My oldest daughter and I have been reading the advanced copies of middle grade books that I receive from Netgalley. I wanted to be able to include my twins, who are a little too young for middle grade books. So, my twins and I have been reading books from the Best Book Club Ever. You might remember these books from the late 1970s and early 1980s. They have been picking one book each night, and I have been enjoying rediscovering some childhood favorites.
Noah’s Ark was retold by Lawrence T. Lorimer and illustrated by Charles E. Martin. It was originally published in 1978.
The plot of this story should be familiar to many, as it is part of religious lore for several faiths. Noah is a farmer living in the ancient world, and he is apparently the only good person in the world. God tells Noah to build an ark, and to bring aboard two of every species of animal. Noah complies, the world is flooded, and when the floodwaters subside, a rainbow appears. This is God’s promise to never flood the world again.
The story itself is a fine retelling, and brings more of a narrative than the original text, while retaining much of the details from the source material, like the ark being made out of cypress beams and the proper dimensions that Noah should use.
The story is presented in a manner in which children will find appealing.The illustrations are what really make this version of the Noah’s Ark story special. The illustrations are colorful, and absolutely crammed with details. There are nice cross-section pictures of the ark being assembled. There are several pictures that show the animals queuing up, and my daughters enjoyed looking for their favorite animals. My fox-loving twin was sad that her beloved foxes were missing from the groups of animals. Our favorite illustration was one that shows all of the animals on the ark. There are at least two levels: the lower level has tanks with water dwelling mammals like hippos and seals, and there are triple bunks lining both sides of the main level. The girls had fun looking at all the animals, as Noah and his sons walk through with barrows full of food.
I would absolutely recommend Noah’s Ark. This book has been out of print for years, but used copies are readily available on Amazon. There are many versions of the Noah’s Ark story for children, but the gorgeous illustrations make this worth tracking down.