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Children's Literature"I lived by myself at the End of the World." The white space around the opening line is striking, almost startling, especially when paired with Kevin Hawkes's extraordinary image verso, where each new look reveals another detail in the cliff. Turn the page and for awhile living at the End of the World seems like a good life--at least until the intrusion of a meddling adult. If you are guessing that Mr. Shimmer (Professional Visionary), who speaks in a voice "like wool from dream-sheep," is up to no good, you are right on the money. The allure of development is the weighty theme of this delicately balanced fable in handsomely sized picture book format. As the story winds to a frenzied pace, the young protagonist begins to arrive at an understanding of what really matters and what is really going on. In the end he makes a choice that seems so simple, so final, as to suggest it is the only possible choice. The turn of the story takes us back, in a clever reversal of that opening page layout, to the starkness of land against sky and a tiny sliver of text against a glorious expanse of white space. Yet it leaves us, too, with the sense that the resolution to come, necessary as it is, is only a temporary one. The story seems to demand continuation off the page and into life. Raising more questions than it answers, this is a book to read and reread and one that ought to spark some necessary conversations. 2005, Candlewick, Ages 7 to 10.