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ON NOAH’S ARK by Jan Brett Kirkus Star


by Jan Brett & illustrated by Jan Brett

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-399-24028-4
Publisher: Putnam

Bushels of interpretations of this Bible story exist, from humorous spins to wooden stylized images to an endangered animals slant, but Brett applies her familiar, appealing style and creates a child-friendly, beautifully crafted version. Told by the granddaughter of Noah, the girl brings her pet dove and keeps peace on the ark among the animals. Brett’s signature framed and bordered scenes depict the multitude of creatures with sidebars of animal-shaped insets depicting close-ups of assorted animal behavior. Overflowing pages convey the sense of crowding as inventive perspectives capture animal traits. A trip to Africa inspired Brett to create the borders of papyrus paper. Only the flap copy identifies the gender of the child, who could be either boy or girl in the pictures. That aside, the voice of the granddaughter humanizes the story. Striking in its simplicity of telling, the watercolor and gouache artwork of birds, insects, and mammals breathes life into this apocryphal tale. (Picture book/nonfiction. 4-8)