We’re All In the Same Boat

Zachary Shapiro; Jack E. Davis, illus.
  • Review
By – January 9, 2012
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.

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