Thursday, October 29, 2009

Painting Aalesund by Tod B. Steward

Ten-year-old Trond Halvorsen lives in Aalesund, a picturesque and friendly Norwegian sea-side town. The only problem is that there is no color! The buildings are covered with beautiful designs that no one knows are there.  With his grandfather’s help, Trond discovers them and dreams of fulfilling these designs with brightly colored paints. But Trond doesn’t have any money, paint is too expensive and there just isn’t any to be had. Join Trond as he sets out to bring color to his town in a splendid Norwegian adventure laced with exotic descriptions of deep blue fjords, dark green pines and vividly colored flowers. Painting Aalesund is a simple, heartwarming story that parents will want to read to their children and again to themselves.

Tod B. Steward has been writing in one form or another since he was a boy. Much of his writing for children has been inspired by travels with his wife, son and daughter, where he keeps finding stories just waiting to be told. Currently living in Virginia, he has finished Painting Aalesund and Juliet’s Opera, both published or soon-to-be-published by Tate Publishing.

He has recently finished a story about a cat named Enzo, who lives in Rome, Italy and has just sent to Norway for review the manuscript for another story from Norway.  He is in the midst of writing a second Evelyn Burke Adventure and also a story that takes place in the north of Italy.  And sitting on his desk are stories from France, Great Britain, the United States, and even from the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.

I really enjoyed this little book.  I read it to myself, over the course of several nights, not because I couldn't sit down and read it all in one sitting, but because I really wanted to absorb it.  What a sweet tale of a little boy with the heart and desire to help his town.  In a day and age where everyone seems to be "looking out for #1", I was pleased to read the story of young Trond.  Trond sees his  town for the beautiful place that it CAN be, not the boring, drab place that it IS.  He sets out to find a way to turn his vision into reality.  With hard work and determination, Aalesund is transformed into a lovely town that people come from far and wide to see.  I was blessed by this little book and will definitely be passing it along to my children to read.

You can learn more about the author and his books (both current and upcoming) on his website.  One thing homeschooling parents will appreciate is the extra help Tod is willing to offer kids who read his book - he'll even post book reports on his site!

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