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The Snail and the Whale

4.35  ·  Rating details ·  6,482 ratings  ·  431 reviews
A snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on a whale's tail. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the snail feels very small in the vastness of the world. But when the whale is beached in a bay, it's the tiny snail who saves the day.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by MacMillan Children's Books (first published 2003)
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Average rating 4.35  · 
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 ·  6,482 ratings  ·  431 reviews

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Sophia Triad
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children
"The sea is deep and the world is wide!
How I long to sail!",
Said the tiny snail.

This is a story about a snail with an itchy foot and a humpback whale who helped the little snail to travel around the world.

From the creators of the Gruffalo, a wonderful inspirational book with beautiful environmental messages.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I don't usually rate children's books here on Goodreads, but this one is insanely good. The poetry is playful, but also has a certain driving quality that makes it rare among children's books. "These are the waves that arched and crashed, / That foamed and frolicked and sprayed and splashed / The tiny snail / On the tail of the whale." Wow! I just love the sheer sophistication of the language here, how it's for children but it isn't dumbed down: "These are the caves / Beneath the waves / Where c ...more
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
More fun and another lovely story from the respective writing and illustrating pens of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler!
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Another one that my son just giggled all the way through.
Oct 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-2019
Adorable and sweet story, can´t wait to read it for my nephew.
Oct 28, 2018 rated it liked it
I have to admit I'm normally sort of allergic to children's books that rhyme, because so many children's books handle verse poorly and because, when I read books that rhyme, my brain has trouble turning off the impulse to judge them as poetry and keeps piping up with nitpicks like, "'Golden'? Couldn't the author have chosen a less cliche adjective?" Still, The Snail and the Whale is quite winsome, particularly in its use of subtler/more complex poetic effects such as internal rhyme, alliteration ...more
Rory Wise
Nov 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wonderful story! Loved the suggestion that brilliant friendships do not necessarily have to be between two similar individuals. In this story the two characters are brought together, and aid each other, with their differences, not similarities.
Dec 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
The creators of 'The Gruffalo' have come up with another winner in 'The Snail and the Whale' for it is a delightful little story with exquisite illustrations.

The snail, with an itchy foot, lived on a black rock close to a harbour and was always wishing that travel was on the agenda. But much as ships sailed in and out regularly, our friend the snail was island-bound. 'How I long to sail,' she was often saying.

She then decided that she should take action and so she left a silvery trail on the sid
Claire Russell
Jul 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
The Snail and the Whale is a heart-warming story about how friendship can come about in the most remarkable way.

A snail stuck on his rock yearns for adventure and to see more of the World. The whale who is passing by offers the snail a chance of adventure and together they set sail seeing: towering icebergs; far off land; huge waves; the enormous sky and so on. The snail is awestruck by all the things he sees and feels his place in the World is very small. That is until the whale gets beached a
I liked many things about this engaging story about a little snail who longs to see the world, and the kindly whale who agrees to give her a ride on its tail. At first, the story is one of awe and discovery and friendship. But, seeing so many amazing things in the big, wide world, the snail feels so very small... Then, it becomes an environmental cautionary tale as the whale is upset by speed boaters and ends up beached. The little snail has a chance to do something BIG and save her friend. And, ...more
May 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A lovely book of adventure and the big wide world .
As the snail would say
" The sea is deep and the world is wide"
As with all books we've read of Julia Donaldson and Axel scheffler. Wonderfully written, and accompanied by lovely bright colourful pictures.
Dec 25, 2019 rated it really liked it

Description: A half hour animated film for all the family based on the much-loved book written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

THE SNAIL AND THE WHALE is the much loved classic that shows us a restless young snail who has ambitions to travel the world. The other snails think she should stay put, but she puts out a call for a “Lift wanted around the world”. Eventually her call is answered by a great big grey-blue humpback whale! She set
Jul 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson is a fantastically written story which outlines the random travels of an unlikely duo. Through Axel Scheffler's use of colourful illustrations, the catchy rhyming and alliterations throughout the story, we get to see all of the places that the pair encountered on their travels, including the "towering iceberg", "far-away lands" and " golden sands".
When the whale loses his way and they both wash up on a beach, there is instant panic as the big whale and
Funny and cute
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I like how the book rhymes. I also liked how the snail and the whale both helped each other. E (Age7)
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a smaller, re-designed version of 'The Snail and the Whale' 'to support children who are growing in reading confidence'. And those children, and also us adults, will not be disappointed with the production. The smaller illustrations are still just as brilliant and the rhyming verse flows along just like the whale carrying the snail all round the world and back!

The snail has an itchy foot and wants to see the world but she doesn't know how she is going to do so. The whale provides her wit
Dec 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful x
Ross Oates
Oct 04, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a wonderful rhyming story about a sea snail that is eager to travel the world. The rest of the flock are not so enthusiastic about the idea but one day the snail meets up with a whale that invites her to join him as they travel the world. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. However when disasters strikes and the whale ...more
May 01, 2012 rated it it was amazing
While I agree that The Gruffalo is undeniably a fantastic children's book, The Snail and the Whale is by far my favourite of Donaldson's. I found my nursery class on SEB absolutely adored this book and I ended up reading it to at least 2 of them in the book corner every day!

An unlikely friendship occurs between a tiny snail and an enormous humpback whale, together they go on all sorts of adventures on their round the world cruise, they see icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins. But disaste
Feb 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
We are huge fans of Julia Donaldson in this family. I think this is my absolute favourite of hers - it's such a touching, beautiful story that always tugs at my heartstrings. Plus, I never get tired of rhymes.
Aug 06, 2010 rated it liked it
Yet another picture book about how the smallest of us can save the day, and how we shouldn't discount the efforts of those who we may think are too small.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Lots of rhyme and colourful illustrations, could be used with years one to three.
Emily Moss
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was given to me by my SBT1 class to say thank you- so I love it very much. Written fully in rhyme the beautiful picture book tells the story of a tiny snail who travels around the world on the tail of a whale. I really like how repetition is used throughout the book, meaning children could potentially learn and perform sections of it easily. The illustrations are detailed and there is lots to look at and analyse which could be interesting to do with a class.
Elle Hatley
Sep 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
The Snail and the Whale will always be my favourite picture-book, both to read aloud and when teaching reading. The beautiful, colourful illustrations, the rhyming couplets which makes the story flow so well when read, and the simple story which nevertheless tugs on the heartstrings - Honestly an amazing picture-book!
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
Tiny Sea Snail has big dreams: she wants to see the wide, wide world. So she hitches a ride on the tail of a friendly humpback whale. Together they see icebergs and volcanoes, storms and sharks. But when the whale gets too close to the shore, will the tiny snail be able to save her friend?

Told in rhyme and beautifully illustrated, young readers are sure to enjoy this story of friendship. And seeing everyone come together to save the whale is sure to bring a smile to their faces.

Carys O'Neill
Sep 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A very well known and popular book but still one of my favourites! I really love how friendship is such a strong theme in this book and the illustrations of different animals/ sea creatures are lovely discussion points
Apr 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I love all of the Julia Donaldson books, but this book was great for rhyming and introduction to poetry. Can also be used alongside phonics for the /ai/ /a-e/ sounds. Also includes environmental aspects as the whale gets beached, but shows how the snail helps to save the whale - very heartwarming!
Seema Rao
Jan 21, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: childrens
An unlikely friendship spawns a big adventure for a small invertebrate.
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The pictures are very nicely drawn and make you feel like you're on an adventure at sea. Highly recommended!
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Lovely illustrations and story written in a poetic style with lots of rhyming.
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2018 Roe Reading ...: The snail and the whale - Julia Donaldson 1 2 Sep 08, 2020 04:49AM  

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