'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday 7 May 2010

Review: The Snail and the Whale

Title: The Snail and the Whale

Author: Julia Donaldson

Illustrator: Axel Scheffler

Publisher: Koala Books

Format: Softcover

Language: English

ISBN: 978-0-86461-531-2

For ages: 4-7

Type: Picture book, Rhyme

About: This story is written by Donaldson who is known as an award winning and much-loved UK children’s author. Her collaborations with the equally talented Scheffler mean the duo are responsible for producing children’s books that are both visually and verbally memorable and engaging.

This beautiful rhyming tale is about a snail and a whale. It begins with a sea snail that longs to see the world and serendipitously meets up with a whale who invites her to join him as they travel the world. They see all manner of wondrous sights. Then one day the whale becomes stranded on the beach and it is up to the tiny sea snail to rescue him. Despite her small size the snail finds an innovative way to get help for his friend and the rescue operation is soon underway to save him. The ending will leave even the most hard-hearted person near tears.

Donaldson’s brilliant use of rhyme, alliteration, repetition and onomatopoeic words make this a great text to read with beginning readers. It allows for participation in the reading process and is a great book for working on sounding out and chunking words with children. The vocabulary occasionally require explanation, however it all helps to broaden little minds as well.

The messages about limitations only being in our mind and the world is a wonderful place for us to explore are perfect. In addition, this book is a starting point for projects about places around the world and marine life as well. Children can do their own drawings and learn interesting facts about the places and animals depicted in the story.

A beautiful addition both visually and verbally to a little one's library.

- this review by Sarah Pietrzak

Author website

This book is available online