OH NO, JONAH! by Tilda Balsley


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 4 - 7
Email this review


The story of Jonah and God’s command to him to warn the misbehaving people of Ninevah is retold in a rhyming narrative that brings out the reluctant prophet’s continual noncompliance.

In an introductory illustration depicting a biblical community of contentious men, Jonah looks on and disagrees with God’s request to warn them of impending consequences. “ ‘Preach,’ said Jonah. / ‘That’s not fun— / Ragging, nagging everyone.’ ” Jonah decides to run away, claiming that no one will appreciate his moralizing. He boards a ship headed in the opposite direction from Ninevah, but God’s wrath stirs a huge storm that only subsides after Jonah realizes he must leave. He allows the sailors to throw him overboard and is promptly swallowed by a huge fish. Forced to rethink his original decision, he agrees to comply with God’s command, yet after the deed is done and the repentant Ninevites have changed their wicked ways, he fumes that God decided to forgive them rather than punish them. Jonah must accept God’s rationale after he loses his own comfort under the cooling shade of a tree. The rhyming verse ably encapsulates each of Jonah’s negative and contemptuous reactions, which are followed by the refrain, “Oh no, Jonah,” meant to be shouted aloud by listeners or readers. Acrylics on textured canvas of robed and bearded men with long hooked noses and a variety of complexions create a rather stereotypical illusion of the ancient world.

A rousing rendition of the familiar tale. (Picture book. 4-7)

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-7613-5139-9
Page count: 32pp
Publisher: Kar-Ben
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 1st, 2012


ChildrenTEN HUNGRY TURKEYS by Tilda Balsley
by Tilda Balsley
ChildrenCRABBING by Tilda Balsley
by Tilda Balsley
ChildrenSHALOM EVERYBODEEE! by Tilda Balsley
by Tilda Balsley


ChildrenALWAYS REMEMBER by Cece Meng
by Cece Meng
ChildrenAN AMBUSH OF TIGERS by Betsy R. Rosenthal
by Betsy R. Rosenthal
ChildrenTHANK YOU GOD by J. Bradley Wigger
by J. Bradley Wigger


ChildrenGOD AND HIS CREATIONS by Marcia Williams
by Marcia Williams
ChildrenJONAH'S WHALE by Eileen Spinelli
by Eileen Spinelli
ChildrenDANIEL IN THE LION’S DEN by Jean Marzollo
by Jean Marzollo