The Snail and the Whale, by Julia Donaldson

Published November 3, 2013 by Dagmar

I was so happy to find this book at my local bookstore.  I knew it would be a hit the minute I saw it.  I love Julia Donaldson’s  book, Room on the Broom, also illustrated by Alex Scheffler. Like the rhymes in Room on the Broom, the rhymes in this book are great, not forced or tiresomwhale and the snaile, and Alex Scheffler’s illustrations, wonderful.  It’s a story of curiosity, adventure and friendship that you won’t want to miss.  Be sure to check out my lesson idea using this book.

The Snail and the Whale is about a snail who sits on a rock with lots of other snails but dreams of traveling the world.  The other snails mock him, but this snail is determined to go on an adventure.  He writes “Ride Wanted Around the World” on the rock.  Soon, a whale arrives, offering to take the snail around the world.  Together they travel the oceans, seeing icebergs, “fiery mountains” and “golden sands”.  Until one day, confused by speed boats in a bay, the whale is beached.  The snail, though small, thinks of a plan.  He makes his way to a school where he writes “Save the Whale” on a chalkboard.  All the school children mobilize the town’s firefighters to help the whale swim back to sea.  Once saved by the children, the Snail and the Whale return to ocean and the rock where their journey started.  Once there, they tell the story of their adventures to the other snails.  The book closes with the whale once again leaving the rock, but this time, with all the snails on his tail.

My first graders really loved this book.  I think it’s great for read alouds to kindergarten through second grade classes and even younger readers at home.

2 comments on “The Snail and the Whale, by Julia Donaldson

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