This bedtime book pairs reassuring, original blessings with Bible verses from Psalms, Proverbs, and Deuteronomy.
Almost every double-page spread features a young animal with an older companion, likely a parent. A very pale-green whale and a calf surface on a gray sea at sunset; a gray-and-white wolf and cub frolic in the moonlight; and a black-and-white bird feeds a young hatchling still in the nest. Text set in a large, white or deep gray type displays Assell’s sweet messages (“Tonight, most precious gift, you are safe”) while the Bible verses that inspire them appear below (“I lay down and slept safely” Psalm 3:5, Amplified Bible version). Exclusively male language is used for God, and several different translations of the Bible are quoted; in addition to the AMP, readers will encounter the New Living Translation, New International Version, and God’s Word. While Copple’s cartoon animals can be endearing, the color palette rests heavily on shades of gray, white, and dull orangey-pink, making many of the landscapes look bleak rather than comforting. The penguin perched by itself on an angular iceberg facing the setting sun, for instance, looks very much alone, textual assurance otherwise notwithstanding.
The dullness of the chosen hues dampens the soothing lines.
(Board book. 1-3)
The tale of Noah’s Ark may be the perfect story to tell little ones starting their journey with God or simply exploring the classics of Western literature. There’s cute animals, a giant boat, and spectacle to spare. This board book boils down the tale of Noah to its essence: Noah’s “a good man,” and he builds the ark, gathers the animals, and survives the flood. There’s no mention of the promise God made after the flood, which is curious (the Lord’s promise never to flood the world again may ease some fears), but the retelling otherwise hews to the familiar story. Size necessarily causes it to skimp on the animals, however; here, Noah saves elephants, giraffes, sheep, crocodiles, monkeys, and doves, two of each. The concurrently published In the Beginning uses similar tactics to tell the story of Creation. Both books feature minimalist artwork on uncluttered pages, thus emphasizing the objects and accompanying words. The illustrations are handsomely rendered with earthy tones and rounded, clean-edged figures. All human characters in each book are white. These well-constructed, small board books are best suited for the earliest of readers.
Engaging material for little ones embarking on their relationships with God.
(Board book. 1-2)
A very simple retelling of Noah and the Great Flood.
In rhyming verse, God tells Noah (“a brave, good man”) to build an ark and gather the animals as a couple of unnamed members of his family help out. Five double-page spreads present the scenes from this section of Genesis, ending with the appearance of the rainbow as God says “No floods like this again.” While the text succeeds in highlighting the parts of the story of most interest to the youngest children, the verse has several hiccups. The boldly colored art, which looks to have been created digitally, includes a wide variety of critters in the scenes, including two clown fish jumping through the waves. Unfortunately, it falls down in presentation as some of the cartoon animals and backgrounds look quite detailed and crisp, while others are jarringly blurred. More enticing for little ones will be the shaped, die-cut pages. The top of the book is arched like the rainbow or, depending on the page, the ceiling of the ark, and the curve also acts as a handle for toddlers to grasp. The die cuts allow the animals to peek through subsequent pages, but some stray images, like the top of the ark or Noah’s head, show through in odd places.
While the gimmick is fun, this ark doesn’t hold water.
(Board book. 1-3)