I really loved the silliness and impossibility of this book.
The Land without Color
by Benjamin Ellefson
Age Range: 7 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Series: Land without Color
Paperback: 168 pages
Formats: Paperback, eBook, audiobook
Would you be scared of a two-headed dragon where one head breathes fire and the other breathes ice cream?
Receiving a pack of bubblegum for his birthday, twelve-year-old Alvin naturally blows the largest bubble he can. It grows and grows bigger than him. Before he knows it, his feet lift off the ground and he floats into the sky and above the clouds.
When he finally sets down on hard ground again, he discovers that he has been transported to a mysterious land without color. The dirt, grass, sky, trees, and even people are all gray. He soon learns that an army of goblins have kidnapped the twin princesses Gwendolyn and Sapphire and stolen all of the color from the land.
So Alvin sets off on an adventurous quest to rescue the princesses, restore the color to the kingdom, and find his way home.
Along the way, he makes friends with a talk squirrel named Permy and a Spanish-speaking mouse name Ronaldo. To succeed, Alvin must battle man-eating plants, outsmart the bumbling Crimson Guards, cross the Sugar Dessert, overcome the two-headed dragon, and find the color-stealing goblins.
It's dangerous. Scary. Impossible! But it's the only way to restore color to the kingdom.
Alvin is an average boy who loves to play games and use his imagination. But when his parents give him a pack of never-popping gum, he embarks on an adventure that's beyond his wildest dreams. Blowing an enormous bubble, Alvin finds himself floating high above the clouds until he finally lands in a strange world where everything is grayâ€”the trees, the animals, and even the people. As Alvin explores this ironically named Kingdom of Color, he learns about the color-stealing Goblins and sets out on a journey to rescue the Princesses and restore color to the land.
Permiella is the daughter of Graytail of the Red Berry Forest. Permy, as her friends call her, always likes to be prepared. Learning from her wise father, she follows the squirrel ways and buries acorn pails filled with anything she might need later. And it's a good thing she does, for many years into the Great Grayness, she still has a good supply of canned fruits and vegetables waiting to be eaten. Now she waits for the right time to share her saved bounty.
Ronaldo P. Mouse is a field mouse of Vegetable Valley. Long ago, he and his family discovered the secrets of the color drains while searching for food. Since then, he spends his days in the Marketplace of Color trying the spread the word about eating nutritious, homegrown fruits and vegetables. But in the hustle and bustle of the market, few people listen to such a little mouse.
King Fabian is the wise ruler of the Kingdom of Color. Since the Great Grayness befell the land, the kind and generous King has been helping his people by giving free ice cream and candy to all of those who can't grow their own color. However, the great stress of the gray plague made the King's skin green and wrinkly, and when the Goblins attacked and kidnapped the twin princesses, Gwendolyn and Sapphire, he changed completely into a giant painted turtle. Now he leads the elite Crimson Guard, hunting the color-stealing Goblins while providing the only beacon of color in the gray land.
General Droww is the son of Will the Great, the hero of the Color Wars. Following in his father's footsteps, he joined the Army as soon as he could. With his victories in the Great Sugar War, he became the youngest General in the army. After the war, King Fabian charged him with creating the Crimson Guards and the Royal Police Force. However, he grew discontent, and left after thirteen years to create the Color Factory. No one has heard from him since.
The Old Lion is a hero of the Great Sugar War, having served under General Droww. An enormous beast with golden fur and a thick brown mane, he stands almost twice as tall as the average man. With a mouth large enough to swallow anyone in a single bite, he is a gentle soul that lives to protect the weak and keep peace. After a falling out with General Droww when he created the Color Factory, the Old Lion disappeared.
Princess Gwendolyn and Princess Sapphire
Princess Gwendolyn and Princess Sapphire are the twin daughters of King Fabian. Gwendolyn rules from her tall tower in the Red Berry Forest, and her sister Sapphire rules from her tower in the Vegetable Valley. These young girls are loved by everyone throughout the land. Ever since the beginning of the Great Grayness when were each kidnapped by the Goblins, the Crimson Guards have been scouring the Kingdom looking for them. Now they are waiting to be rescued from the hands of the color-stealing Goblins.
About the Illustrator
Kevin Cannon is a cartoonist most well known for the critically acclaimed nonfiction graphic novel “The Cartoon Introduction to Philosophy” (Hill & Wang, 2015) and the Eisner Award-nominated arctic adventure “Far Arden” (Top Shelf, 2009). City Pages named him Twin Cities’ Best Cartoonist in 2011. He also produces elaborate cartoon maps, which have appeared in The Appendix, The Star Tribune, The Riverfront Times, and The Miami New Times.
A Minneapolis native, Cannon spends his free time camping, reading dusty books about arctic explorers, and listening to hockey games on the radio.
About the Narrator
Claire is a classically trained theatre actress with over 30 years of professional experience in theatre, TV, radio and voice overs. She worked extensively as one of the voiceover team for BBC STORE specialising particularly in Children's Television.
Audiobook narration has opened a whole new world of books for her - especially a new found love of crime fiction! She recently moved from London to Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire, UK where she lives by the canal and plays the saxophone to her sausage dog, Eddie.
This book captured what it was like to be a child.
Mr. Ellefson has written a marvelous debut novel.
Category: Chapter Books
Category: Fiction - Fantasy/SciFi/Horror/Paranormal
Category: Children's Fiction
Category: Cover Design
2016 Silver Winner
Category: Children – Fable
2016 Illustration Winner
Category: Children's Illustration
Category: Adventure Fiction
Shelf Unbound Awards
2016 Runner Up
Category: Best Indie Book
Category: Children's Fiction
Category: Best Cover Design: Fiction
Category: Best Illustration in Children’s Fiction
Category: Juvenile Fiction
Category: Fiction: Science Fiction & Fantasy