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The Snail and the Whale Paperback – April 6, 2006

4.8 out of 5 stars 419 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

PreSchool-Grade 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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audible Audio Edition edition.

Review

"Along with providing a resonant environmental message, the story lightly demonstrates that friendships come in all shapes and sizes.”—Publishers Weekly, starred review
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Paperback: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (April 6, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142405809
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142405802
  • Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 0.1 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (419 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Patricia Jen Arndt on March 21, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not sure why, but if you click on the "Paperback" version of this book, you will get the "Activity Book" and not the actual book. You need to click on "Mass Market Paperback" to get an actual copy of the book. I'm going to keep the "Activity Book" because 1) Not worth paying to ship it back and 2) it looks like it might be more fun after we actually read the story. But just wanted people to be beware that they are getting the right book when ordering.
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By A Customer on May 21, 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is the best book my daughter and I have read in a while. She is 4, and I have been reading it to her every day since we got it. We liked it so much that we had to check out all of the other Julia Donaldson books. We also love Room on the Broom. Both of these are fun rhyming books that tell a wonderful story.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is one of those books that I could read every night and not get sick of. In fact, over the past three years I HAVE read it every night for weeks at a time and still love the flow of the text.

My favorite lines include, "And she gazed at the sky, the sea, the land, The waves and the caves and the golden sand. She gazed and gazed, amazed by it all, And she said to the whale, 'I feel so small.'" The word "small" is in a smaller font than the rest of the text and is so appropriate for the two page spread that includes the tiny snail (barely visible) amidst a scene of snowy mountains, forests, bears, bald eagles, the sea.

Perfect for teaching the concept that it doesn't matter how big or small you are, you ARE important and CAN be successful. As the snail sets off on his mission (I won't spoil it), the text reads "'I must not fail,' said the tiny snail." GREAT lesson!

Can you tell that we love this book?!?!?
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By A Customer on April 20, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We just received this book and it has already become one of my son's favorites. We had to read it twice the day it came and he is asking for it every night. It is a beautiful book, I fell in love with it the first time I read it to him. The text flows smoothly, the story is wonderful, it shows how even if your different you can get along and help one another. It also teaches that it doesn't matter what size you are , you can make a difference. The illustrations are wonderful, alot of detail and color. Just all around one of the best books I have ever purchased.
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By A Customer on April 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover
My children and I love this book! The rhyming verses just flow beautifully, holding my children's attention as well as mine. I have yet to tire of reading this out loud to them. The pictures are wonderful and we love the snail! Not only is it fun to read but it has a great message for children. This will remain one of my all time favorite children's books.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is absolutely fabulous. My 4-year old loves whales and marine life, so a whale and a snail having an adventure was right up her alley. The language is beautiful and easy for my 8 year old to read. I would recommend this book to any parent--it also has the "fable" to it of the small helping the large, when the snail helps the whale who's beached himself.
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Format: Hardcover
Another great rhyming book from Julia Donaldson. She does a great range of books and they appeal to adults and kids. They are so easy to read and it is a joy to follow the simple yet exciting stories. She is a gifted story teller and the illustrations are just intriguing.
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Format: Hardcover
Mum's opinion: The Snail and the Whale is a delight to read with the rhyming text and adventurous journey around the world. To pick two creatures so totally different in every respect is pure genius and works like a dream. Not sure who got the most pleasure from this--me reading it or the little one listening.

Oliver's opinion: I was so excited to get this book as the title made me laugh. The snail is a cheeky little chap who wants to travel. When I first saw the whale I thought he was going to be frightening as he was enormous. But he's really kind and gives the snail a lift around the world. I felt sad when the whale beached but it all turned out good and the snail got to help the whale out. I can't wait for it to be Daddy's turn to read it tomorrow.

Armchair Interviews says: Our young reviewer from England loves The Snail and the Whale. He's never been wrong yet so I suspect children will love this one. It's recommended for children ages 4-8.
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