Noah packs up an ark full of critters and heads out to sea in a gale in this rollicking, rhymed version of the Old Testament story.
The short text comprises one quatrain per page, with just a few words per line. The verses describe different animals and the sounds of the thunderstorm, with lots of onomatopoeia (“Crash! Boom! Rumble!”) and evocative language detailing the animal antics (“Thump, stomp, slither, / up they scurry”). The frightened animals pile into Noah’s bed two by two as the storm increases in intensity, with an action-filled climax involving a listing ship, a broken bed and a pair of stinky skunks. Noah calms all the creatures with soothing lullabies, and peace prevails as the animals bed down at last. Chapman’s appealing illustrations make the most of the humorously crowded conditions on the ark, with expressive elephants, slithering snakes and leaping tigers. Noah’s wife is nowhere to be seen in this interpretation, an unfortunate omission when all the other inhabitants of the ark are shown in pairs. There is no real religious content in the story beyond the basic premise, making this more of a humorous introduction to rather than a retelling of the Bible story.
A breezy text kept afloat by the buoyant illustrations—if only Mrs. Noah had been invited along for the ride as well. (Picture book/religion. 2-7)