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Description

Product Description

From the creators behind The Gruffalo is a delightful tale of adventure and friendship with Julia Donaldson''s trademark rhyming text and Axel Scheffler''s brilliant, characterful illustrations 

When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands. It''s a dream come true for the snail, who has never left home before. But when the whale swims too close to shore, will the snail be able to save her new friend?

Review

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

About the Author

Julia Donaldson is the internationally bestselling author of many popular books for children. Her Smarties Prize-winning modern classic,  The Gruffalo, has sold more than 13.5 million copies worldwide, and the Halloween favorite  Room on the Broom is a perennial best seller. In addition to children''s books, she has written many children''s plays and songs and runs regular storytelling workshops. She was the Waterstones Children''s Laureate from 2011-2013.

Axel Scheffler is an award-winning, internationally-acclaimed illustrator of some of the most well-loved children’s books, including Julia Donaldson’s best-selling modern classic  The Gruffalo, which has sold millions of copies worldwide. He lives in London.

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4.8 out of 54.8 out of 5
8,758 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

RMB in NYC
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A truly beautiful and virtually perfect children''s book
Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2016
The Snail and the Whale is one of the best -- if not THE best -- children''s books we''ve ever read. (And we''ve read many hundreds by now.) This one excels in every aspect: 1. What a jewel of a story -- about an unlikely friendship, globe-trotting adventure,... See more
The Snail and the Whale is one of the best -- if not THE best -- children''s books we''ve ever read. (And we''ve read many hundreds by now.) This one excels in every aspect:

1. What a jewel of a story -- about an unlikely friendship, globe-trotting adventure, creative problem-solving and resourcefulness, thinking beyond the confines of one''s limitations (perceived or otherwise)...

2. The book is beautifully written. The rhymes and prose flow seamlessly. It''s lovely to both read and listen to.

3. The artwork is excellent, too. The pictures are vivid, colorful, and engaging. We''ve read the book dozens of times by now, and we''ll still often notice some new little detail.

This was our first Julia Donaldson book but remains my favorite. The Gruffalo and Room on the Broom have also been hits, and they''re also very good. The story and prose quality of The Snail and the Whale are better, in my opinion. But we will try other books by this author. (Thank you for this amazing contribution to children''s lit, Julia Donaldson!)
131 people found this helpful
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SMPDphoto
1.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Crappy printing of a fabulous story.
Reviewed in the United States on January 27, 2020
The book is amazing. BUT, I bought this copy in hard cover because I loved the softcover version so much. The print quality of the hard cover version is utter garbage. Misaligned artwork, muddy colors, and flimsy binding. The vibrancy of the softcover version is so... See more
The book is amazing. BUT, I bought this copy in hard cover because I loved the softcover version so much. The print quality of the hard cover version is utter garbage. Misaligned artwork, muddy colors, and flimsy binding. The vibrancy of the softcover version is so beautiful... This hard cover bind was just an all-around letdown.

The story is amazing. Just, buy it in softcover.
37 people found this helpful
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Sabina
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Being small does not stop you from achieving great things, if only you have the will and persistence to achieve them
Reviewed in the United States on October 19, 2017
Yet another book by Julia Donaldson to join my kids'' favourite books list. A story about a little snail who longs to see the world beyond the little rock he lives on. All the other snails on the rock try to hold him back, but despite that the snail catches a... See more
Yet another book by Julia Donaldson to join my kids'' favourite books list.

A story about a little snail who longs to see the world beyond the little rock he lives on. All the other snails on the rock try to hold him back, but despite that the snail catches a ''ride'' on a whale.

During their adventure the snail realizes how huge the world is.

One day the whale ends up in trouble and the little snail proves again that being small does not stop you from achieving great things, if only you have the will and persistence to achieve them.

The snail saves the whale and they both travel back home. All the other snails seeing them happy, hop on the whale''s back to see the world.
40 people found this helpful
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MFan
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Cute story, better illustrations
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2016
This author has several great picture books for kids and this is one of them, although this one isn''t my favorite. I think my drawback is that it isn''t humorous like some of her others. Regardless this has been one that the kids want reread again and again.
70 people found this helpful
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Jennifer S
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Came misprinted.
Reviewed in the United States on October 23, 2018
I bought my daughter the regular copy of snail and the whale when she was 9 months and we read it over and over again. She loved it! After a year of steady use the pages were ripped. I decided to get her the board book, which I was so excited about, but here''s where things... See more
I bought my daughter the regular copy of snail and the whale when she was 9 months and we read it over and over again. She loved it! After a year of steady use the pages were ripped. I decided to get her the board book, which I was so excited about, but here''s where things get tricky. We love this book (and basically any book by Julia) but the board book came misprinted. It no longer says "ride wanted around the world" or "colorful fish with feathery fins." The replacements completely mess with the rhyme and timing of the story and was really disappointing. That is the ONLY reason for three stars.
22 people found this helpful
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JennyHeigl
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
LOVE this book!!!
Reviewed in the United States on July 21, 2017
My husband and I love reading this book to our baby--and I am sure our baby will love it when he starts being able to understand as well! I love the epic journey that snail and the whale go on. The story has such wonderful flow and rhythm to it. The rhymes are perfect,... See more
My husband and I love reading this book to our baby--and I am sure our baby will love it when he starts being able to understand as well! I love the epic journey that snail and the whale go on. The story has such wonderful flow and rhythm to it. The rhymes are perfect, never awkward. The illustrations have rich color and are very fun. We love the way all of the birds look with their beady eyes. I did not realize when I bought this book that Julia Donaldson is also the author of The Gruffalo, The Gruffalo''s Child, and Room on the Broom. We love The Snail and the Whale (and had read the Gruffalo before) so much that we went and purchased all of Julia Donaldson''s other books. Our second favorite is Room on the Broom. We definitely recommend this book and all of Julia Donaldson''s books. They are SO clever and a real treat to read over and over again!
32 people found this helpful
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Pop Bop
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
The Kid''s Book Trifecta: Drawings, Rhyme, Story
Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2013
Rarely does a book for little ones hit top marks on the three things that matter most, but this one does - 1) vibrant, clear, colorful and engaging drawings, 2) rhymes that really connect, with strong measures, sophisticated structure, and emphasis and flow that works... See more
Rarely does a book for little ones hit top marks on the three things that matter most, but this one does - 1) vibrant, clear, colorful and engaging drawings, 2) rhymes that really connect, with strong measures, sophisticated structure, and emphasis and flow that works whether read silently or out loud, 3) a heart warming story with multiple positive messages, (self reliance, friendship, resourcefulness, nerve, imagination, and a general sense of generous good heartedness).

Perfect for bedtime, the story starts calmly, leads our snail and whale friends through interesting and exciting adventures, then turns into a rescue drama, moves on to a happy ending, and then winds down with a calm upbeat conclusion. I can feel the grandchild drifting off with a happy smile as the story concludes. Plenty to look at, lots to think about - just a solid, satisfying, engaging and rewarding read for both your youngster and, possibly, you. A very nice choice.
52 people found this helpful
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Mrs.Fyfe
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
I got a bit tongue tied the first couple times through, but its a permanent collection keeper!
Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2016
I got a but tongue tied the first couple times I read this book I''m not going to lie! Just like all of this authors stories, it''s written like a poem, to a very nice rythem. The structure of the story was great in the sense that it made my brain work a little to read... See more
I got a but tongue tied the first couple times I read this book I''m not going to lie! Just like all of this authors stories, it''s written like a poem, to a very nice rythem.
The structure of the story was great in the sense that it made my brain work a little to read it (how many toddler books do that!?!) And my 2.5 year old ADORES the story. She actually can now quote a lot of it (and all of The Gruffalo''s Child (another of our alltime favorites, by this author).

I''ve probably read this book 50 times to her since purchase a few weeks ago and forsee many, many, more times for years to come. It will go in our permanent collection.
17 people found this helpful
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Top reviews from other countries

Audrey HaylinsTop Contributor: Children''s Books
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Utterly magical - a work of genius
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 6, 2019
I am totally in awe of Julia Donaldson and her amazing talent. Just how does she do it? Time after time, she comes up with the sweetest stories and characters and then, as if that isn’t hard enough, she transforms them into fun, catchy rhymes. I can’t imagine any toddler...See more
I am totally in awe of Julia Donaldson and her amazing talent. Just how does she do it? Time after time, she comes up with the sweetest stories and characters and then, as if that isn’t hard enough, she transforms them into fun, catchy rhymes. I can’t imagine any toddler not being totally captivated by every one of her books. There is so much to love about The Snail and the Whale, it’s hard to know where to begin. The story, of course is magical. A tiny snail with ‘itchy feet’ hitches a ride on the tail of a ‘great big, grey-blue humpback whale’ and sets off on a fabulous adventure around the world. When disaster strikes, it’s the little snail, despite her size and feelings of inferiority, who uses her ingenuity to save the day and get them both safely home. What a lovely lesson to teach young children! The sweeping, rhyming narrative is a work of genius: lilting, evocative and an absolute joy to read aloud. It has everything: alliteration, onomatopoeia and an exquisite collection of adjectives to spark little imaginations and boost vocabulary. As always, Donaldson’s narrative is showcased to perfection by Alex Scheffler’s stunning illustrations, which offer lots to talk about and explore. You can see a few of my favourite pages in the photos above. The book itself is a high-quality hardback with thick board pages to withstand the envisaged heavy use. I honesty cannnot recommend highly enough this and all other Donaldson/Scheffler collaborations. Thanks for reading my review. I hope you found it helpful. Check out my profile page for more reviews of toddler books and puzzles and educational toys and games.
28 people found this helpful
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Marc
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A very special story of travel and adventure around the world
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on September 26, 2016
Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler books are works of art. The stories are written beautifully, rhyming with a rhythm that sets the pace. This ensures that as an adult I do not get bored reading the same stories over and over again as the more familiar the story becomes the...See more
Julia Donaldson/Axel Scheffler books are works of art. The stories are written beautifully, rhyming with a rhythm that sets the pace. This ensures that as an adult I do not get bored reading the same stories over and over again as the more familiar the story becomes the more I can work on my expression and how I deliver giving me almost as joyful an experience as that of my son listening to them. I feel excited when he brings me a book and then we can have a short bonding session over the story before he goes off to play again. The books describe simple everyday scenes and experiences that a child might encounter helping them make sense of the world around them, mixed with magical characters like dragons, witches, Santa etc. Alex Schefflers artwork is beautiful complements the stories perfectly. The same characters often pop up in different books, whether it be the Gruffalo Child’s stick man in his own story or simply a squirrel and a frog. This helps my son who is fifteen months old develop his own narrative. He does not understand the words I am reading but gets plenty from the rhythm and my intonation whilst building his own story and understanding from the pictures, he is always pointing different characters out to me or finding them when I ask where they are. He loves books and I think that these books enhance a joy of reading and learning. He brings the books to me time and time again. This story has fast become one of my personal favourite Juliua Donaldson books. My son loves having me read to him and because he is not speaking yet cannot tell me what it is about the book, but as we turn the pages of the different scenes from around the world I can see that it has a very special meaning and fascination for him, making it a journey of discovery for me too. Perhaps one day he might tell me what was so special for him or maybe he won''t remember. But right now, we''re enjoying the magic.
13 people found this helpful
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Mary Fairy 17
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
See my review for teaching ideas using this book as a stimuli for: help, under the sea/ sealife, journeys, transport.
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 31, 2015
Storyline - One tiny snail gets a lift on a whales tail to go on an amazing journey past icebergs, volcanoes, sharks, penguins, and the little snail feels so small compared to them all. But the tiny snail saves the day when the whale is beached in a bay. Early Years...See more
Storyline - One tiny snail gets a lift on a whales tail to go on an amazing journey past icebergs, volcanoes, sharks, penguins, and the little snail feels so small compared to them all. But the tiny snail saves the day when the whale is beached in a bay. Early Years Teachers - This book proved to be an invaluable resource on my teaching placements. As with this well respected and loved children''s author, Julia Donaldson, this is a great book with a good story line. It is so versatile and can be enjoyed by many ages. It is really easy to engage with as there are so many possible themes in the story which can be explored to a suitable depth dependent on the children''s ages. Themes: help, under the sea/ sealife, journeys, transport. Activity ideas: - Children could draw/paint their own seaside picture. - Children could draw a map of the snail and the whale journey. - Children could write a letter to the snail saying how great he is saving the day. - Children could compare the size of a snail and other creature putting them in order of size. - The snail slithered, so the children could think of other words about how other creatures move e.g. the whale. - Children could explore what snails and whales eat, where they live and how fast they go. - Children could explore a variety of sea creatures and look at the food chains.
16 people found this helpful
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Clare B.
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great Illustration - Great Story - Great Message - A tad on the small side
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 14, 2020
This is a classic story for every child. It is the tale of a snail and a whale, the whale helps the snail by allowing him to travel the world on his fin and the snail helps the whale when he is beached on a shore by asking a group of school children to help. It is a story...See more
This is a classic story for every child. It is the tale of a snail and a whale, the whale helps the snail by allowing him to travel the world on his fin and the snail helps the whale when he is beached on a shore by asking a group of school children to help. It is a story of adventure with a great message: no matter how small you may feel, you can change somebody else''s life. Only 4 stars because although of a great quality and with fantastic illustration (even beautiful on some pages) the book itself is a little small. Which means the text is a bit small and difficult (but possible) to read on the page where the whale travels to the deep blue see with the snail on it''s fin. My son requests this book time and time again. I recommend other''s get this book too, but in hindsight I would have bought the larger paperback. Pros - engaging story - beautiful illustration - great message - quality book Cons - size is a little too small - would recommend buying the a larger version or paperback.
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C Armitage
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Winning combination
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on August 29, 2018
You aren''t going to far wrong with Julia Donaldson, and this is a lovely confection of a tail about an adventurous snail and his whale transport. The illustrations have loads of lovely detail in to talk about too. My two+ year old grandson is now driving his father mad...See more
You aren''t going to far wrong with Julia Donaldson, and this is a lovely confection of a tail about an adventurous snail and his whale transport. The illustrations have loads of lovely detail in to talk about too. My two+ year old grandson is now driving his father mad asking for it every night as his bed time story. Winner!
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The Gruffalo The Gruffalo's Child Room on the Broom The Snail and the Whale
Read more by Julia Donaldson! Julia Donaldson's rhyming text and Axel Scheffler's brilliant, characterful illustrations come together in this perfect read aloud. The funny and adorable sequel to The Gruffalo. A friendly witch, hungry dragon, and muddy monster learn about friendship, and readers will delight in the surprising (and not too scary) ending. When a tiny snail meets a humpback whale, the two travel together to far-off lands.

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