Hosted by Megan K. Bickel at Write-At-Home-Mom, the “My Favorite Picture Book” blogfest is exactly what it sounds like: In celebration of this unique literary form combining two art forms (writing and illustrating), blog about your favorite picture book. It can be your favorite as a child or your favorite as a parent, a writer, or a teacher. What made (or makes) you love it? Share two sentences or fifteen paragraphs. Be creative or plain. Just celebrate picture books! (And big thanks to Kat Owens for letting me know about this fantastic blogfest!)
While this blog focus mostly on young adult literature, I am also a lover of picture books. As a former teacher and current parent (my daughter is three-and-a-half, in case you’re wondering), the picture book collection in my house is extensive.
I considered blogging about a classic like Goodnight Moon or The Very Hungry Caterpillar, but in the end I just couldn’t. While I love those books (I give them as shower gifts anytime a friend has a baby), there’s another book I kept coming back to, one I bought for my daughter on a whim at the Seattle Aquarium about two years ago: The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson, illustrated by Axel Scheffler.
From Goodreads: 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?
The verse in The Snail and the Whale is adorable. I’m such a sucker for rhyming picture books, and The Snail and the Whale is done exceptionally. I know nothing about poetry, but the lyrical rhythm of this book reminds me of Lewis Carroll’s The Walrus and the Carpenter. The form probably has a name, but all I know is that it’s quick and bouncy and perfectly appropriate for the tone of the story.
Speaking of the story, this one makes me smile every time I read it. The snail has an “itchy foot” and wants to leave his rock to see the world. He hitches a ride with humpback whale and the two explore oceans near and far. Then the whale becomes disoriented in a busy harbor and runs into trouble. It’s up to the tiny snail to save his friend, and the tension during the climax of the story is palpable, especially considering we’re dealing with two fictional animals. You’ll find yourself rooting for the snail and whale as if they’re your greatest friends!
This book has gorgeous illustrations. They held my daughter’s attention even when she was much younger. Colorful, detailed and unique, they’re a perfect complement to the story. If you haven’t read The Snail and the Whale, I highly recommend you check it out. I think you’ll be glad you did. 🙂 And don’t forget to click HERE to read the other “My Favorite Picture Book” entries!
So, what’s your favorite picture book?