This clever, delightful picture book about Noah’s Ark takes the happy parts of Genesis 6: 9 and recaps them for youngsters in a rhyming format based on The House That Jack Built.
The vocabulary is charming and the pace is fast. Action, characters, and illustrations are fun. Gone is the mean reason God sends the flood (bad people) as well as scary thoughts about the fate of humans and animals not on the boat. The attitude is flip and modern: The sons, hard-hammering guys, have sweethearts, not wives. The text is poetic and evocative: water rains with the rush of a deafening downpour and gurgling gush. The happy ending of Noah’s jig meshes with God’s moving promise sealed by a rainbow.
The fact that this author relies on a Christian Bible and a secular poem does not distort this Noah version. After all, the Noah story predates both religions and the Jack building rhyme itself builds from the Aramaic poem Chad Gadya first printed in the 1590 Prague Haggadah. Park on any patch or peak and enjoy this amusing book over and over again with your readers ages 3 to 6.
Ellen G. Cole, a retired librarian of the Levine Library of Temple Isaiah in Los Angeles, is a past judge of the Sydney Taylor Book Awards and a past chairperson of that committee. She is a co-author of the AJL guide, Excellence in Jewish Children’s Literature. Ellen is the recipient of two major awards for contribution to Judaic Librarianship, the Fanny Goldstein Merit Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries and the Dorothy Schroeder Award from the Association of Jewish Libraries of Southern California. She is on the board of AJLSC.