Today we have a guest post from Sinead at Map Made Memories. She recently returned from an 11-month round the world trip with her family and when asked what her favorite travel book was for her kids – she wanted to tell you about The Snail and the Whale. I think you’ll see why she loves it so much. Thank you, Sinead, I love how you’ve used this book to help inspire your trip and used the trip to help encourage an awareness of conservation and environmental issues.
The Snail and the Whale
The children’s book The Snail and The Whale by acclaimed author Julia Donaldson is my favourite children’s travel book. The rhyming story is about a little snail with ‘an itchy foot’ who longs to see the world but who is told by the other snails to ‘be quiet’ and ‘stay put.’ One day, the snail is offered a lift by a humpback whale. Clinging to the tail of the whale, the two explorers visit ‘towering icebergs and far off lands with fiery mountains and golden sands.’ The story touches on the fact that travel is not always easy but is awe-inspiring.
My favourite part of the book is when the snail gazes around him at the majesty of nature and exclaims ‘I feel so small.’ The story introduces conservation to children with the whale getting stranded on a beach and the brave snail enlisting the help of local children to successfully save the whale.
The book is beautifully illustrated by Axel Scheffler with detailed, colourful pictures that would inspire anyone to travel. I loved this book from my days as an Early Years teacher and when we started planning our family round the world trip, I used The Snail and The Whale as an inspiration for places to visit.
Rather than tick off countries or experiences, I wanted to show my children the diversity of the world they live in, its natural beauty and fragility. We hoped to instill in them a sense of awe and wonder and to return home committed to conservation and environmental issues.
Like the tiny snail, our family visited icebergs, glaciers, tropical beaches and incredible waterfalls such as Iguazu Falls in South America. We went snorkeling with tropical fish and witnessed fiery mountains for ourselves. I even told my son to look out for the tiny snail when we went whale watching for humpback whales in Australia. On many occasions, we felt just like the tiny snail; tiny but in awe of the natural world.
You can find the book on Amazon available in all of the formats: Kindle, hardback, paperback, board book, and audio.
Want to let our readers know about your favorite children’s travel book? Let me know!