A fanciful retelling of the story of Noah and the Ark doubles as a pourquoi tale.
This hipster Noah is pierced and goateed; his wife sports a partially shaved head and a hank of blue hair (also a noticeably pregnant belly by the end of the book, mute testimony to the ark’s raison d’être). Steven’s text is as tongue-in-cheek as Torseter’s illustrations, describing Noah’s efforts to round up all the creatures, even “bugs that most people get rid of by stomping on them.” Last to arrive to the ark is an orange mutt with a soft, black nose. Noah endlessly feeds the animals while his wife navigates. When the boat springs a leak 20 days out, a quick-thinking Noah deploys the dog’s nose as a plug, and there the loyal animal stays until landfall. Torseter fills the ark with activity, using fine, black lines and judiciously applied pastel colors to fill his nautical cross-sections with detail. A tuxedoed antelope gazes out of a porthole; a kangaroo gives a massage to a card-playing hippo; a grumpy-looking tiger regards a lollipop; an elk plays DJ while an elephant dances with a horse. Children will be just as relieved as the dog is when Noah remembers the faithful hound and plucks him from the hold for a tummy rub. “From then on, every dog in the world would have a wet nose.”
Sheer delight. (Picture book. 4-8)