Thursday, June 22, 2017

Surprise Endings

The Book of Mistakes 
by Corinna Luyken
Dial Books for Young Readers, 2017
review copy from the public library

This book is a celebration of mistakes...mistakes that can be seen as good ideas if you don't get stuck thinking they are mistakes. Just when the book seems to be getting repetitive, it gets complicated, and then it takes your breath away. This will be a fabulous #classroombookaday.

XO, OX: A Love Story
by Adam Rex
illustrated by Scott Campbell
Roaring Book Press, 2017
review copy from the public library

What's it called when a book is told all in letters? Epistolatory. Yeah. That's what this is. Ox loves Gazelle and tells her so in adoring letters. Gazelle does NOT love Ox and tells him so in increasingly irritated responses. Until...

Make sure you study the endpapers before and after reading. What do you know about the two characters from the beginning end papers? (Ox loves lots of things; Gazelle loves...herself.) And what can you infer from the ending end papers? (Lives have been changed. Anything is possible.)

This will be another fabulous #classroombookaday.

The Three Billy Goats Gruff
by Jerry Pinkney
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers, 2017
review copy from the public library

Speaking of endpapers, here is another book with great rewards in the end papers. (And another to save for #classroombookaday!)

The fourth in Jerry Pinkney's retellings of fables and folktales, this one is (again) nearly perfect in every way. Pinkney doesn't just give us another predictable retelling. He adds several twists that make the story even bigger than the original. In his version, the ogre gets a taste of his own medicine, highlighting the recurring nature of verbal bullying. But the ending holds a surprise. There are clues, subtle in the last spread of the story as well as the final spread with the author's note, but obvious in the final endpapers, that the billy goats' hearts are big enough for forgiveness, and the ogre's is open for redemption. That's a surprise ending worth replicating!

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