The Snail And The Whale Paperback – Picture Book, 6 April 2006
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From the Publisher
About the Author
Axel Scheffler is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed illustrator of some of the most well-loved children's books, including Julia Donaldson's best-selling modern classic The Gruffalo, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. He lives in London.
- Publisher : Puffin Books; Reprint edition (6 April 2006)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 32 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0142405809
- ISBN-13 : 978-0142405802
- Reading age : 3 - 7 years
- Dimensions : 27.94 x 0.28 x 25.1 cm
- Best Sellers Rank: #65 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer reviews:
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There is so much to love about The Snail and the Whale, it’s hard to know where to begin. The story, of course is magical. A tiny snail with ‘itchy feet’ hitches a ride on the tail of a ‘great big, grey-blue humpback whale’ and sets off on a fabulous adventure around the world. When disaster strikes, it’s the little snail, despite her size and feelings of inferiority, who uses her ingenuity to save the day and get them both safely home. What a lovely lesson to teach young children!
The sweeping, rhyming narrative is a work of genius: lilting, evocative and an absolute joy to read aloud. It has everything: alliteration, onomatopoeia and an exquisite collection of adjectives to spark little imaginations and boost vocabulary. As always, Donaldson’s narrative is showcased to perfection by Alex Scheffler’s stunning illustrations, which offer lots to talk about and explore. You can see a few of my favourite pages in the photos above.
The book itself is a high-quality hardback with thick board pages to withstand the envisaged heavy use. I honesty cannnot recommend highly enough this and all other Donaldson/Scheffler collaborations.
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Alex Schefflers artwork is beautiful complements the stories perfectly. The same characters often pop up in different books, whether it be the Gruffalo Child’s stick man in his own story or simply a squirrel and a frog. This helps my son who is fifteen months old develop his own narrative. He does not understand the words I am reading but gets plenty from the rhythm and my intonation whilst building his own story and understanding from the pictures, he is always pointing different characters out to me or finding them when I ask where they are. He loves books and I think that these books enhance a joy of reading and learning. He brings the books to me time and time again.
This story has fast become one of my personal favourite Juliua Donaldson books. My son loves having me read to him and because he is not speaking yet cannot tell me what it is about the book, but as we turn the pages of the different scenes from around the world I can see that it has a very special meaning and fascination for him, making it a journey of discovery for me too. Perhaps one day he might tell me what was so special for him or maybe he won't remember. But right now, we're enjoying the magic.
Only 4 stars because although of a great quality and with fantastic illustration (even beautiful on some pages) the book itself is a little small. Which means the text is a bit small and difficult (but possible) to read on the page where the whale travels to the deep blue see with the snail on it's fin.
My son requests this book time and time again. I recommend other's get this book too, but in hindsight I would have bought the larger paperback.
- engaging story
- beautiful illustration
- great message
- quality book
- size is a little too small - would recommend buying the a larger version or paperback.
One tiny snail gets a lift on a whales tail to go on an amazing journey past icebergs, volcanoes, sharks, penguins, and the little snail feels so small compared to them all. But the tiny snail saves the day when the whale is beached in a bay.
Early Years Teachers - This book proved to be an invaluable resource on my teaching placements. As with this well respected and loved children's author, Julia Donaldson, this is a great book with a good story line. It is so versatile and can be enjoyed by many ages. It is really easy to engage with as there are so many possible themes in the story which can be explored to a suitable depth dependent on the children's ages.
Themes: help, under the sea/ sealife, journeys, transport.
- Children could draw/paint their own seaside picture.
- Children could draw a map of the snail and the whale journey.
- Children could write a letter to the snail saying how great he is saving the day.
- Children could compare the size of a snail and other creature putting them in order of size.
- The snail slithered, so the children could think of other words about how other creatures move e.g. the whale.
- Children could explore what snails and whales eat, where they live and how fast they go.
- Children could explore a variety of sea creatures and look at the food chains.
If the story had been a cautionary tale, The Snail Goes to Jail with the Whale without Bail, where the poor snails were trafficked to salt mines before they were rescued and bravely give testimony against their traffickers, I might have given this five stars. But as it is aimed at young children, with the message of trusting go-betweens who seem like a more worldly big sister, I feel obliged to submit this warning and lowest rating.