The Land Without Color

Children - Grade 4th-6th
168 Pages
Reviewed on 05/29/2016
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Benjamin Ellefson loves writing whimsical adventures for children of all ages.

Childhood was a magical time for him. Benjamin grew up in a neighborhood full of kids. Every day was filled with imagination, adventures, fantasy, and wonderful stories. In school he loved any project that let him explore his creativity.

When Benjamin was older, he traveled across the country to study story telling at the University of Southern California in their school of Cinema/Television. While in school, he had the amazing opportunity to work on several film productions and saw stories coming to life first hand.

Over several years after school, Benjamin had four beautiful daughters. When they were little, he spent all of his creative energy giving them the magical childhood that he had when he was small. There was nothing as exciting to Benjamin as watching their imaginations flourish as they explored the world.

Now that they are older, he wants to give that magic to all of the children of the world. Benjamin focuses his writing on modern fairy tales that are fun for kids and thought provoking for adults. Each adventure celebrates important values of self-reliance, preparedness, and diversity. He hopes with each book to spark imagination in each reader.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Tracy Slowiak for Readers' Favorite

In a fun, funny and adventurous new story targeting children in later elementary grades, The Land Without Color is the first book in a new series by the same name written by author Benjamin Ellefson. This book will engage its readers from the very beginning and will keep them reading all the way through until the very end. Follow the story of protagonist 12-year-old Alvin, a boy who finds himself in quite a predicament. After floating through the air with the aid of a huge gum bubble, he lands in a world unlike any other he's seen before, a land without color. Everything there is gray, and no one is quite sure why. Alvin meets some new friends that are set on helping him, as well as solving the mystery of the colorless landscape that surrounds them. Will they succeed, and will Alvin find his way home? You'll have to read the book to find out!

I loved The Land Without Color. Loved. It. How's that for a review? Well, it's definitely how I felt about this lovely book for older children. Author Benjamin Ellefson has done a wonderful job in creating a story line that will entertain its readers and please their parents with its message and tone. This book contains elements of fantasy, fairy tale, action and adventure, is fast paced, and is simply a fun read! Any child, but especially those between fourth and sixth grades, would enjoy this book, and their parents should absolutely buy it for them. I highly recommend this book, and look forward to seeing more in this promising series by author Benjamin Ellefson, hopefully in the very near future!

Jack Magnus

The Land Without Color is an adventure fable for children and preteens written by Benjamin Ellefson and illustrated by Kevin Cannon. Brandon and Steven, and the rest of their friends from the neighborhood, were all having fun playing kick the can, when their other friends, Paul and Derek, came by. The two of them had hooks and string, and were planning on going to the pond to do some fishing. Everyone loved the idea, and soon the kids were all on their bikes and headed to the park. When they got there, they found worms for bait and selected branches that were the right size and shape for fishing poles. Then they tried to cut sections of fishing line for each pole, but the line wouldn't break, even when Steven and Brandon tried biting it. Brandon had an idea, however, that would solve their problem. They'd go visit his grandfather, Alvin. Alvin was in his garden when they arrived, and, hearing their problem, pulled out his trusty pocketknife. The pocketknife looked well-worn, and Alvin told them that his Grandfather Otto had given it to him when he was Brandon's age. Then he told them about the day he got the knife.

Benjamin Ellefson's fantasy adventure fable for children and preteens, The Land Without Color, is an original and entertaining tale that had me remembering the fun of playing hide and seek at dusk and going on adventures with the neighborhood kids when I was Brandon's age. The author uses Brandon's visit to his grandfather as a frame for a most unusual epic quest as Alvin, as a preteen, winds up in a strange and desolate land that is totally devoid of color. While he tries to find the solution to the problem, he runs into all manner of marvelous creatures, especially Permy, a young squirrel, who proves to be a most stalwart companion. Alvin's adventure quest is a grand one, and his tale is a marvelous introduction to epic quest fantasy for young readers. Ellefson's tale is exciting and well-plotted, and his writing is flowing, accessible, and geared toward his target audience. Cannon's illustrations work perfectly with the story line and bring the characters and their adventures to life. His map in the beginning of the book is inspired. The Land Without Color is highly recommended.

Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Brandon was enjoying some home-made fun in the yard with his friends. When two more friends arrive with some fishing gear, they take off to try their hands at fishing. Only they have nothing to cut the string with so that everyone can enjoy the fishing adventure. That’s when Brandon suggests they visit his Grandpa Alvin. Not only does Brandon’s grandfather share his special pocket knife to cut the string, but he tells a story that captivates the youngsters, a tale of adventure in a land without color and the lessons he learned while, as a child, he rescued the twin princesses of color. It all began with that special birthday present, the packet of chewing gum that wouldn’t burst, and the bubbles that grew so big that young Alvin was lifted high into the sky, away from his home and his family, and into a startling adventure.

Author Benjamin Ellefson has a colorful imagination. His young people’s chapter book, The Land Without Color, takes young readers on an adventure that includes dragons and goblins and kidnapped princesses; a land where people of all ages only eat ice cream and candy bars, and a Color Factory is draining the land of its color. Only by eating vegetables will the people regain their color, but they don’t realize this and even Grandpa Alvin, as a child in his tale, learns the power of healthy eating the hard way. This story moves quickly from one adventure to the next as the author cleverly uses so many fantastical creatures and probabilities to get across an important lesson: eat healthy. A great read.

K.C. Finn

The Land Without Color is a children’s book by author Benjamin Ellefson, suitable for independent readers aged seven to ten years old. The story begins with Brandon, who travels with his five friends to consult his grandfather Alvin on a proposed fishing trip. What Alvin gives them instead is a magical story set in a faraway world which Alvin himself claims to have visited. The young Alvin arrives in a medieval style land devoid of color, and finds himself on a quest to return the land to its rightful state. This noble adventure involves allies such as the talking squirrel, Permiella, and enemies as vicious as carnivorous plants, though not all the bad guys are quite what they seem. In any case, a fantastic adventure awaits.

Kevin Cannon’s illustrations bring to life this superb and imaginative tale from author Benjamin Ellefson. The magical qualities to the gifts that Alvin receives are well thought out, simple yet effective, and every element is well used in the overall development of the plot. The Land Without Color is a suitably complex read for the age group, which will encourage children to think critically about both the characters and the challenges which Alvin faces. It is a book that can be discussed in depth with a parent afterwards, promoting both fun and learning. The prose is light and humorous and the narrative is full of important life lessons about patience, friendship, and not judging a book by its cover. Overall, a really superb read.

Kayti Nika Raet

In The Land Without Color, a fun, simple middle grade adventure by Benjamin Ellefson, twelve-year-old Alvin finds himself in a strange land after traveling there through a mishap with a pack of never popping bubble gum. In this world, everything is grey and leached of color, every plant, animal, and even the sky has been doused in various shades of grey. Determined to solve the mystery of the missing color, Alvin and his band of intrepid friends team up to fight dragons, defeat goblins, outsmart traps, and find the missing princesses, all in an attempt to restore color to a bleached land. The Land Without Color by Benjamin Ellefson is the first book in a lively, light-hearted series that is sure to igniting a child's sense of wonder and adventure.

Reading Ellefson's novel, I almost felt an Alice in Wonderland or The Wizard of Oz vibe as I encountered its whimsical setting, talking animals, and a young hero who only has to believe in himself to truly succeed. Still, Ellefson manages to craft a world that is uniquely his own and weave his story in such a way that it makes for an enjoyable, fast paced book, able to quickly grab and hold a young reader's attention. With a strong message and filled with gorgeous art by Kevin Cannon, as well as a unique and diverse cast of characters, The Land Without Color is sure to engage young readers and have them eager for the second book in the series.