Julia Donaldson is one of the UK's best-loved and most successful authors of children's books. In addition to the Smarties Gold Award-winning The Gruffalo, her most recent collaborations with Axel Scheffler include The Smartest Giant in Town, The Gruffalo's Child and Charlie Cook's Favourite Book. Axel Scheffler has achieved worldwide acclaim for his humorous illustrations, and his books have been translated into over 29 languages. He has enjoyed particular success in his award-winning picture book collaborations with Julia Donaldson, but is also the bestselling illustrator of novelty books such as The Bedtime Bear.
PreS-Gr 3-A tiny mollusk that longs to see the world hitches a ride aboard a humpback whale in this charming picture book. After seeing far-off islands, underwater caves, and storm-filled skies, the snail feels impossibly small-until the whale is beached in a harbor, and she saves the day by writing a note on the blackboard of a nearby school to summon help. The message that even the smallest among us can help others will not be lost on children, and neither will the poetic language: "A humpback whale, immensely long,/Who sang to the snail a wonderful song/Of shimmering ice and coral caves/And shooting stars and enormous waves." Donaldson's smooth, sprightly rhyming scheme buoys the story and never falters. The flat, cartoonish look of Scheffler's multimedia illustrations perfectly complements the tone of the text. The rollicking language and bright pictures make this a great choice for reading aloud.-Kathleen Kelly MacMillan, Maryland School for the Deaf, Columbia Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
In a starred review, PW wrote, "Along with providing a resonant environmental message, this story of a sea snail with an itchy foot lightly demonstrates that friendships come in all shapes and sizes." Ages 3-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.