See Alabama’s beauty through the pages of a coloring book

See Alabama’s beauty through the pages of a coloring book
Author and illustrator Laura Murray couldn't find a coloring book about Alabama, so she created one, just in time for the state's 200th birthday. (Brittany Faush / Alabama NewsCenter)

After attending the Alabama Book Festival and not being able to find a coloring book about the state, Auburn resident Laura Murray was urged to action by her husband.

“I asked my husband if he knew of one, and he said, ‘Not that I know of, but I know someone who should draw one,’” Murray said.

Murray, who had been drawing pages for her daughters to color, took her husband’s advice and wrote and illustrated Amazing Alabama: A Coloring Book Journey Through Our 67 Counties.

“Alabama is really cool, and a lot of people just don’t know all the neat stuff we have going for us,” said Murray, whose background is in graphic design.

New book lets you color your way through 67 counties of Amazing Alabama from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

Murray researched the state and explored Alabama on road trips with her husband. She captured both its history and its beauty in Amazing Alabama.

“In some counties, you’re going to see the obvious; you’re going to see the courthouse, the post office, any special landmarks that are there, (like) the Joe Louis statue,” she said.

Murray also includes flora, such as azaleas in Mobile and the camellia, which is the state flower. Other images include the well pump where Helen Keller comprehended the word “water” and the Coon Dog Cemetery, both in Colbert County, and the Saturn V rocket in Madison County.

Some of Murray’s favorite places were the U.S. Post Office in Etowah County, the Old Rock Jail in Coosa County and the pitcher plant bog in Chilton County.

Amazing Alabama, released a few days ago, offers an educational snapshot of all things special in Alabama.

“Alabama is really cool,” Murray said. “There are a lot of firsts in Alabama, a lot of neat people and famous people and beautiful places in Alabama that people just don’t realize.”

With Alabama approaching its 200th year of being a state, the coloring book will offer a way for families to celebrate and learn about the state.

Amazing Alabama is available for purchase at many local and online booksellers and at NewSouth Books (334-834-3556, www.newsouthbooks.com), Amazing Alabama’s publisher.

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