Painted Fences

By (author): Sara Cassidy
Illustrated by: Sydney Barnes
ISBN 9781772033519
Hardcover | Publication Date: October 20, 2020
Book Dimensions: 10 in. x 9 in.
32 Pages

About the Book

A charming and evocative story within a story, exploring themes of wartime resourcefulness, local history, friendship, and the reverberations of the past in the present day.

On a beautiful spring day in Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood, eight-year-old Esther takes a walk with her great-grandfather on his birthday. On the same street and the same date, but seventy-five years earlier, two enterprising young boys go door to door offering to give people’s fences a fresh coat of paint so that they can earn a few extra cents in an era of wartime austerity.

These parallel timelines converge as Esther’s great-grandfather pauses to show her an old fence with multi-coloured layers of peeling paint. He recognizes the avocado-green layer that he painted with his friend one spring day, way back in 1945—an unforgettable birthday that ended up being V-E Day, when the Allies defeated the Nazis in World War II. Through whimsical illustrations and vivid characters, this simple story shows how a pivotal event in history affects ordinary people and brings generations closer together.

About the Author(s)

Sara Cassidy is the author of over a dozen books for young readers, including Scallywag on the Salish Sea, The Moon Is a Silver Pond, Helen’s Birds, and A Boy Named Queen. Her books have received numerous accolades and starred reviews, and have been shortlisted for multiple awards such as the Silver Birch Express, the Chocolate Lily, the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Children’s Book Award, the Manitoba Young Readers’ Choice Award, and the Diamond Willow Award. For more information, visit saracassidywriter.com.

Sydney Barnes is an illustrator and graphic designer with a life-long passion for books. She holds a Master of Publishing degree from Simon Fraser University and runs a freelance design business called SJBarnes Design. For more information, visit sjbarnes.com.