Sonderbooks

Sonderbooks Book Review of

One Day, the End

Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories

by Rebecca Kai Dotlich

illustrated by Fred Koehler


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One Day, the End

Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories

by Rebecca Kai Dotlich
illustrated by Fred Koehler

Review posted June 2, 2016.
Boyds Mills Press, 2015. 32 pages.
Starred Review
2016 Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book

Here’s another picture book about the power of imagination and writing your own stories.

The first spread sets the tone and explains what’s going on:

For every story, there is a beginning and an end, but what happens in between makes all the difference.

The rest of the book gives many short, very short, shorter-than-ever stories about one little girl. That is, it tells the beginnings and ends of stories. The pictures vividly show what happens in between. Truly, that makes all the difference!

Here are some examples of the stories in this book:

One day… I went to school. I came home. The End

One day . . . I lost my dog. I found him! The End

One day . . . I made something. I gave it to Mom. The End?

One day . . . I wanted to be a spy. I was. The End

The front flap introduces the girl character with the heading, “Meet the Storyteller.” She’s busy and imaginative. The pictures show her all over the place in a way that conveys boundless energy.

I am very curious as I write this how much direction the author gave the illustrator. Did she simply come up with these simple frameworks and let him fill in the rest? Or did she supply a few of the ideas? All of the ideas?

However they came up with it, the combination works beautifully!

With each story, the little girl makes her way across the page, full of energy, doing things, having adventures. Most of them end with a smile, but there are some interesting variations (such as when the dog jumps into the tub with her).

The final story reads, “One day . . . I wanted to write a book. So I did. The End”

The pictures for that review all the previous adventures found in this picture book, leaving the reader with a reminder that all you need for a story is a beginning and an end . . . and let your imagination run wild with the in-between.