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ONE MORE RIVER by Joan Paley


A Noah’s Ark Counting Song

adapted by Joan Paley & illustrated by Joan Paley

Age Range: 2 - 5

Pub Date: April 1st, 2001
ISBN: 0-316-60702-9
Publisher: Megan Tingley/Little, Brown

This traditional spiritual is the basis of a new counting book with bright, happy collages of animals entering Noah’s ark. They swing along with a bright blue sky and green grass dotted with flowers as the background. Noah begins the song with the building of a long, gray ark and at the end of the verses is seen drawing up the gangplank with all of the groups of animals represented at the ark windows. He is not seen as the animals enter the ark, the better for small fingers to count each animal, from the elephant chewing a honey bun to the ten hens, the last of which says, “We’re the last ones in!” The groups of animals, kangaroos, polar bears, bulls, llamas, monkeys, flamingoes, aardvarks, turtles, and hens are each given a double spread with the verse in the upper-left-hand corner. The numeral appears before the verse, but the numbers for four and five are barely discernible against the blue sky. The entire text, including that on the jacket, rolls up and down, giving the feeling of a wave. The collage includes handpainted papers using watercolor and crayon giving details and texture to the art. The introduction asks the reader—“Can you count the animals as they come? You may notice that the animals aren’t boarding in pairs! Count and sing along with Noah and the animals—you can even try to make up your own words as you go!” The refrain with the music appears at the front with encouragement to repeat the chorus after each verse. The verses and the animals are completely adapted and, at times, are forced, as in “So then the voyage did begin . . .” and “For forty days and nights they sat . . . Till they finally landed on Ararat.” This song will be thoroughly enjoyed by very young children, with parents or caregivers joining in. Its graphics and design are clear and joyous, and lends itself to a group reading. (Picture book. 2-5)