Six epic dinosaur battle scenes capture the boys’ attention as they fill in the lines with color in “Dinosaurs vs. Machines” coloring books from Sunde White Industries. They take the users through a storyline that pits a T-Rex against a tow truck, a carnotaurus against a monster truck and more, making it fun for kids to learn more advanced words and for adults to read.
“The boys love the dinosaur one, which is cool because it can be hard to get boys to engage with reading,” says author and illustrator Sunde White.
Her dinosaur-focused book is just one of the three coloring books sold at Trunk Show in Tahoe City; the others are “Costumed Cats” and “From the Sea to the Trees.”
“Adults and girls are more drawn to ‘Costumed Cats’ and ‘From the Sea to the Trees’ because they are funny and quirky,” she says. “Girls ages 10 to 13 want to do more artsy things and are into costumes and nature, whereas I would say boys ages 4 and up love the dinosaur books and battles with words. The cats have cool costumes — it’s like a history book with cats — and adults think that they’re really fun.
“I know that adult coloring books are a thing now, but I think that ‘From the Sea to the Trees’ appeals to a more general audience. The dinosaur books are more for kids than adults, who are sitting around drinking wine and coloring. I just thought that it was more of a safe bet to make cool, quirky books for kids and that they would stand the test of time because kids are always coloring,” she says.
White has been drawing and illustrating since she can remember; she recently found some of her childhood things, which included little story books she made.
“I’ve always loved to write and illustrate and am comfortable combining words and images. I’ll get an idea in my head and just make it,” White says.
Along with creating art, White is an avid surfer and snowboarder; she lives in San Francisco. She often spends her summers catching waves at Ocean Beach and Montara. She comes to the Tahoe Sierra in the winter to shred the slopes at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows and Sugar Bowl.
It was Trunk Show owner Jaclyn Woznicki who found Sunde White Industries through social media and soon after started carrying her greeting cards and coloring books. White has had her greeting card business since 2009, but expanded into selling prints, journals, magnets, pet portraits and more.
“As a company I grew and began expanding my line to include more variety for shops and the festivals that I went to,” White says.
She decided to try her hand at “kooky” coloring books, because she’s always enjoyed writing and illustrating. She regularly posts illustrative essays on her Web site.
White also hosts arts and crafts workshops and posts art tips through her YouTube channel. For instance, to celebrate Trunk Show’s fifth anniversary, White set up a table in front of the store last summer and invited shoppers to stop and create their own works of art.
“We did funny jackelope cards and ones with bears and typical Tahoe stuff on them. It was casual; people who were walking by would stop and make things,” she says.
It was her first time in Tahoe during the summer, White says, that she got the full Tahoe experience when she found that her car had been broken into — but with only one thing missing.
“I came out early in the morning and set up and then came back to my car in the afternoon and it was broken into. Art supplies were all over the ground and I realized a bear had pulled out my suitcase and dug through everything to get to the bag of Hershey kisses at the bottom. It meticulously unwrapped each of them, leaving only the foil. The car next to us had paw prints all over it, too,” she says.
Currently White is working on the sequel to “Dinosaurs vs. Machines” titled “Dinosaurs vs. Aliens,” set to be published this fall. | sundewhiteindustries.com