Kids travel book review: The Snail and the Whale


One of our fave guest bloggers Katrina Griffiths is back with a review of The Snail and The Whale. See the links below for some of Katrina’s other great blogs.



“This is a tale of a tiny snail

And a great big, grey-blue humpback whale.

This is a rock as black as soot,

And this is a snail with an itchy foot.”


So begins the delightful tale of an around the world adventure between two of the most unlikely travel companions. A huge whale representing freedom, strength and childish glee, sings his song of the earth’s wonders to the little snail who has spent its whole life clinging to a rock with his flock, dreaming of the big wide world. The tiny snail, desperate break away from the conforms of snail life climbs aboard the tail of the humpback whale and together they embark on a trip which takes them to the far corners of the earth.  Along the way, they each learn how they are both as strong and as helpless as the other.

In all honesty, this is my favourite children’s picture book to read aloud. The perfectly balanced rhyme is musical, and so versatile that every time I read it, I can practically sing it a different way.

This book is so fun and so clever, OH how I wish I could have written it myself! To be able to express such a moving story of both strength and frailty so beautifully, and in the evocative entertaining language that children love, is just what sets Julia Donaldson apart in the world of Children’s authors. Alex Scheffler, the artist who illustrates Julia’s picture books, has created a magical, colourful, bright and interesting visual world for the reader to enjoy.

This book is a “must have” for all of our tiny intrepid explorers who climb aboard the laps of us great big adults so that we may explore the world together. Wonderful.

Read 3 of my fave (and totally hilarious) blogs from Katrina here:

When she went zombie hunting with her kids.

When she got chased by a bull … while she had Bali belly.

How she arrived in Vietnam with her 4 kids and realised they’d brought along some extra baggage–nits!