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The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant)

3.85  ·  Rating Details ·  1,479 Ratings  ·  265 Reviews
Avon the snail has never had an adventure. And adventure, he has heard, is the key to a happy life. So with his new friend Edward the ant, Avon sets out on a journey to find the excitement his life has been missing.

The travelers meet all manner of wise, weird, and intriguing creatures--including a dragon!--and it's not long before their adventures begin.

In the tradition of
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Harcourt Children's Books
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(showing 1-30)
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Cheryl Rainfield
Mar 13, 2008 Cheryl Rainfield rated it really liked it
I love humor when it tickles my funny bone. The End of the Beginning really appealed to me, and I think it will appeal both to young children for the incredible silliness and young child’s sense of humor, as well as to adults for the bits of deep wisdom and truisms that are woven throughout the story.

Avon, a snail who loves to read, gets really sad because he’s never had an adventure like all the characters he’s read about in books. So he decides to find himself an adventure, and he, along with
SUMMARY: Avon the snail has never had an adventure. And adventure, he has heard, is the key to a happy life. So with his new friend, Edward the ant, Avon sets out on a journey to find the excitement his life has been missing. COMMENTS: A modern day fable for all ages featuring a road trip adventure of a snail and his new found ant friend. The humor in the story is fresh and unique and makes the story very enjoyable. Edward the ant has a unique way of seeing things, for example, when Avon the sna ...more
Stephanie galvin
Apr 14, 2010 Stephanie galvin rated it really liked it
The End of the Beginning by Avi is about a snail named Avon who is looking to have some adventures in his life like the ones he reads about in his books. When attempting to start his adventures, Avon meets Edward the ant. Together, Avon and Edward set off on there travels. Along the way, Edward and Avon run into several other creaters; a worm being one of them. When the two friends stumble apon a worm who has forgotten which end was his beginning and which was his end, Edward helps the worm by ...more
Feb 19, 2011 Lydia rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: younger children, aspiring artists and story writers
When I first saw this book, I was sure that it would be below my reading level. And, sure enough, it was by a mile, but I still loved it! Maybe I'll look back on this in a few years and think, "I dunno, I think it's kinda boring now," but I loved the earnest personalities in both the characters! To give a quick brief on the story plot, Avon the Small Snail meets Edward the Tiny Ant, and they go looking for adventures. Yup. Simplest story plot ever, but I have fallen in love with the characters, ...more
Jun 21, 2011 Alisa rated it really liked it
I loved this little story. It made me smile. Half-way through I stopped reading it, gathered my children around me and started over from the beginning. The humor found in the story really appealed to my third-grader. She chuckled right along side of me. (My kindergartner didn't quite "get it".) But, still, the story has something for all readers. Silliness that young children can appreciate and wise lessons adults can learn from. I recommend this book for all. (It can be read in one to two sitti ...more
Jan 22, 2015 Nicole rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very witty and enjoyable adventure from here to there, with many laughs along the way!
Lola Salamah
Mar 15, 2017 Lola Salamah rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All ages
Shelves: elm-572
This science fiction book by Avi is incredibly entertaining and very witty. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and will re-read it again with my 11 year old daughter as she enjoys the same type of books as I do. This book is about a snail who decides he wants to have an adventure that he is always reading about. Side-note: I love that the book started off with a snail who loves to read! This only captures any avid readers' attention even more from the very start! The snail, named Avon, meets ...more


A Beginning, a Muddle, and an End by Avi The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne Dominic by William Steig Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
A.K. Klemm
Dec 10, 2016 A.K. Klemm rated it it was amazing
So I have to admit... not all the children's books I read and review involve reading to my child. There, I said it! The older I get the more inclined I am to sit down with a good children's book and devour it in one sitting, feeling refreshed, enthused, and not so old. The End of the Beginning is one such book. I read it over my lunch at work today and I have not felt so fulfilled by an hour of my time in quite a while. I'm looking forward to discovering the sequel in the stacks one day... read ...more
Puppy Lover77
Jul 29, 2013 Puppy Lover77 rated it really liked it
This book was really cute! It's a good book to read,if you want a funny fiction book. Avon and Edward set off for an adventure and explore the outside world. Along the way they meet tons of creatures. I hope you like
the book if you read it!
Jul 27, 2011 Abby added it
Although I am partial to this tradition in kid lit and to Avi, I have to give this an overall thumbs down. It's play with language was a little forced, and if it had a profound message to deliver, it was not adequately propped up by interesting events. Better luck next time, Avi.
I finally bought this book and sat down to read some of it to my younger siblings while we had a few minutes and we ended up reading the whole thing in one sitting. They loved it and I loved it again!!! :D
Mar 17, 2008 Katie rated it liked it
Recommends it for: all readers
Recommended to Katie by: David Rowell
It really made you think if you were a ant or a snail and how hard it would be to travel. I LOVED IT EVEN YOU KNOW I READ IT A LONG TIME AGO! I stil remember.
Dec 15, 2016 Catherine rated it liked it
This book had an Oscar Wilde feel to it.
Charlie Ruth
Dec 30, 2016 Charlie Ruth rated it liked it
Slow paced the ending had a good message.
Ben Kitchel
Mar 20, 2017 Ben Kitchel rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mary Little
Nov 04, 2016 Mary Little rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Young readers that are ready for a chapter book
Brief Review
This fictional book follows Avon the snail. Avon loves to read about adventures in books. When he realizes that he has never had an adventure of his own, he sets off on a journey with his friend, Edward the ant. I had the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with the author, AVI. He said Avon's character was inspired by an author friend of his who wrote very slowly.

Content Areas
This book is a good choice for young readers that are ready for chapter books. I wou
Erica Frazier
Jan 24, 2013 Erica Frazier rated it really liked it
The world is a big and confusing place. In this book, a snail and an ant become friends and try to make sense of life by going on an adventure. The two friends often talk in circles while often making false assumptions about their experiences. The illustrations are cute and the surprising outcomes in each chapter will delight children as they discover common cliches that we adults take for granted. The author has a way of writing what he wants to say in a backwards and surprising way.

My 8 year
Silvia Cachia
Apr 23, 2011 Silvia Cachia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We found this book at the library in Spanish, and since we don't have much Spanish selection, I took a chance with it.

I did not ask for narrations from this, it was a book just to listen to, but after many chapters we talked a bit about what happened, and I realized it was difficult sometimes, because this is no book that lets lots of things out to hear and see, but a book that invites to introspection without arabesques but still preserving a story line that engages children.

I've been pleasantl
KidsFiction Teton County Library
J Avi

This quick read, touted as a "modern fable for our time" is really about the importance of adventure, whether that means trying something new, meeting new friends, or looking at things from a different perspective - it's all about adventure!

In this adorable book, readers meet Avon, a rather small snail, and Edward, an "even smaller ant," who become friends and set out together for a journey, although neither really knows how to have an Adventure. Join them as they learn new things in the sp
Oct 21, 2013 Megdep rated it it was amazing
This book has a fairly simple plot: Avon the Snail and his friend Edward the Ant go on an adventure (Avon is feeling restless and has never had an adventure) to the end of a twig. Along the way, they encounter a dragon (really a mouse) race another snail, and teach a cricket a song.

But a simple plot is all that is necessary: the conversations these two have are priceless. They talk around and around, get confused, clarify for each other, and they make a reader laugh out loud! This reminded me of
Jackie Pino
Avon the snail wants adventure. As he sets out for it, he meets Edward the ant and together they head out. Along the way the meet a friendly salamander, mouse, and cricket that help liven up their trip. When they finally reach the end of the branch, the pair realizes that it is only the start of the beginning of their adventure, and they turn around to head up the branch.
Avon and Edward become endearing characters throughout this book. Young children will be yelling at Avon, trying to help him m
Jan 24, 2012 Kelsie rated it liked it
3.5 stars. A short and simple story of Avon the snail and Edward the ant who head off to find adventure together. My five year olds didn't understand all of the story's humor but they still liked it as a fun and silly story. Edward was always full of advice for Avon--sometimes funny, sometimes thoughtful, sometimes both. I liked this little conversation:

"Don't look at the world with your eyes but with your heart."

"But Edward," said Avon, suddenly alarmed, "I don't have eyes on my heart."

"I was s
Sep 15, 2014 Jeanna rated it liked it
Shelves: children-books
There were some very delightful parts (like the part where they convince a mouse that he is a dragon in disguise--because that's what dragons do, disguise themselves as harmless things like mice). There was also some word humor that was kinda fun and cute. But overall I felt like it just didn't work the way that some children's stories do. At least not for us. The word humor, I think, was a bit above what the kiddos got, and too much of the fun of the book focused on that--so it wasn't as enjoya ...more
Jan 13, 2017 Tracie rated it really liked it
Shelves: children-s, lukereads
If you like AA Milne, you will love this sweet story that could easily feature a "bear of very little brain" and his rather small and fearful Piglet pal. Instead, Avi gives us Avon (the snail) and Edward (the ant) who go on an expotition...oops, I mean adventure.

Nuggets include:
"Madam, believe me, the next time we don't where we are, we shall come right here."

When discussing an inspiring song, Edward says, "one of the better things about it is the fact that it can be sung from either end. I sing
Jul 05, 2008 Relyn rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: ick - nobody
YUCK! What was Avi thinking? This book from the man who wrote True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle? It read like a discourse from a failed court jester. The book was constantly striving to be wise and funny, but ending up being lame dumb. The only good thing I can say for The End of the Beginning is that the line drawings were nice and the size of the book and weight of the paper also felt nice. I think Avi was jealous of Tale of Desperoux and tried to write his own version. He failed.
Feb 01, 2013 Shannon rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile
I like the friendship and fun/witty conversations between the snail and the ant. Tricia Tusa's sweet pencil sketches are perfect for the book. The one thing I think kids might struggle with is the confusion over the characters talking about directions.

pg. 45 "believe me, the next time we don't know where we are, we shall come right here."

pg. 72 "Now do you know where you are?" "Well, I have narrowed it down to two places." "Where?" "Here or there." "Good, you've got to start somewhere."

Grade 2-4
Jan 19, 2017 Megan rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my absolute favorites. It is a cute tale of friendship with a lesson to be learned. In the book we meet Avon the Snail, who wants to go on an adventure but has no one to say goodbye to. Then, Edward the Ant shows up and occupies Avon on his journey. They have a few arguments on the way, like whether it is the end of the branch or the beginning of the sky, but these disagreements make their newly found friendship even stronger. Any age is guaranteed to love this book. If your ...more
Feb 07, 2013 Erin marked it as to-read
Avon the snail is accompanied by Edward the (know-it-all) ant on a great adventure. We watch this quest unfold from their naive and slightly philosophical perspective.

A sweet, silly little tale for bedtime read-aloud. The chapters are short, and each small adventure held the attention of both my 9 and 6-year-old sons. They both appreciated the humor and asked me to read certain sections over again. Upon reading other reviews, I can see that this book may not be for everyone, but when approached
May 24, 2013 Jess rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: kids, teens, adults
Stars: 5
Did I like it? Yes
Six word summary: Avon and Edward have an adventure.
Rating: G for fluffy awesomeness
Complaints: It's over awfully quickly... I read it in like 20 minutes.
Praises: It's soooo cute, and about absolutely nothing and everything at the same time.
Summary: There really isn't much to say... Avon the snail and Edward the ant go on an adventure and meet some interesting animals, giving them advice along the way.
Ten words for the author: THIS BOO
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Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and the Crispin series. His work is popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...

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“It all depends on you. If you want it to be different,it will be different. Don't look at the world with your eyes but with your heart.” 29 likes
“It seems to me that you won't have had a proper series of adventures, unless you've gone through thick and thin.” 16 likes
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