Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:
The thrilling tale of a tiny snail and a great big grey-blue humpback whale . . ."How I long to sail!" said the tiny snail.
One little snail longs to see the world and hitches a lift on the tail of an enormous whale. Together they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins, and the little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world. But when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, it's the tiny snail's big plan that saves the day.
The Snail and the Whale is a delightful tale of adventure and friendship by the unparalleled picture-book partnership of Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, creators of The Gruffalo. This edition features the classic story with a stunning, redesigned cover and beautiful finish, making it a must-have addition to the bookshelves of all Donaldson and Scheffler fans - big and small!
Also available with redesigned covers are The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo's Child, Room on the Broom, The Smartest Giant in Town, Monkey Puzzle, Charlie Cook's Favourite Book, and A Squash and a Squeeze.
Originally published: 2003.
Reviews provided by Syndetics
Publishers Weekly Review
A sea snail with an "itchy foot"? This offbeat premise sets the stage for Donaldson's and Scheffler's (The Gruffalo) satisfying picture book, relayed in a cumulative rhyme scheme that recalls "The House That Jack Built." Stuck on a rock, a tiny snail pines for adventure, until a passing gray-blue humpback whale obligingly invites her to hitch a ride on his tail. Together the oddball pair travel the "starlit sea," visiting "towering icebergs and far-off lands/ With fiery mountains and golden sands." In cleanly delineated and colorful mixed-media spreads, Scheffler depicts exotic locales full of mynah birds, monkeys and other creatures that appeal to young animal lovers. Tumbling waves and towering mountains communicate a feeling of vastness, helping readers see the world from the snail's perspective ("She gazed and gazed, amazed by it all,/ and she said to the whale, `I feel so small' "). But the snail proves herself big of heart when she helps her travel companion after he's distracted by speedboats and gets stranded on a beach. Writing "Save the Whale" in a "looping, curling, silvery trail" across the blackboard in a nearby schoolhouse, she sets a rescue mission into motion. Along with providing a resonant environmental message, the story lightly demonstrates that friendships come in all shapes and sizes. Ages 4-up. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
School Library Journal Review
PreS-Gr 3-A tiny mollusk that longs to see the world hitches a ride aboard a humpback whale in this charming picture book. After seeing far-off islands, underwater caves, and storm-filled skies, the snail feels impossibly small-until the whale is beached in a harbor, and she saves the day by writing a note on the blackboard of a nearby school to summon help. The message that even the smallest among us can help others will not be lost on children, and neither will the poetic language: "A humpback whale, immensely long,/Who sang to the snail a wonderful song/Of shimmering ice and coral caves/And shooting stars and enormous waves." Donaldson's smooth, sprightly rhyming scheme buoys the story and never falters. The flat, cartoonish look of Scheffler's multimedia illustrations perfectly complements the tone of the text. The rollicking language and bright pictures make this a great choice for reading aloud.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Horn Book Review
In rhyming text, an enterprising snail hitches a ride on a whale. After touring icebergs and golden sands, the whale gets confused by speed boats and swims into the danger of shallow water. Thanks to the smaller creature, the larger one is rescued. The lilting and carefree story, accompanied by pleasant illustrations, is at odds with the heavy-handed message. (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.
Kirkus Book Review
Like an ocean-going "Lion and the Mouse," a humpback whale and a snail "with an itchy foot" help each other out in this cheery travelogue. Responding to a plaintive "Ride wanted around the world," scrawled in slime on a coastal rock, whale picks up snail, then sails off to visit waters tropical and polar, stormy and serene before inadvertently beaching himself. Off hustles the snail, to spur a nearby community to action with another slimy message: "SAVE THE WHALE." Donaldson's rhyme, though not cumulative, sounds like "The house that Jack built"--"This is the tide coming into the bay, / And these are the villagers shouting, 'HOORAY!' / As the whale and the snail travel safely away. . . ." Looking in turn hopeful, delighted, anxious, awed, and determined, Scheffler's snail, though tiny next to her gargantuan companion, steals the show in each picturesque seascape--and upon returning home, provides so enticing an account of her adventures that her fellow mollusks all climb on board the whale's tail for a repeat voyage. Young readers will clamor to ride along. (Picture book. 6-8) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.