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Reviewed by Lois J Wickstrom for Readers' Favorite
The End by John Bray, illustrated by Josh Cleland, is a concept book with attitude. John Bray sees life as a series of beginnings, middles, and endings. When something ends, something else begins, and after the beginning, but before the end, there’s the middle. Sometimes middles are short. Sometimes middles are long. Sometimes they are fun. Sometimes they get boring. Endings can come because you are bored, or because you finished your sandwich, or found your socks, or rain fell and ended your sunny day adventure. The book paradoxically opens at the end of school, when summer begins, and ends when school opens again, and fall starts. By the end of this book, the reader will begin to recognize the beginnings and endings of daily activities.
Seeing life as a series of stories, which all begin, have a middle, and then the end is a positive life view. It’s okay to end something because you get bored, because you run out of supplies, or because you accomplished your plan. It’s okay to start something new just because you want to or because it needs to be done. It’s okay to end things, too. This book opens with the words The End and ends with The Beginning. The story shows examples of endings many times before the last page and declares the last page to be your opportunity for a new beginning. Of what? That’s up to you. The End by John Bray teaches by example with a gentle sense of humor. Recommended for young children and their parents.