Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Snail and the Whale

Susanna Leonard Hill features Perfect Picture Book Friday on her blog. This is a wonderful resource if you are wondering what books to give as gifts, needing material for a lesson, and mainly just perfect for those who love to read picture books. Here is a list of books by category. This is very handy for finding books for lessons in the classroom, or for finding books on a particular topic to discuss with your children at home. Each book listed has a link to a review and information about that book. There is also an alphabetical list.

Yes, I’m doing two Julia Donaldson books in a row. This one just had to be on the list.

The Snail and the Whale

Written by: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by: Alex Scheffler

Penguin Group 2006

Ages 3-8

Themes: Friendship, animals, ocean, helping one another

Synopsis: When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It’s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

Opening Lines: This is the tale of a tiny snail

And a great big, gray-blue humpback whale.

This is a rock as black as soot,

And this is a snail with an itcy foot.

The sea snail slithered all over the rock 

And gazed at the sea and the ships in the dock.

And as she gazed, she sniffed and sighed.

“The sea is deep and the world is wide!

How I long to sail!”

Said the tiny snail.

Resources: Whale Theme Activities, Maze, Ocean Activities

Why I Like This Book: The Snail and the Whale is a tale of an unlikely friendship. This book is cleverly written. I absolutely love that the snail leaves important silvery trail messages as he crawls. The messages are key to the story and are just the cutest thing ever! The rhyming text flows smoothly as a story unfolds and proves even the smallest of creatures can help a friend.The fact that it is written in flawless rhyme  is always a bonus for me. The illustrations by Alex Scheffler are rich and vibrant. He catches the expressions of the characters perfectly. Warning: If you read this book, you will have to buy it for your personal library!!!

22 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday-The Snail and the Whale

  1. I hadn’t heard of this book, but The Gruffalo is a favourite in our house. We’ll have to check it out!


  2. Sounds like a fun story! It reminded me of the giant sea snail in The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle. Who knew snails could be so compelling? 🙂


  3. I think I need to break down and buy all of Donaldson’s books – LOL. Such a master rhymer! I hadn’t heard of this one so thanks for sharing!


  4. Yes, the rhyme is great! I just LOVE those opening lines! Now, I’ve got to READ the whole book.

    [Makes me think of an (old) idea I had about a whale and a bird? named Boomer and the whale’s name was Tiny? Anyway, not only is it one of my older ideas, the idea itself is probably OLD. Now I know not to pursue that idea, unless I find a new twist somehow.]


    1. Isn’t it strange how we think we have come up with idea that couldn’t possibly have been done because it is “out there”….and then we find out it has been done successfully.


  5. This sounds lovely and reminds me of a book I read to my kids – Amos And Boris I think it was called? It was a mouse and a whale – the whale saved the house at sea, and then the mouse saved the whale when he got to close to land. It wasn’t in rhyme, but it was a nice story too. Thanks for adding this one to our list – it looks great!


    1. I thought I was probably the only one who hadn’t read this. It is so cute. I will have to read Amos and Boris. I looked it up and pinned to my Books I Want To Read board on Pinterest.


  6. Sounds like a beautiful rhyming book. And the cover is a winner! I haven’t read the book and love being introduced to one that is written well. A great choice!


    1. You know me and rhyming…it exceeded my expectations. It was written so well. I really got caught up in it. At the end, I felt that I had read something truly beautiful.


  7. We have Snail and the Whale, it’s one of my favorites and even my kids like it. Great choice Penny!


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