Friday, November 6, 2015

One Day ... The End

One Day, The End ~ Short, Very Short, Shorter-than-Ever Stories
by Rebecca Kai Dotlich; illus by Fred Koehler
32 pages; ages 4-8
Boyds Mills Press, 2015

theme: imagination, adventure

opening: For every story there is a beginning and an end, but what happens in between makes all the difference.

Remember when you were a kid and you told silly stories like: One day I went for a walk. The End? Here is a book full of such stories... but with a difference: the stuff that goes in between One Day and The End is shown in illustrations.

For example, the first story starts: "One day... I went to school. I came home. The end." Less than a dozen words (go ahead and count 'em; I'll wait.). The artwork tells a much fuller tale: following a cat, racing to get to class before the bell rings, a lab experiment gone awry, an ice cream truck....

What I like LOVE about this book: It leaves so much room for storytelling and imagination, but provides a visual framework for that imagination to run wild. I like that it has the main character in each story doing things, and that there are other "characters": dog, cat, teachers, other kids, parents. I especially like the last story: "One day... I wanted to WRITE a BOOK. So I did. The End."

Beyond the Book: Really? You have to ask?

Write your own story. Get a huge piece of paper. At the top (or at one end) write "One Day". At the bottom (or at the other end) write "The End". Now fill in the middle with words or pictures. It's your story - you can tell it any way you want to.

Draw your own illustrations for the stories. Starting with "One day I went to school. I came home" - what sort of things would you draw to show this story? And do you have to stick to the truth or can you imagine silly things like Dr. Seuss did in his classic, And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street?

Tell silly short, shorter-than-ever stories around the dinner table. Or around a campfire, or sitting on the sofa or before bedtime. That's how the author, Rebecca Dotlich got started. She was babysitting her young grandson and after a long and busy day he asked her to tell him a story. She was tired, so she said, "One day, I lost my dog. I found him. The end." That made him laugh and laugh - and ask for more.

Today is PPBF (perfect picture book Friday), an event in which bloggers share great picture books at Susanna Leonard Hill's site. She keeps an ever-growing list of Perfect Picture BooksReview copy from the publisher.


  1. Love the idea behind this story. It really encourage imagination and self-confidence because there is so much freedom! I love your activities.

  2. Is this not just so clever. Plus I love the author and illustrator's work.

  3. I have not seen this one! It has made me smile already. On the hunt.

  4. What a perfect book to spark story writing! I'll have to look for it!