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WDC partners with Macmillan Children’s Books on the 20th Anniversary of The Snail and the Whale!

We are delighted to announce that Whale and Dolphin Conservation and Macmillan Children’s Books are partnering together to mark the 20th anniversary of the award-winning children’s book The Snail and the Whale, written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Axel Scheffler.

The well-loved picture book story follows a tiny snail and a great big whale as they go on an amazing journey, past icebergs and volcanoes, sharks and penguins. The little snail feels so small in the vastness of the world, but when disaster strikes and the whale is beached in a bay, it's the tiny snail's big plan that saves the day!

The anniversary is being celebrated with families throughout the summer, with a range of family-friendly activities at the Scottish Dolphin Centre. Activity will include storytelling sessions centred on The Snail and the Whale, as well as free family activity packs with lots of fun activities to enjoy together, raising awareness of the importance of protecting whales and dolphins so that children and families can better understand how these mammals can live safely and freely in the ocean. Storytelling is an incredible tool to inspire, spread hope, and promote understanding, which is why we want to commemorate the anniversary of this timeless book with a new hope that, like the snail, we can save whales and dolphins from harm.

The anniversary edition of the classic children’s book will be released on the 22nd June 2023 and features the original story with a stunning foil cover, as well as extra-special bonus content including a letter from Julia Donaldson herself and some early sketches from the illustrator, Axel Scheffler.

The snail and the whale book cover

Macmillan Children's Books Communications Director Alison Ruane shares her thoughts on this exciting collaboration:

“We are very pleased to be partnering with Whale and Dolphin Conservation to celebrate 20 years of The Snail and the Whale. This favourite story of the great big whale and tiny snail is well-loved by children and families, and this anniversary milestone is the perfect moment for us to join forces to increase awareness of the importance of protecting whales and dolphins, and their right to live freely in safe and open waters. We look forward to all of the activity to come over the summer and working together to help spread the snail's message to 'save the whale' far and wide!”

WDC’s Education Lead Alison Wood describes why this collaboration is special to WDC:

"WDC is thrilled to be partnering with MCB to celebrate The Snail and the Whale’s 20th anniversary. This much-loved children’s book carries a very important message – we must all work together to save the whale. We hope that this collaboration inspires readers to see the beauty in whales and acknowledge their importance to all of life on Earth!”

Storytelling Sessions:  

Storytelling Sessions will be held at the Scottish Dolphin Centre at 11:15am on the following dates. Each session will include a reading of The Snail and the Whale, exploring how the book fits in with the work we do to protect whales, dolphins, and porpoises!

Join us on any of the following days:

  • Saturday 8th July 2023
  • Monday 17th July 2023
  • Tuesday 25th July 2023
  • Tuesday 8th August 2023
  • Thursday 24th August 2023

For further information please contact our Scottish Dolphin Centre on 01343 820339, or email Kira McCarroll from WDC at [email protected].

Family Activity Pack: 

Download our FREE celebratory Family Activity Pack.

This Family Activity Pack contains:

  • ‘Make a Whale’ activity sheet.
  • Colouring activity of a scene from The Snail and the Whale.
  • Axel Scheffler’s step-by-step ‘draw a whale’ exercise.
  • Ocean wordsearch.
  • Humpback whale factsheet.

We would love to see our Activity Pack pages come to life with your marvellous creations! Tag us and @thegruffalo on Facebook to celebrate together!

About George Berry

George is a member of WDC's Communications team and website coordinator.