anatomy and Physiology books the authors recommended that doctors, for instance, might give out photocopied pages to their patients. So it sounds like a legal OK for copying and handing out individual pages. Not the whole book, of course.

  7. We had the Geography one at home and it really came in handy for when my kids were studying for “continent” quizzes. This series is for personal/home use, not library circulation.

  8. When I was in college completing my health field degree, my 3 year old used to like to grab the Anatomy & Physiology version of this book and color. And then she wanted to hang her pictures up with the rest of her artwork, on our refrigerator. I think we may have caught a few friends and repair people off guard. It’s not every day you see the large intestine or the male reproductive system colored by a preschooler.

    1. Can I just say that I LOVE the fact that you hung them anyway, even though they may not have been “appropriate?”

      1. She was just so proud of her work and had no idea what she was coloring. It got to be a running joke with our friends. 🙂

  9. I recall a lot of coloring activities from my 8th grade biology class. Not from this book specifically (it came out a few years too late for my bio class), but a similar work.

  10. I just realized my high school biology teacher photocopied our coloring worksheets from this book! Either that, or it was a photocopy of an original photocopy. That was only two years ago! This book really gets around!

    1. P.S. Cell part names are fun! (Fun is relative, may or not meet your parameters of “fun”). I always remembered “endoplasmic reticulum” because as a kid (about 8 years old) my dad always made me spell it to get something I wanted, like a snack or to open my Christmas presents. I thought of it like one of those contrived words that are only used when speaking of long words or when something difficult to spell is needed, like antidisestablishmentarianism or floccinaucinihilipilification. It wasn’t until junior high that I learned what an endoplasmic reticulum is.
      P.P.S. Golgi Aparatus would be a good band name.

      1. Floccinaucinihilipilification — a new word for me, but how useful! I plan to use it regularly at cocktail parties from now on.

        P.S. Wouldn’t Golgi Apparatus have two Ps? Great band name, I agree.

        1. Yes, it does have two P’s– funny, because I was talking about spelling! I realized it soon after it was posted, and I cringed a little.

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