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Children’s Lit Commish: All Books Must End in Sleep

The following is a work of fiction.

In a shocking move, the International Children’s Literature Commissioner has announced that all picture books must end in sleep.

Appearing weary and sleep-deprived before the assembled children’s literature press this morning, the commissioner’s voice rarely rose above a whisper.

“Currently, a full 71% of picture books end with characters falling asleep. I believe we can do better. Like many people, I need more sleep. If children’s books can put kids, and thus, adults to sleep faster, we would all benefit.”

When asked how this mandate would work for stories where falling asleep at the end makes no sense, the commissioner gave his first smile of the press conference.

“I’m glad you asked. We have devised a two-pronged approach. Prong one is encouraging all authors to write about Rip Van Winkle drinking glasses of warm milk. As for prong two, my staff and I have prepared some story templates that authors can use to help them wrap up their books properly.”

Option 1:

Whew, (circle one) Hunter/Stephanie/dog/cat/farm animal, that was a close one. It’s time for me to head home and get a good 8-10 hours of sleep or more.

The End.

Option 2:

But wait!!! The bad guys put a spell on the good guys and they fell asleep.

The End.

The commissioner’s staff also created a story ending template for books that use rhyming verse.

Rhyming Option:

It made a lot of sense, it would make him/her/it happy
If he/she/it laid down to take a little na-ppy.

The commissioner concluded by noting that if authors fail to end their book with at least one character falling asleep, one of these three options will be hastily stapled on as the last page.

Click the links below to read previous Children’s Lit Commish posts:

Children’s Lit Commish: Eric Carle, Tomie dePaola, and Barry Moser Actually the Same Person

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘Caldecott to be Selected by Supercomputer

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘Hunger Games Details Wanted’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘All Picture Books to be 80s Film Adaptations’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘Don’t Look at Me’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Fancy Covers’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘All Books Will Actually Just Be Videos By 2012?

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No Blogging Allowed at Blog Conference’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Non-Famous Authors’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Adaptations’

Children’s Lit Commish: ‘No More Non-Series Books’

About Travis Jonker

Travis Jonker is an elementary school librarian in Michigan. He writes reviews (and the occasional article or two) for School Library Journal and is a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. You can email Travis at scopenotes@gmail.com, or follow him on Twitter: @100scopenotes.


  1. I love it! When our kids were small, my husband stoutly maintained that a good picture book was one that ended with the main character falling asleep. I’m sure with a little one in your house, this is near to your heart!