The End of the Beginning

The End of the Beginning by Avi

End-of-the-beginningAvon was a snail who lived in a tree, read a great many books, and longed for adventure.

“It was absolutely necessary, he decided, to have adventures for himself.  Only then would he be happy.”

He set out to have adventures, and was joined by a new friend, Edward – an ant with some interesting answers to life’s questions.

The two made their way slowly along a branch of the tree, meeting other creatures, sheltering from rain, and discussing ideas.  Avon watched over a caterpillar as it created its chrysalis until it emerged as a butterfly.  Avon and Edward discussed dragons then met a young mouse.  They decided the mouse was a dragon in disguise, and even convinced the mouse that he was a dragon.

Avon and Edward met a a cricket, and inspired the cricket to be more creative than other crickets.

The cricket was bewildered.  “It’s what all crickets sing.”

“Surely”, said Edward, “you are not just the same as all the other crickets, are you?”

“I’ve never given it much thought,” said the cricket.

“Now’s your opportunity,” announced Edward.

After helping the cricket write a new song, and solving the problem of birds finding the cricket more easily, Avon and Edward set off again.

“Gosh,” mused Avon, “being creative does make a difference.”

Eventually Avon and Edward come to the end of the branch, discuss its significance, and head back the way they came.  When they encounter a house amazingly like Avon’s house, they decide that an invisible magician took an old castle and turned it into a house Avon would like – showing his gratitude for the snail believing in magical adventures.  So they decide to stay there and live together.  Creatures come to hear of their adventures, and some are inspired to set off on adventures of their own.

This is a silly story of adventures, full of puns and interesting comments on life.  Black and white illustrations on many pages accompany the text.  Recommended for young readers ready to move beyond beginning reader books – or for anyone who enjoys clever wordplay.