The Snail and the Whale, a great read with Little Ones
This is a most delightful book. As a Grandma I delight in reading it to my little grandson, who listens attentively. Its words by Julia Donaldson are beautiful and its pictures by Axel Scheffler are ravishing. New exciting words are learnt to help with literacy and there are lots of things to count on every page, to help with numeracy. We hear how the adventurous snail hitches a lift with a hump-backed whale and travels all over the world. The story ends when the whale is beached and the resourceful snail orchestrates a rescue.
The story is told in a rhyming form which lilts through the book. My grandson listens enchanted. However if your little one is too little to sit through the whole book, there are all sorts of ways to use it. You can tell the story in your own words and count the sea gulls, snails, cats, that appear on various pages throughout the book. It is beautifully illustrated, which is, of course, very important in a children's book. The book introduces the topic of world travel and with an older child could lead on to exploring maps and talking about cold countries and hot countries. The whale and the snail visit places where there are ice bergs and fiery mountains, golden sands and caves. The final drama is when the whale loses his way and becomes beached. All would be lost if it were not for the resourceful snail who visits a school and writes a message asking for help on a teacher's blackboard. She and the children alert the local fire brigade and the whale is saved and ready for more adventures with the snail and his , till then, less adventurous friends from the rock near the dock.