Lavishly illustrated with over 240 vintage and contemporary endpapers, The Art of The End provides a graphically stunning look at imagery intended to tell a story, set a tone, evoke playfulness, or even hypnotize a reader through geometric patterning. Whether created for adults or children, book endpapers are universally appreciated for their poetry, simple beauty and visual drama they evoke when fully unfolded. Examples like these will be reproduced and outlined in the book.

By far the most common aesthetic technique employed by endpaper designers is the repeat pattern. By creating a visual element that can be "wallpapered", the repeated image maintains an almost hypnotic effect on the reader. These Art Deco-inspired patterns from the 1940s invite the reader to study them at coser range to more fully and better appreciate their reproduction quality, colors, and even the texture of the paper on which they are printed.

Illustrators, especially those working in picture books, have always reveled in the uncommon opportunity afforded them to create front and back endpapers for their books -- particularly since the large print area allows them to visually stretch their wings. In this 1953 craft-oriented 'McCall's Giant Golden Make-It Book' for kids, illustrator John Peter creates simple, iconic elements and hand-lettered type to playfully suggest the how-to activities found within the book itself.

While not as common in contemporarily published books, endpapers were once prevalent in almost every type of book, no matter how parochial. In this 1938 step-by-step knitting book, the designer creates an almost ethereal and dreamlike motif suggestive of the night sky - complete with stars and balls of yarn that seem to eclipse full moons.

The endpapers for Bob Staake's picture books are almost always repeat designs of some sort, whether geometric or randomized. "I almost always take a decorative approach on my endpapers", says Staake, "but the more books I do, the more I like to challenge myself to dothings in new and unexpected ways. I can see doing endpapers for a book in which I simply create a lavish scene that a kid can lose themselves in - rather than simply creating a playful wallpapered image. In 'The DonutChef' (2008 - Random House), Staake created balancing chefs comprised of donut bodies. In the front ed papers they are against a orange background, in the back they're against green. "I liked both colors", said Staake, "and couldn't decide on one -- so I thought I might as well use both."

Founded in New York City in 1905, the Dutch Treat Club was a male-only social club comprised of writers, illustrators, cartoonists, and other creatives. Their regular Tuesday stag lunches were, from all accounts, raucous affairs. Since 1920, the group published an annual yearbook "known for its risque drawings, illustrations, cartoons and photographs of nude or semi-nude women" -- and the yearbook's spectacular, photo-based endpapers unabashedly exploited the same fleshy subject matter.

By using a limited color palette of black, white and teal, the endpapers for the UK-edition of 'Doctor Doolittle' "read" as simple decoration. Using a similarly reduced color palette of blacka, whites and grays against a swath of sunflower yellow, master illustrator N.C. Wyeth chooses to illustrate a single scene within 'Treasure Island' -- a dramatic, testosterone-laden vision of six pirates marching across the barren sands. Wyeth effectively turns up his nose at the traditional nature of the endpaper as one of mere decoration by using the space to pique the reader's curiosity and compel them to flip through the book -- a calculated engagement that within a bookstore environment, would likely result in a sale.

Fantastical worlds in air, space and even underwater are conveyed with nothing more than grayscale brush strokes. These beautiful, over-the-top endpaper images of laser-firing robots, multi-armed alients, jetpack-equipped spacement and hovering ufos are clearly intended to appeal to the boy of 1946 America.

Playfully simple and sweet, this parade of cloned trucks, cars and buses evoke a nursery room naivete and connects the child reading the book with the elemental, comforting and cisually-reduced images.

The endpapers for a child's science primer utilizes a montage approach and over a dozen seemingly disconnected elements to create an intoxicating, hybrid scene. Assembled in an almost puzzle-like fashion, each element drives the reader's eye to a new image and forces the eye to circle, scan and investigate the scene each time the book is opened.

Naive and folksy in its design and rendering, this imperfect saturn-oriented set of endpapers is no less engaging than an expertly illustrated scene like the one above. Looking at the endpapers, the eye only notices the fact that it is imprinted with only two colors (blood orange and royal blue) against the white of the paper, a testament to the scratching of the pen line that creates the illusion of lighter blues and more muted oranges.

By creating an idyllic world of carefree innocence, the illustrator of this 1962 endpaper environment invites children to imagine themselves within the scene. A study in careful action placement, the illustration reads as busy, but all the action is carefully constructed. This is because the illustrator has allowed a static, solid color of tan to represent the ground and it is the lack of disruptive details within the backdrop that keeps the image from tilting toward the baroque and chaotic.

Knowing that the endpapers for 'Mary Had A Little Lamp' (2008 - Bloomsbury) would have to be reproduced in a single color, illustrator Bob Staake elected to suggest the abstracted, glowing rays of light and place Mary in the center of the circular light. In the story, the small kitchen appliance-obsessed Mary ultimately falls out of love with her gooseneck lamp and adopts a toaster as her new best friend. Asked The End co-editor Kristen Held of Staake "Why didn't you make her holding the toaster on that final endpaper page?". Staake thought for a second. "You know", he said, "the endpapers would have been so much better if I had done that!"

Various restaurants, food items and utensils suggest both a visual menu and a pre-schooler's image-based ABC book. These, however, are the comforting endpaper visuals froma 1970 Better Homes and Gardens-published travel guide. Locking each element against its own checkerboard square keeps the overall design orderly and conservative, but no less yummy.