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Review! The Great Sugar War by Benjamin Ellefson

11 Apr

The Great Sugar War
Written by Benjamin Ellefson
Illustrated by Kevin Cannon
168 pages – ages 9+
Published by Beaver’s Pond Press on December 28, 2016

Synopsis- We return to the Land of Color to follow the tale of Otto, who is the grandfather of Alvin, the main character of The Land Without Color (see my review HERE)! Otto was sailing on a new boat he got for a present, but went off course and ended up rescuing up a soldier whose ship had sank. The Land of Color is at war with the Land of Shapes, and Otto has got himself into the middle of it all. Using his ingenuity, Otto and the soldier work together to stop a new menace – the evil sugar soldiers. Now that the Lands of Color and Shapes have a common enemy, can they put aside their differences to stop them from taking over?

What I Thought- This is a nice prequel to The Land Without Color, andEllefson keeps the spirit of the first true to this book as well. I like that there is a message about eating good healthy foods, but it isn’t forced upon the readers – just subtly stated as the better option. That is good, so kids won’t be turned away from eating veggies as much. Ellefson has a great writing style, where you really connect with the characters. I also like that the character of Otto inspires ingenuity, because even if a problem arises he will look around and find a creative way out of the problem. This is a really neat series; I like how there are things that occur in it that have blatant disregard for the laws of reality – that makes it more fun! I cannot wait for the last book in this series!

I give this book five out of five bookworms!

Review! The Land Without Color by Benjamin Ellefson

15 Oct

nocolorThe Land Without Color

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.

I give this book five out of five bookworms!fivebooks

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