We love this clever book: The End by David La Rochelle; illustrated by Richard Egielski (Arthur A. Levine, 2007). And we're not the only ones: it received four starred reviews. The droll and deadpan text (hand-lettered by Georgia Deaver) begins with "And they all lived happily ever after" and proceeds backwards until it arrives at "Once upon a time...", encountering knights, princesses, dragons, bunny rabbits, giants, and enormous tomatoes along the way. Egielski's illustrations, done in sepia ink and watercolor, are brilliant, matching the offbeat fairy tale feel of the text, enriching and extending the story (look for the elf on the flying blue pig). The book design by Elizabeth B. Parisi is also exceptional: even the copyright information and title page are relocated to the back of the book. We've read this thing forward and backward multiple times, and it still feels fresh. The perfect read for the the end of one year--or is it the beginning of the next? Happy new year!
[See David LaRochelle's website for a terrific teaching guide, too.]