Rodney and Rachel by Carol Nordquist

Rodney and Rachel

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A mouse couple learn the value of trust and love in this illustrated retelling of the Noah’s Ark story.

Rodney and Rachel mouse feel very small as they watch all the larger animals go into a huge boat. They’re not sure why they’re there, only that they had to follow their hearts and come. “Are you sure this is where we’re supposed to be?” Rachel asks in excitement, as they watch all the other animals enter the unknown beyond the ark’s door. They’re especially interested in the man who greets all the animals like they are old friends. The mice make their way up the long loading plank into the boat. But while the bigger animals make running up the ramp look easy, Rodney and Rachel struggle. How are such tiny creatures supposed to make such a long journey? The man looks out of the boat, but doesn’t spot them as the sky darkens. Rachel slips as the rain makes the ramp wet, but Rodney won’t leave her. Just as they are about to lose hope, they are “lifted by warm, gentle hands.” Rodney realizes that the expression he sees on the man’s face is love. The rain pours down outside, but the animals, including the two mice, remain safe and warm with Noah. There’s no real twist to the Noah story in this debut book, but young readers just learning about the ark should find the two mice narrators appealing, while empathizing with their feelings of smallness. A clear parallel is drawn here between Noah’s love for the animals and God’s love; though it is never mentioned outright, parents can use the tale to draw that connection if they wish. The illustrations are in muted colors, offering the same kind of comfort provided in the text: there’s nothing to fear here. Even during Rachel and Rodney’s lowest moments, a reader remains confident of a happy ending.

While the book’s lengthy prose seems aimed at lap readers, the soft illustrations and gentle tale make it an excellent choice for bedtime.

Pub Date: Dec. 2nd, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-4602-6264-1
Page count: 28pp
Publisher: FriesenPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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