From Sendak to Barbie

It's now the third week of August, and the Ferris wheel has slowly started its descent. With Natalie Babbitt's classic first line from Tuck Everlasting in my head -- and fresh off the Barbie movie, with its pitch-perfect last line (no spoilers) -- I've been thinking about memorable last lines in children's books. They can feel fresh and surprising yet natural and inevitable. Maurice Sendak's "and it was still hot" (Where the Wild Things Are) and E. B. White's "Charlotte was both" (Charlotte's Web) quickly spring to mind. What about you? 

More on the late "eternal Friend of the Horn Book Natalie Babbitt" here; on Maurice Sendak here; and on E. B. White here. Also re-read Richard Peck's article "In the Beginning: What Makes a Good Beginning?" From the September/October 2006 Horn Book Magazine.

Elissa Gershowitz

Elissa Gershowitz is editor in chief of The Horn Book, Inc. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons University and a BA from Oberlin College.

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