Off the Shelf Shop: Bats at the Ballgame
Off the Shelf Shop: The Snail and the Whale

The Snail and the Whale

by Julia Donaldson

illustrated by Axel Scheffler

In The Snail and the Whale, join the snail as she travels the world with her friend the great big grey-blue humpback whale and discovers her own strength despite her tiny size!

What do Michael Bublé, chocolate chip cookies, and The Snail and the Whale have in common? Through a family connection, we received tickets to Michael Bublé's concert in Cincinnati last night. With a friend, we left in plenty of time for the 90 minute drive, yet 4 hours later we were sitting in front of a gas station no more than 30 miles from our house. As disappointing as it was to miss the concert due to an unbelievable gridlock of traffic followed by an overheated car and a tow-truck that seemed like it would never show up, we found ourselves laughing over a box of homemade chocolate chip cookies as we sat on the curb and watched the traffic go by (We often say we would like to live in Mayberry and watch the traffic, but that was not exactly what we had in mind!). 

That being said, just like the tiny snail, there is power in the small things in life. Yes we missed our big evening with Michael Bublé, but the laughs and "adventure" with a friend we don't see often enough made for an evening we will not soon forget!

In this Issue


Glitter Snail Trails

Inspired by the importance of the snail trails in the book, we developed an activity that sparks the imagination by your own snail trails with your very own "snails".

Glitter Snail Trails - The Snail and the Whale - Off the Shelf

Glitter Snail Trails - The Snail and the Whale - Off the Shelf

Glitter Snail Trails - The Snail and the Whale - Off the Shelf

Glitter Snail Trails - The Snail and the Whale - Off the Shelf


Glitter Snail Trails


  • Clear School Glue
  • Glitter
  • Small Container
  • Black Paper
  • Marshmallow
  1. Squeeze desired amount of glue into the container, add glitter and stir. 
  2. Slightly flatten a marshmallow to resemble a snail (minus the shell). 
  3. Dip marshmallow snail into the glue-glitter mixture and drag across the black paper to make "snail trails". 


Snail Rolls

Snail Rolls - The Snail and the Whale - Off the Shelf

This recipe reminds me of a fundraiser we attended for a children's theatre group where a local pizza chain donated pizza dough for kids to play with. Unlike at that event, these can be baked and eaten after stretching and shaping into snail (or any other) shapes.  

Snail Rolls - The Snail and the Whale - Off the Shelf

Snail Rolls - The Snail and the Whale - Off the Shelf

Young Readers in the Kitchen

The beauty of this recipe is that kids can help with practically every step, from measuring and mixing the ingredients to rolling and forming the snails. 

Snail Rolls

Adapted from the Alpha-Bakery Children's Cookbook.

Makes 4 to 6. 


  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  2. In a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients until a shaggy dough forms. Turn out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead until very smooth.
  3. Divide dough into 4 to 6 pieces, depending on your preference. Roll each piece into a snake (ours were about 8 inches long), then coil the snake into a snail shell.
  4. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 10-13 minutes, until lightly golden brown. 


More From Off the Shelf

Two Years Ago: With 26 recipes and 26 art projects, our Eating the Alphabet guide will help you and your young reader celebrate summer's bounty!


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