Saturday, February 23, 2008

Traditional Tales: Noah's Ark

Ray, Jane. 1990. Noah’s Ark. NY: Dutton Children’s Book. ISBN: 0525446532.

Using the text straight from the book of Genesis, Noah’s Ark presents the story of Noah building an ark in which his family and all the animals that walk the earth and the fowl in the sky will live in safety as God floods the earth to destroy the wickedness of man. After forty days and forty nights Noah sends out a dove in search of land, and upon the second try the dove returns with a fresh olive branch – a sign that the waters have subsided and there was land. In her traditional folk art style, Ray’s watercolor illustrations fill the pages the upper part of the book and frame the biblical narrative with bands of quilt-like designs and animals at the bottom. With flat perspective of the naïve art, the geometric shapes, human and animal figures and the detailed abundance of the earth after the waters recede exude a delightfully fresh and colorful story of life renewed. Though the text has been abridged to create a smoother story line, it is through the detailed illustrations that this famous biblical tale will capture the attention of young readers for a lifetime.

CONNECTION *Read other books about Noah and his ark: On Noah’s Ark by Jan Brett, Noah’s Ark by Jerry Pinkney, Noah’s Ark by Peter Spier, and Noah’s Ark by Rein Poorvliet.

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