In this wonderfully conceived and humorously realized picture book, the animals on Noah’s ark are losing their cool waiting for the rain to stop. “The ants were antsy. The bees were bored. The camels were complaining.” From A to Z, all of Noah’s passengers are feeling restless and irritable, and they all blame him. Finally, in exasperation, Noah reminds them that they’re all in this mess together, and then a true miracle happens. From A to Z, they all find a way to make the journey a little bit easier. “The camels were cooperative, the dogs were diligent, and the elephants were enthusiastic.” Combining a familiar Bible story with an alphabetical structure and a clear message of cooperation and kindness, this book uses creative language to convey a valuable lesson about community without a trace of didacticism. Adding to the appeal are the delightfully humorous illustrations in which cartoonish animal pairs carrying an assortment of fashionable umbrellas display both their frustration and fellowship through facial expressions that are sure to make kids chuckle. Busy twopage spreads provide lots to look at as the passengers engage in various shipboard pursuits such as playing checkers and badminton and eating pizza. Fittingly, the change in mood brings about a change in the weather, and the final page finds Noah’s ark sailing peacefully under a clearing sky. With kudos to the firsttime author, this book is heartily recommended. Ages 4 – 8.
Teri Markson has been a children’s librarian for over 18 years. She is currently the acting senior librarian at the Valley Plaza Branch Library in North Hollywood, CA.