First introduced in the 2004 book The End of the Beginning: Being the Adventures of a Small Snail (and an Even Smaller Ant), Avon the Snail and Edward the Ant return, this time on a quest to write writing. Avon has decided to become an author, and Edward, with more ideas than practical ways to contribute, is determined to assist. The plot is minimal, and exists only as a field on which Avi engages in every manner of wordplay, crafting an early chapter book that sits squarely between Peggy Parish’s Amelia Bedelia stories and Abbot and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine. The small trim size, large typeface, and Tusa’s sweet pencil sketches suggest an audience even younger than the target readership, though some of them won’t catch all the puns. But it’s easy to imagine the right child sitting at the dinner table or in the back seat of the car, or traipsing through the grocery store, exhausting the patience of assembled, captive family with a word-for-word account of Avon and Edward’s hilarious exploits. Grades 1-3. --Thom Barthelmess
Kirkus Reviews Invertebrate and inadvertent punsters Avon the snail and Edward the ant explore new territory: storytelling. While Avon sets his cap at writing about-instead of undertaking-an adventure, Edward provides him with encouragement and advice. What makes a good story? How do you write one? Avon grapples with these large and challenging questions in 17 dialogue-filled short chapters, jam-packed with double meanings and plays on words and ideas. There's not much plot here for readers who require action and activity, but Avi's protagonists continue to radiate plenty of unprepossessing charm and kindness toward each other and the world around. Tusa's simple line drawings capture a snail's-eye view of the world of tree, leaf and bird, and bestow a droll sincerity on the faces of Avon and Edward. (Fiction. 8-12) (Kirkus Reviews
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