During the month of March and ReFoReMo (Research for Reading Month) I gathered hundreds of picture books to pour over in search of the perfect plot, the resounding rhyme, and the “ratatatat” of the repetition that I needed in my own text.
An unexpected joy of having those hundreds of picture books lying around my house is that they all have such BEAUTIFUL artwork! (I could wallpaper rooms with those wonderful illustrations!)
Of course, I have my favorites,but instead of pulling for purely aesthetic reasons, I thought I’d post those that stand out because of their ability to go above and BEYOND the pages. I’m talking about the picture books with fabulously adorned, intentional and purposeful END PAGES!
Here are a few of the highlights I stumbled upon this past March as I read from cover-to-cover:
End pages can be filled with repetitive images--character, symbols, words--added for emphasis or to build on theme.
FARM written and illustrated by Elisha Cooper
IN MY HEART written by Jo Witek and illustrated by Christine Roussey
DANGEROUS written and illustrated by Tim Warnes
ROCKET WRITES A STORY written and illustrated by Tad Hills
HOW THE LIBRARY (NOT THE PRINCE) SAVED RAPUNZEL written by Wendy Meddour Illustrated by Rebecca Ashdown
Front and end matter can add more details and information in a nonfiction picture book:
Maps help the reader orient around the setting of a story:
A WALK IN LONDON written and illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino
THE THREE LITTLE ALIENS AND THE BIG BAD ROBOT written by Margaret McNamara Illustrated by Mark Fearing
HAVE YOU SEEN MY DRAGON? written and illustrated by Steve Light
THE WALL written and illustrated by Peter Sis
And the end pages can be used to advance the plot or give background information not provided in the text alone.
CLINK written by Kelly DiPucchio and Illustrated by Matthew Myers
AGAIN! written and illustrated by Emily Gravett
HIAWATHA written by Henry Wadworth Longfellow and illustrated by Susan Jeffers
(This is by far, one of my favorites. Notice the back story of the death of Hiawatha's mother...)
As a junior high teacher, I’ve noticed many middle grade and young adult books have adopted this trend. THIRTEEN REASONS WHY, written by Jay Asher, uses the end pages to include the all-important map that takes our main character on a journey of discovery.
I have a wonderful idea for the end pages of my WIP. (I hope my future illustrator has the same idea!) Once you start noticing the important role these illustrations play in the story-telling, it's hard to look at a book without them. Use them in lessons, discuss them with your readers, and flip back to them when you need that extra direction. Whatever you do, don't skip them!
I’d love to hear what books that you’ve discovered that have interesting/important end pages. Please share them in the comments section of this post!