Thursday, February 27, 2014

PB 14:14 Day 14: BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS with "Wolf Camp"

We made it to Day 14! And we're still alive! You guys are amazing!

I bought this book for my son for Christmas because he loves wolves. And he's 9 and a half. And yes, he loves it, though I wouldn't call it his favorite. That would likely be Pokemon. This is such a fun little book.

Today's focus is Story Element #10, BEGINNINGS AND ENDINGS. Isn't it fitting that today is the last day of the blog hop and I'm talking about endings? Yes, I did plan it that way. And sorry, but there will be a spoiler, or else how could we learn about beginnings and endings.

All picture books must have good beginnings and endings, but this one is a great example. Actually many of the books I've featured also have great beginning and endings, such as The Monstore, Too Many Turkeys, Shark vs. Train, Cock-a-Doodle Dance!, and Faucet Fish. So if you're struggling with a beginning or an ending, I would advise checking out those other seven books I just listed.

TitleWolf Camp
Author: Katie McKy
Illustrator: Bonnie Leick
Publisher: Tanglewood Publishing, Inc.
Year: 2009
Words: 472

The Beginning
Spread 1:
Maddie showed her mother the flyer.
"Wolf Camp," it said. "Put your child in the wilds."
Maddie was gone for two weeks.
Spread 2:
"It's weird here," Maddie wrote home the first day.
"I like it here," Maddie wrote home the second day.
Maddie didn't write home again.
"Oh, she's busy having fun," said her mother.
The Middle:
It talks about all the ways Maddie changed when she got home, from sniffing her dog back and growling during dinner to chasing squirrels and howling. "Months passed. Maddie sniffed less. She heard less." By spring, Maddie was basically back to being a normal girl again, except for a few things.

The Ending:
Spread 14: (on the back cover of the book, it shows all four letters in full - so cute - and a great way to lure in more buyers from bookstore shelves)
That May, Maddie showed a flyer to her mother.
"Bear Camp," it said. "Perfect for the wild in your child."
"It's weird here," Maddie wrote home the first day.
"I like it here," Maddie wrote home the second day.
Spread 15:
Maddie's mother stocked up on honey and filled the bathtub with fat fish.
"Maybe we'll get lucky and she'll hibernate," her father said.
I like how the ending circles back around and mimics the beginning. It hints at the next story in the character's life. It has repetition. It brings the story to a nice place of closure while still allowing us the chance to imagine more. This is similar in nature to the beginning and ending of Faucet Fish. I just calculated the words. The beginning and ending for this book make up 25% of the total word count. So the words on spreads 3 through 13 equal 75%. So the beginning is about 12.5% and the ending is about 12.5%. Do your stories fare about the same? Do other books you study for beginning and ending fare the same? Would be a good study to look into.

Your challenge for the day is to go back to the beginning of this cosmic PB 14:14 event and read and/or comment on an many blog posts in the hop as possible, all the way through to the end. Tomorrow is the final ending where we'll find out who will win the the two prizes for Week 2 and who will the the COSMIC Grand Prize. May the muse be ever in your favor.

Last linky list for the event. Hop on now. And thanks again, ever so much, for participating in the event, whether you joined the blog hop, or commented as viewer on the sidelines. I appreciate your being here with me to celebrate the learning of craft in picture books by studying the mentor books we so admire. I'll be the first to admit, it was definitely a challenge. And I didn't even write any up ahead of time. I wrote one blog each and every night. That wasn't my original intent, mind you, but I still made it work. See you tomorrow!


  1. No linky tomorrow? Awww :( Thank you for this wonderful event. I have learned so much and enjoyed reading everyone's posts. I have also loved discovering and rediscovering writers and artists and all these wonderful stories.
    Wolf Camp reminds me of Imogene's antlers. I will definitely need to borrow this one from the library.

    1. I know, right? No linky...awww. Hope you can find it at your library. If not, you can always buy it!

    2. Cecilia when you comment on my blog and I click on your name, it links me to Julie Hedlund's blog. Why is that?

  2. Another great post, Christie. Thanks for hosting such an awesome challenge. I really feel I've learned a lot in the last two weeks, and I hope my writing will be the better for it.

    1. You're welcome! I hope all our writing will be the better for it, too! Be sure to visit each month for more lessons on the Top 10.

  3. Christie, this has been an awesome event! I am certain now that I could maintain a weekly blog post, since for the last 14 days I've done it daily! AND the examinations of elements has greatly improved my craft sense...THANKS SO MUCH to you and our other participants.

  4. Christie, I had a blast! And I learned so much by analyzing picture books this way. Before PB 14:14, my book reviews over on Frog on a Blog were based on looking at the stories and art from a picture book fan's point of view. But now, I can also look at and review picture books from a picture book writer's point of view. This will add a whole new depth to my reviews. Thanks!

  5. Thanks for doing this. It helped me analyze these books more effectively. I love it. This was great. Count me in for future ones.

  6. I've enjoyed following along and reading many of the books you talked about. This one sounds spectacular. Thanks for telling me about so many great books.

  7. Hi Christie,
    I've been reading all 14 posts and I must say I learned a lot. I've kept each post for future reference. You did a super job. Thanks so much for the time and energy it took.

  8. You're welcome!!!

    On the 14th of each month, I plan to continue the series. And of course, you can also visit the sidebar, Story Elements, for the direct link to more lessons.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you to everyone!!!

  9. Great post, Christie! I think my son would like this book. Off to read your others now.


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