Fortunately we always have a well-stocked bookshelf to turn to and The Snail and the Whale by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler is a particular favourite.
It’s possibly not the most apposite reading material for sharing during lockdown when our wanderlust starts with yearning to be able to leave our own suburban estate never mind sailing across the seas to experience “shimmering ice and coral caves,” “shooting stars and enormous waves” and gorgeous “golden sands”.
But I do get my bonus point for it being connected to my daughter’s home learning suggested by her school to use with some maths activities – it seems we shall be looking at spirals in the next few days.
After a reading we also watched the animated adaptation of the story on iPlayer. Before watching this for the first time last year I’d never really focused on the more perilous parts of the pair’s journey (apart from the speedboats and beaching of course), in awe of the snail’s opportnity to experience those “far-off lands”. But the adaptation further highlights the dangers the seagulls provide never mind the “zigag lightening” or “sharks with hideous toothy grins”. Peril is never mild to my five year old so she definitely picked up on these points which, seeing as the dangers are one of the things she has to count, is useful and perhaps a reminder that we definitely are safer at home at least for now.
It is, of course, a beautiful story of friendship, wonder, our interdependence and how even the smallest of the small can be mighty – especially if their trails leave a message in particularly nice joined up handwriting.