Review of Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy Tale Endings!

Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy Tale Endings! Endlessly Ever After: Pick Your Path to Countless Fairy Tale Endings!
by Laurel Snyder; illus. by Dan Santat
Primary, Intermediate    Chronicle    88 pp.    g
4/22    978-1-4521-4482-5    $18.99
e-book ed.  978-1-7972-0121-4    $11.99

Though oversize, this eighty-eight-page picture book is not for story hour; it’s perhaps best suited for just one or two listeners. And get comfortable; kids will insist on multiple readings because, while the story begins the same way each time (Rosie must take a cake to her sick grandma), the choose-your-own-path format results in multiple endings (and middles). After introducing Rosie, the text asks, “What next, Rosie? Which coat will you wear?” Readers choose either her faux fur coat or her favorite red cape and are sent to a specific page number depending on their choice. Those pages tell more of the story and offer further choices (kiss your scary-looking granny or run for the door; jump out a window with your eyes open or closed). The numerous possible endings are split fairly evenly between happy and not-so-happy ones. In the latter, Rosie usually finds herself dead—not as morbid as it sounds because, if readers choose (and they will), Rosie can start her story over and hope for a better outcome. The humorously grim text is well matched with amusing illustrations that keep even the darker story elements lighthearted, as readers meet (or not) such characters as Snow White, a wicked queen, Jack, and Sleeping Beauty. Santat’s Rosie is small but sturdy and never terribly perturbed, even when she finds herself swallowed by the wolf (“You’ve got no choice. You sit and wait. It’s dark, and what a bore! / You’re not quite sure if this is death. You’ve never died before!”). Both text and art are endlessly clever.

From the May/June 2022 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Jennifer M. Brabander

Jennifer M. Brabander is former senior editor of The Horn Book Magazine. She holds an MA from the Center for the Study of Children’s Literature from Simmons University.

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