Fabulous Finishes

I recently watched Maleficent and I loved it BUT…there was a period during the movie where I grew worried, panicked, actually…when I heard, “The princess can be woken from her death sleep, but only by…true love’s kiss. This curse will last till the end of time! No power on Earth can change it!”


I heard, “True Love’s kiss” and all I could think was , Oh no, here we go again. – another Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, and Enchanted movie that ends with the prince saving the princess with (yet another) true love’s kiss. Of course, that’s not how it ends (sorry, if I spoiled that for you). Disney, is smarter than that, creating an unexpected ending that redefines (their) typical true love and I applaud them for it.

As writers, we owe our readers that as well, a magical, unexpected ending….An ending that makes the reader say wow! Whether it’s a heartfelt wow, a giggly wow or a surprising wow – a wow, just the same.


I love when I find a picture book with a fabulous finish, a brilliant ending. I recently read

ate my dog


This book just ate my dog!

by Richard Byrne


Not only is the story fresh and fun but the ending is clever and funny.

When the Bella who is taking a stroll with her dog loses him to the crease in the book, she declares,“This book just ate my dog!” which is hilarious and then she loses friends and help to the book and soon Bella disappears as well. But then a note appears to help the reader get them all out of the book. After a bit of turning, shaking and wiggling (interactive fun) the characters reappear, “…and things got back to normal.”

If the book had ended there it still would have been a great read – clever, fun, fresh and engaging, but it doesn’t end there. It ends well…unexpectedly.


Fabulous Finishes



Just Another Morning

by Linda Ashman



Right away, this book starts out with “I find myself inside a zoo,” letting you know you’re in for some fun. From the moment the boy escapes the ape, then confronts a monster, wrestles a snake and joins the circus, he takes the reader  on a non-stop adventure. In the end, when he’s captured by giants (parents) and given magic sleeping punch he finally takes a nap, only to wake up and once again declare “I find myself inside a zoo…”

I love the juxtaposition of the boy’s action-packed adventure and his peaceful rest and how the ending brings the reader back to the beginning– GREAT LOOP!

Fabulous Finishes


Mustache baby


Mustache Baby

by Bridget Hoes




The story begins with the birth of Baby Billy, sweet lovable Billy, who has a
mustache? Yes, a mustache. Of course, the parents can’t help but wonder if it’s a bad guy mustache, you know the ones that curl up on the ends and scream sinister, or a good guy mustache, the exotic ones that beckon adventure and shout skill
and mastery. Or, both. The story is sprinkled with humor and puns and brimming with darling illustrations.
In the end, after Billy does his time behind bars, it seems like the
neighborhood will live happily ever after until… the neighbor baby comes to play –
the neighbor baby with a beard! Great lead to a bearded baby story (?).

Fabulous Finishes – Happy Easter


Easter Cat

Here Comes the Easter Cat

by Deborah Underwood


(Warning…spoiler alert)

Cat is determined to be the Easter Bunny, until he finds out how much work it will be and how few naps he’ll get to take. So instead, he decides to help the Easter Bunny by giving the hard-working Easter egg hider a lift and a hand. In the end however, even though the cat and the Easter Bunny become friends and the cat no longer wants to be the Easter Cat, it looks like there’s still trouble ahead and no stopping him from becoming the …Christmas Cat!
Great lead to the obvious sequel Here Comes the Christmas Cat or maybe even Santa Cat is Comin’ to Town 😉


Fabulous Finishes


sophieSophie’s Squash – A Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book

by Pat Zietlow Miller

When Sophie decides that the squash she chose at the local famer’s market is “just the right size to hold in her arms. Just the right size to bounce on her knee. Just the right size to love,” it becomes  Sophie’s new friend Bernice. Sophie and Bernice do everything together until one day when Bernice looks blotchy. After the man at the farmer’s market tells Sophie that fresh air, good, clean dirt and a little love will keep a squash healthy, she buries Bernice in the yard. Later that spring when  Sophie spots a sprout where she buried Bernice, she spend times with it. Soon the spout grows two tiny squash, Bonnie and Baxter, who are “just the right size for Sophie to hold in her arms and  bounce on her knee. Just the right size to love.” Great loop back to the beginning!

Happy Thanksgiving – Fabulous Finishes


mouseOne is a Feast for Mouse A Thanksgiving Tale

By Judy Cox

After the cat falls fast asleep and it’s safe to sneak out of his hidey-hole, this little mouse goes out in search of food. When he spots a teensy-tiny, toothsome, green pea he knows “One will be a feast for me.”

However, with eyes bigger than his stomach he doesn’t stop there, stacking a cranberry, an olive, a carrot stick, mashed potatoes, gravy, pumpkin pie with fluffy cream, and finally, the platter of turkey on top of each other, until he finds himself eye to eye with the cat. In a slipping, sliding instant,  mouse skids to a stop, causing the turkey to crash down on the cat. The mouse manages to escape to his hidey-hole, but he no longer has his feast, until, he spies that one teensy-tiny, round and toothsome, green and luscious pea. “Give thanks. One is a feast for me!”

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy your feast. And if you find that your eyes are bigger than your stomach, don’t stack – it usually doesn’t work out so well.

Fabulous Finishes


the trouble with cauliflower

by Jane Sutton

Even though Mortimer tells his friend Sadie that whenever he eats cauliflower he has bad luck the next day, he eats some anyway and of course, has bad luck the next day.  Sadie, trying to rid Mortimer of his superstition, tricks him into eating cauliflower again. This time, however, he has a great day the next day. After she explains to him that the only reason he had a bad day was because he expected to have one, Mortimer believes her and orders pizza with cauliflower on it. But, in the end when Sadie suggests they go get some lemonade, Mortimer tells her he can’t because every time he drinks lemonade it starts to rain. Great loop!

Fabulous Finishes



By Karma Wilson

The story which describes the chaos that ensues at the zoo when the animals go on strike, eventually fixes itself when little Sue visits the zoo and starts to cry.  However, the ending, so clever, goes as follows: “But… The bear at the circus won’t pedal his bike. Uh-oh. He says he’s on strike.” One problem gets resolved but another, similar problem begins. Great lead!

Fabulous Finishes



by Ragnhild Scamell

Just as this little hedgehog finishes building her nest under the old apple tree, an apple falls off and gets stuck on her back. Throughout the story, she seeks the help of others to get the apple off, but instead winds up getting even more things stuck . Not until a hungry goat eats the things from her back is the hedgehog able to fit in her nest. In the end, the wind blows another apple off the tree, but this time the apple doesn’t land on hedgehog because she is safe in her nest.  An apple falling in the beginning and an apple falling again in the end, wraps a nice bow around this story.  Great loop!