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

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  1,732 ratings  ·  298 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
Hardcover, 143 pages
Published October 1st 2004 by Harcourt Children's Books
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3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,732 ratings  ·  298 reviews

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Cheryl Rainfield
Mar 13, 2008 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
Feb 19, 2011 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
Gracelyn Buckner
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-books
5 Stars

To tell you how much I love this book, I'll tell a story. In kindergarten, my school's library had a "lava section" for each grade. This was where, in my case, as a kindergartener, the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grade books were. We weren't allowed to go into the lava section (there was a joke about being "burnt up"). I loved reading, and most of the books in the kindergarten were boring. But, our librarian, Mr. Jones (who was, by the way, the best, he influenced my love of reading a lot), no
Stephanie galvin
Apr 14, 2010 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
A.K. Klemm
Dec 10, 2016 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
Lola Salamah
Mar 15, 2017 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
Nancy Kotkin
A brief story of a snail and an ant that embark on an adventure together. The animals seem to be adults, since the snail owns his own house and lives by himself, and the ant is a philosopher. There is some witty dialogue but it is, unfortunately, not accompanied by any real plot. Child readers will likely be disappointed by the lack of promised adventure (though the ant and snail believe they did have an adventure). I do not find the ending satisfying since the magical explanation seems out of c ...more
May 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
La aventura que experimenta el caracol Carlos junto a su amigo la hormiga Eduardo, esta llena de pequeñas enseñanzas de vida, que pueden ser interpretadas de diferentes formas.
Es un libro que está calificado para niños, sin embargo, creo que es una lectura atractiva para adultos, debido a que te enseña a que si ves las cosas desde otro punto de vista o si adoptas una actitud positiva, puedes cambiar la perspectiva de todo lo que te rodea.

"Perderse es muy fácil; eso pasa a cada momento. Lo más di
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-youth
So fun & funny!
It really reminded us of A.A. Milne. Quite delightful.
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile, humor
These little, delightful tales, following two friends (a snail and an ant) in their travels along the branches of a tree, are full of wit, wisdom, and nonsense, reminiscent of Winnie the Pooh, The Little Prince, Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland, and Arnold Lobel’s Owl At Home and Frog and Toad series. The world hasn’t seen such a pair of traveling friends since Boswell and Dr. Johnson!
Apr 01, 2012 rated it liked it


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
Jun 21, 2011 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
Marilyn B
Mar 22, 2018 rated it liked it
I felt sorry for this book, having had it as part of various book displays in my school library for a number of months so I took it home and tried to read this with my kids (ages 9 and 11) but neither one of them really enjoyed it much so I finished it on my own. It’s a cute little tale about cute little animals and not a lot happens but it’s all rather sweet. It really appeals to the parent over the child I think so it’s a fail for kids and a (moderate) win for adults which is landing this squa ...more
Puppy Lover77
Jul 29, 2013 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 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 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.
Jan 22, 2015 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!
Pamela Hatch
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 s
Mar 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I read this from beginning to end only because of curiosity. It was very short which is good because the writing grated on my nerves. I gave it 3 stars because it did make me think. You can have a grand adventure without leaving your neighborhood. It is all in perspective. I suppose I can’t expect a snail or an ant to have great intellect, even a literate one. Come to think of it I am not even sure how to put into words why this story bothered me so much. I almost stopped reading a few times but ...more
Mar 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Voy a tratar de escribir esa crítica en español, porque yo leí el libro en español. Me gustaba las aventuras de Carlos y Eduardo. Mi esposo dijo que no gustaba a Eduardo, pero (¿quizás porque yo conozco personas así? ;) ) creo que su inteligencia y experiencia "mejor" era un parte muy importante del viaje para Carlos. Me encanta que Avi, el autor, se usa palabras inesperadas y más difíciles; él tiene una alta opinión de el lector, y desafortunadamente esto a veces es raro para libros de niños. M ...more
Jun 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who aren't jaded yet
This is a darling tale.

I've recently been rediscovering the delight that is childrens' novels and I'm glad my mom suggested this one to reread after so many years. It is a quick read, and I read it cover to cover in an hour of so.

It is impossible not to smile as you follow the adventures of Avon and Edward in their whimsical and innocent world.

This is a sweet, funny story that is altogether cute and I would recommend it for anyone who still has a sense of humor.

Also I can't believe Avi is 80 yea
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! A quick read aimed at the 6-10 year old crowd, but totally enjoyable for whimsical adults. The wisdom of this ant and snail remind me of some of my own relationships and I smiled over and over again as their adventures unfolded. I will be using this as the first read aloud for my class this year. I have a couple of kids that I think will find it hilarious in a smart sort of way.
Candance Doerr-Stevens
Dec 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read2018
This was a sweet, playful read. I read it aloud to Eli over the past two nights. We laughed as we read Edward the ant’s presumptuous explanations of everything related to adventures and the differences between here and there. In addition to silly word play, I was charmed by the budding friendship between Avon and Edward. This would be warm gift book for a new friend.
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Read the book thinking it would be a cute children's story. Instead was just a very simple story that did not go anywhere very fast. Just a simple tale of an ant and snail that go for an "adventure" but just aimlessly walking having pointless conversations with one another. I was kind of bored with this book, not sure what the appeal is.
Kay Mcaloney
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a fun small chapter book about Avon the snail and Edward the ant going on a great adventure. They meet lots of interesting characters on the way. Edward is quite knowledgeable about many things. My second grade readers loved it. I also used it for tutoring a fourth grader.
Jan 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Snail and Ant embark on a journey to find adventure. Each has a perspective on what is at the end of the branch. I really liked this book because of its simplicity.
Nov 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A snail named Avon and his misadventures with a friend ant called Edward. Their imagination is wide and their travel slow. They convince themselves of all sort of random things but all with a good heart.
Jo Dunn
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this short - and very insightful - book. It was a freebie that I'd waited way too long to read. I'm very glad I came across it - patiently waiting in my "to be read" queue. Highly recommended.
p roper
Nov 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Cute, cute, book! My oldest son read this years ago and loved it. Now my youngest is reading it and I thought I should check it out, too. The conversations between Avon and Edward are just fun (and often funny).
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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.
“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
More quotes…