Need a holiday gift idea for a child? Back in 2009, Lois Winston, the author who makes my life miserable, came up with the idea for a chapter book for young readers. Shortly after she finished writing it, she sold the Anastasia Pollack Crafting Mystery series, and as all of you know, with a few exceptions, her life has pretty much centered around dropping dead bodies at my feet ever since. The Magic Paintbrush was finally published in 2014. With all the divisiveness going on in the country, it remains a must-read and a perfect gift for young readers.
Without being preachy, The Magic Paintbrush addresses the issue of differences, in this case, a kingdom that is all pink at war with a kingdom that is all blue for longer than anyone can remember—so long that no one even knows what started the feud. It takes two children from another land to point out to the rulers of both kingdoms how we're really all the same inside and the benefits of getting along.
Now if only people in the real world would do likewise…
The Magic Paintbrush
When nine-year-old Jack and his seven-year-old sister Zoe are snowed in for days with nothing to do, their complaints land them in every guy’s worst nightmare—the kingdom of Vermilion, a land where everything is totally pink! At first Jack is mistaken for a spy from the neighboring kingdom of Cobalt, but Zoe convinces Queen Fuchsia that they’re from New Jersey and arrived by magic.
Queen Fuchsia needs a king, but all the available princes in Vermilion are either too short, too fat, too old, or too stupid. Jack and Zoe suggest she looks for a king in Cobalt, but Vermilion and Cobalt have been at war since long before anyone can remember. Jack and Zoe decide Vermilion and Cobalt need a Kitchen Table Mediation to settle their differences. So they set out on an adventure to bring peace to the warring kingdoms—and maybe along the way they just might find a king for the queen.
The Magic Paintbrush is suitable for children eight years of age and up to read on their own. Younger children will enjoy the story if it’s read to them. Read an excerpt here.