ON BOARD NOAH'S ARK by Ludwig Bemelmans


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Bemelmans is always surprising us by appearing in new roles- this time as a yachtsman. To be sure the "yacht" was an ancient pilot boat, for which he hired a succession of odd captains, misfits in their roles. One could have been happy always to stay in port; another to take successive bits of machinery apart; others were sea pirates, brigands of sorts; and his final acquisition was a star graduate of the naval academy who had never been to sea. Then there were the people on other boats- particularly the desolate Italian aristocrat hopelessly in love with his recalcitrant and beautiful American wife, who hated boats. There were the people in the harbor towns-helpful and otherwise. There's the irrepressible Bemelmans' type of zany humor, exaggeration and occasionally poignant perception. It is a mad adventure, this Mediterrean wandering, from Antibes, where he acquired the boat, to Portofino, to Naples and Capri and Ischia, and back again, winding up close to disaster with a storm at sea. The drawings throughout, fourteen in full color, are Bemelmans at his most observant, witty and charming, except for the jacket design which we find vulgar. The book is an odd shape and size for shelving- 5 5/8 x 8 3/8.
Pub Date: May 18th, 1962
Publisher: Viking
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 1962


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