" On a beautiful spring day in Victoria’s James Bay neighbourhood, eight-year-old Esther takes a walk with her great-grandfather. 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.
"Painted Fences does an excellent job portraying what life was like for a child at the time of World War II... There are lovely sentiments and learning for children ... with discussion and conversation about Remembrance Day, World War II, and also intergenerational memoirs and the passing of time." --CM: Canadian Review of Materials
"Painted Fences is an excellent way of offering a delightful story within a story for young children. At the same time it teaches them about the importance of history, true friendship, and hardship – and also about hope for the future. There are not many books for children that can achieve all that." --Ormsby Review