So yesterday's post by Matthew Winner was on strong beginnings and endings. Personally, I love parallel construction, and I like endings that mirror beginnings in some way or loop back to them somehow. That, to me, is a strong ending. Or, if we're talking about a story where the character experiences a change (and I know some people would say that that should happen in all stories), I like to see that expressed in some strong yet still subtle way at the end.
I read four of yesterday's ten books.
Day 8 Picture Books
A Hundred Billion Trillion Stars by Seth Fishman with illustrations by Isabel Greenberg is the one that I think illustrates a strong beginning and ending the best. "Let me tell you a secret" is the first sentence, the only one on the first page. That's a strong beginning. I don't actually want to give away the strong ending. This is also a good example of second-person point-of-view. (See Day 7.) I am not a number person, so I'm not the best reader for this book. Nonetheless, I very much admire the concept here.
Charlotte The Scientist Is Squished by Camille Andros with illustrations by Brianne Farley is a neat introduction to the scientific method. (I tend to like anthropomorphic rabbits.) The author is walking a tightrope, trying to do a how-to on experiments within a story. So, yes, I guess the ending does hit strong, given that it manages to stick to the story.
Shelter by Celine Claire with illustrations by Qin Leng does have a strong beginning and ending. This is what I would call an improving text, something I don't usually care for. But this French import is lovely.
I read Dazzle Ships: World War I and the Art of Confusion by Chris Barton with illustrations by Victor Ngai a few weeks ago. I no longer have it, so I can't address the strong beginning and ending issue. The book is a neat example of finding a semi-forgotten historical event and featuring it in a piece of nonfiction, however. We mentioned Dazzle Ships last night at my writers' group.
Can I use a strong beginning and ending with my picture book manuscript? I certainly hope so.
ReFoReMo Books I've Read To Date: 24