Age Range: 7 – 12 years
Grade Level: 3 – 6
Series: Land without Color (book 1)
Paperback: 168 pages
Formats: Paperback, eBook
The Land without Color
by Benjamin Ellefson
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.
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
Shelf Unbound Awards
2016 Runner Up
Category: Best Indie Book