Combining a character from Numbers and Deuteronomy with the biblical tale of Noah’s Ark, the Marks and Peluso introduce the giant Og.
First shown in the arms of a smiling, doughy woman with her back against a tree trunk and her head in the leaves, Og is a big baby, so large he breaks his cradle and every bed after that as he grows. Years of sleepless nights make him grumpy to his fellow humans, but animals seek the safety of his warm mass. Because the animals trust Og, Noah tells Og about the impending flood and enlists his help gathering the animals. The vivid palette in greens, golds, and browns is warm, and the rounded shapes bring a look of juvenile innocence to all of the characters. Bible stories are complicated, and this comforting aesthetic stands in contrast to the devastation and implied death that sensitive youngsters will surely ask about, especially after seeing a close-up of Og’s tear-stained face when he discovers he cannot fit in the ark (although Og has previously said he is so tall he cannot drown). Noah invites Og to ride on top of the ark and later the giant is rewarded, presumably by God, with a giant-sized bed—which Og finds perfectly comfortable once his animal friends join him.
An unusual take on a familiar story, with an enormous and likable character and a few gaps. (authors’ note) (Picture book. 4-8)