Saturday, 17 December 2016

Guest Review: The Land Without Color by Benjamin Ellefson


The Land Without Color by Benjamin Ellefson, illustrated by Kevin Cannon
First published in America by Beaver Pond Press in December 2015.

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy from independent booksellers via Alibris
Buy the ebook via Amazon.comAmazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

Guest review by John Darryl Winston
I am delighted to introduce the first Guest Book Review to Literary Flits today. It's also the 200th book review posted on this blog! I have enjoyed and reviewed two YA scifi books by author and educator John Darryl Winston: IA: Initiate and IA: B.O.S.S. (my reviews here) and now John has kindly has penned his thoughts for us on a great magical adventure story for children, The Land Without Color by Benjamin Ellefson. This book is intended for children aged between 7-10 years old.

John's rating: 5 of 5 stars

Floating into the air with an enormous gum bubble, Alvin lands in a strange world where everything is gray. The trees, the flowers, the dirt, the sky, the animals, and even the people are all missing their color.
Confronted with the mystery of the missing color, Alvin teams up with some unexpected friends to battle man-eating plants, outsmart the bumbling Crimson Guards, cross the Sugar Desert, overcome the two-headed dragon, and find the color-stealing goblins to restore color to the kingdom.

John says: "The Land without Color (TLWC) is a literary Avatar crossed with The Wizard of Oz perfect for kids. It’s a beautiful book full of mystery, suspense and, adventure with a reluctant hero (12-year-old Alvin) and a Journey. At its core, TLWC promotes problem-solving and eating right: fruits and vegetables to be exact and the negative effects sugar in any form can have on you. All this occurs without being preachy and within the narrative of the story.

Great villains (dragons) and wholesome sidekicks (incorporating talking animals in the process, which means you can’t miss with kids), this one has it all. It celebrates working together as a team to accomplish more. I love it. There are also rudimentary political undertones that parents and/or teachers can address. Benjamin Ellefson has crafted a chapter book fit for upper-elementary school students with everything a young reader needs to develop a love for the written word; vivid descriptions, good dialogue, and great character development.

It addresses multiculturalism naturally as it should without a bang or huge fanfare. There’s even an introduction to Spanish embedded in the midst of this little tome. Ah … and red and blue do make purple (have to read the book). There’s also a map at the beginning of the book that I felt compelled to go back to as the story progressed and think the kids will, too. Ellefson does a great job with pacing as well as he throws increasingly difficult challenges at our young protagonist until the climatic end. Highly recommended for the kiddies!"

Thank you John!

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Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Benjamin Ellefson / Children's books / Books from America

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