by David LaRochelle
illustrated by Richard Egielski
Arthur A. Levine Books/Scholastic, 2007
Ages 4 to 8
Find this book at your favorite library or used bookseller.
“And they all lived happily every after.”
Usually that’s how a story concludes, but not this one!
This topsy-turvy tale begins with The End and winds backwards: past a soggy knight, a frightened dragon, 100 bunny rabbits, an enormous runaway tomato, and a hungry giant who wants lemon cheesecake for dessert … until finally arriving at Once upon a time.
Forwards or backwards, this is a very unusual fairy tale indeed!
Looking for ways to build on the learning opportunities found within The End? These PDF files are small and easy to download.
Here’s a teaching guide that will give your students a chance to practice their literal and higher level thinking skills.
If the giant in The End made an apology to the cook, what do you think it would be like? How would the cook respond? Your students can use their imaginations with this fun letter-writing activity.
Oh, no! The knight’s beard is on fire! Challenge your kids to draw a creative way to put the fire out.
Can you write Backwords? These puzzlers might even have teachers scratching their heads! And just in case you need them, here are the answers.
Feel free to copy these bookmarks for your students to color.
Interested in hosting a Backwards Party? This guide has ideas for games, activities, refreshments…everything from Z to A!
Awards and Recognition
SCBWI Golden Kite Honor for Picture Book Text
Bill Martin, Jr., Picture Book Award nominee
Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Book Award nominee
Wyoming Buckaroo Book Award nominee
Washington’s Children’s Choice Award nominee
Maine’s Chickadee Award nominee
Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award nominee
Utah Beehive Award nominee
“The reversed narrative, hilarious turn-of-the-page plot twists and bright, comical, precisely drawn art add up to an uncommonly clever outing that invites reading—in either direction.” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)
“The reversed narrative, hilarious turn-of-the-page plot twists and bright, comical, precisely drawn art add up to an uncommonly clever outing that invites reading—in either direction.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“LaRochelle keeps the plot simple, the better to trace the inverted order, and leaves the excitement (the dragon’s fiery snort, the giant’s tantrum, etc.) to the intertwining images. Egielski illustrates in buoyant hues.… and gives timely visual hints to past and future moments in this nicely realized puzzle.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)
“Though the book can be appreciated in one reading, and would work well when shared aloud, multiple perusals are necessary to spot all of the details. When youngsters reach the beginning of The End, they will want to start all over again.” (School Library Journal, starred review)