Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Stories That Dovetail in the Middle

All three of these books tell endless stories.

Both covers are front covers. The middle is the shared ending or the roundabout that tells you to flip the book over and read the same story told a different way.

For 20 years I had one example of such a book. All of a sudden in 2007 I found two more.

One is unique; three is a collection. Do you know of any other books that have stories that dovetail in the middle like these?

Giant Story/Mouse Tale: A Half Picture Book
by Annegert Fuchshuber
Carolrhoda Books, 1988
personal copy

The giant wants a friend, but he's afraid of everything. He runs away to escape his fears, and finds himself in a meadow. In the center of the book, he stretches out in the grass to rest, wishing for a small friend he could hold in his hand. Read from the other side and find a brave mouse who wants a friend, but no one wants to be a friend to such a brave mouse. She goes searching for a friend and winds up in a meadow, where she curls up in a warm spot to rest until she has enough strength to go looking again for a friend. The center spread? The giant stretched out sleeping with the sleeping mouse in his hand.

I Love You More
by Laura Duksta
illustrated by Karen Keesler
Sourcebooks, 2007
review copy compliments of the publisher

Read from one side and hear Mommy answer the question, "Mommy, just how much do you love me?" Read from the other side and hear a little boy answering his mother's question, "So, just how much do you love me?" In the middle, you find the ultimate answer that they each have for the other: "I love you more than anything in the whole wide world."

Dogs and Cats
by Steve Jenkins
Houghton Mifflin, 2007
personal copy

If you start on the dog side of this book, you will find double page spreads with information on one aspect of canines (size and shape, how breeds came to be, etc.) and fabulous cut and torn paper collage illustrations. Don't miss the cat shadow in the corner of each page with a single sentence of information about cats on the same topic. In the center of the book, a cat and dog are stretched out together on a rug. Flip the book over and you read detailed information about cats (with the same great illustrations), keeping watch for the shadow dog and the single sentence of related information about dogs.



    And Then It Rained... And Then the Sun Came Out is another of these. Pretty cool, too.

  2. What Mommies Do Best/What Daddies Do Best (I think there's one about Grandmas and Grandpas, too).

    There are a few bilingual books that dovetail in the middle, but it's the same story on both sides--would that count?

  3. Elizabeth, I think I remember seeing And Then it Rained...And Then the Sun Came Out! That would be perfect!

    Anamaria, thanks for your suggestions, too. You're right about the bilingual books, but that's not quite what I'm looking for.

  4. Aliki's Painted Words, Spoken pictures is close. Each story benefits from the other, but I don't think they have that middle "dovetail." Hnke's A Good Day is perfectly symmetrical story like that, but not two seperate stories. Gotta keep thinking...


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