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

3.82 of 5 stars 3.82  ·  rating details  ·  948 ratings  ·  196 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...more
Hardcover, 144 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Cheryl Rainfield
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...more
Stephanie galvin
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 4 of 5 stars 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
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
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
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.
Puppy Lover77
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!
Mar 17, 2008 Katie rated it 3 of 5 stars 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.
Erica Frazier
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...more
Silvia Cachia
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...more
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...more
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...more
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...more


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Daisy Gaona
I really love this book I read this book like 10 times. It's just a really funny story. The snail is reading a book and he wants to follow the stuff that the book did and then he sees the marching ant. That's all I remember I read this book about 3 years ago.
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...more
Jul 05, 2008 Relyn rated it 1 of 5 stars 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.
Adorable. Great read aloud that would work for a variety of ages. My 6yo and I enjoyed it.
Alexandra Smith
This book was super cute! My little sister gave this to me and while the overall language was clearly too elementary for me, I enjoyed it anyway because it was entertaining and the message it had was heartwarming. I loved the pictures too!
With quirky humor reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Avi brings to life the endearing adventures of a snail and an ant.

"'There, there,' said Edward, realizing he had hurt Avon's feelings. 'Getting yourself lost is easy. Happens all the time. It's finding yourself that's hard. So, I suggest we stop at the first door we come to and ask for suggestions.'
'You mean directions, don't you?'
'It's hard enough being lost,' explained Edward, 'but worse still if you don't know...more
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...more
Jun 02, 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...more
The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant is the topsy-turvy, tongue-twistiest, silliest story of two adventurers: Avon the snail and Edward the ant. They long for adventures, so off they go with no particular place in mind, yet they meet a caterpillar who transforms into something new (a butterfly), a dragon, and even a imaginary grasshoppers. When at long last they arrive home, Edward's house has been transformed into a castle (of sorts).

Used for...more
Lisa Houlihan
May 07, 2013 Lisa Houlihan added it
Shelves: picture, male
I haven't liked many of Avi's books, including his Newbery-winner Crispin, but this is an exception. I spotted it on the shelf when I succumbed to Sounder, one of two or three Medalists I haven't read (because there's canine mortality, isn't there?). Armstrong is near Avi, and I glanced again at Avi because I saw that Crispin has a sequel.

It's a story more for adults than children, more so even than Harold and the Purple Crayon. Its illustrations are charming and so are the microministories, wor...more
Brambly Hedge
Charming and witty story accompanied with wispy, adorable pencil sketches. The entertaining, sweet story of friends Avon and Edward is full fun word play and puns that add to understanding the characters and the story without distracting. A book to fall in love with!
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Recommended to me as a fourth grade read aloud, this delightful book presents a sweet and deceptably simple story of friendship and adventure. Broken into short chapters (which makes it easy to read aloud), the story describes the travels of Avon the snail and Edward the ant as they travel the length of the tree branch on which they live. Filled with humor, dialogue and some very deep questions couched in simple terms, this should be a great book to generate discussion. I look forward to trying...more
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...more
This is a short novel by Avi. It is not connected to any of his other books that I know of and it is a simpler read than many of his other books. I think it would make a marvelous read a loud because each chapter is its own self-contained adventure.

Avon is a snail who is sad because he has not had any adventures like the ones in his book. He decides to go on an adventure and gains a companion, Edward, the ant. The two of the have many adventures as they travel down their branch.
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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 very much desired by readers young and old.
More about Avi...
The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Crispin: The Cross of Lead (Crispin #1) Nothing But the Truth Poppy (Tales of Dimwood Forest, #1) The Seer of Shadows

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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.” 21 likes
“It seems to me that you won't have had a proper series of adventures, unless you've gone through thick and thin.” 14 likes
More quotes…