Written by Benjamin Ellefson
Illustrated by Kevin Cannon
164 pages – ages 8+
Will be published by Beaver’s Pond Press in December 2015
Synopsis- From the author’s website: “In this whimsical adventure, twelve-year-old Alvin finds himself in a strange land where all of the color is missing and everything is gray. The trees, animals, and even people are all gray. Teaming up with Permy the talking squirrel and Ronaldo the Spanish speaking mouse, Alvin must find the color-stealing Goblins, battle man-eating plants, outsmart the bumbling Crimson Guards, cross the Sugar Desert, and the overcome the two-headed dragon to save the twin princesses Gwendolyn and Sapphire. If they can succeed and find their way into the Color Factory, Alvin will discover the value of eating your vegetables and learn the true culprit behind the missing color.”
What I Thought- Mr. Ellefson has written a marvelous debut novel. The story has a fairy tale feel to it with a modern main character. Alvin is a character kids can relate to and they will enjoy reading about his adventures in the Kingdom of Color. Mr. Ellefson created a believable world with enough background in the story to make the reader understand how the Kingdom of Color got into trouble but without unnecessary text that would slow the story down. I particularly liked reading the descriptions of the Kingdom of Color. Mr. Ellefson made up a pretty silly, fun world and unique characters that live in it. I think the reading level is appropriate for kids 8+ but older children will enjoy the story and it would make a great read aloud for younger kids. I found Ellefson’s writing smooth and engaging which made the story all the more fun to read. The only thing I’d change is the cover – it’s all in color. I’m thinking only part of it should be – but that’s just one kid’s opinion. 😉 Overall the story kept my interest and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Considering this is Ellefson’s first novel, I will be looking for more from this author.