Lately, I have been studying the ends of picture books. I have been trying to figure out what makes a perfect ending. It has been fun to analyze each book. I have come to find so many endings that I love and admire. And it is amazing to me that an ending can really make or break a book. The ending is the author’s last chance to make an impression on the reader. No author wants the reader to feel dissatisfied at the end of a book. In fact, an author wants the complete opposite. He or she wants the reader to feel completely satisfied when they turn the last page.
This rings true with me, because of an experience I had with my son a few years ago. We had gotten a book at the library that we were both really excited to read. We brought the book home, and started reading it right away. But when we got to the end of the book, the last page was missing. And of course, that was the page with the final punch line. Without this page, my son and I had no idea how the story ended. We felt dissatisfied and frustrated. It really bothered us to not know what happened. Later, we were able to get a hold of another book which contained the last page. Reading the end of the story, made such a difference in our feelings about the book.
This experience made me realize how important a good ending is. Without it, a book is just a book. But with it, a book becomes magic. And I, for one, want all of my stories to be magical.