The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The Snail and the Whale is probably familiar to most of the folks here. But if you’re in the small minority of people who have either never heard of it, or, in a weird case of reverse psychology, stubbornly resisted picking it up precisely because everyone keeps talking about it (ahem *guilty*), then this post is for you.


An intrepid snail who has a case of wanderlust gets his wish to see the world when a generous humpback whale allows him to hitch a (admittedly pretty wild) ride on his tail. Throw in a harrowing situation where the snail gets a chance to help the whale, and you get an inspiring tale about an unlikely friendship and being open to life’s adventures.


Julia Donaldson’s signature rhyming verses are in superb form here, and even though there’s more text than usual compared to regular picture books, toddlers will also enjoy listening to the story because the words flow like music. Axel Scheffler’s inimitably quirky and detailed illustrations are also key to bringing the story to life, to the enjoyment of enthralled kids (and parents) the world over.

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