“the book is a triumph, the definitive Noah’s Ark.”—Publishers Weekly
Winner of the Caldecott Medal, an ALA Notable Children’s Book, and a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year, Peter Spier’s Noah’s Ark has been the iconic edition of this tale for over 40 years, in print continuously since its debut in 1977.
In Spier’s imaginative retelling, readers witness the danger and the grandeur of the terrifying flood but also the lighter moments: Noah’s wife jumping on a crate to avoid the rats; Noah shooing all but two bees from a busy hive; and all the animal babies being born in the spring. It’s an illustration feat that’s both majestic and tender.
Peter Spier is a genius and this is one of his best. I love the details in every illustration. He incorporates spare text from the Old Testament, complemented by the inclusion of a seventeenth-century poem, which he translated from the Dutch original. (For a real treat, look up the book on youtube, James Earl Jones reads the poem!) The first time I read this I was stunned by how many of the unexplained details of the Flood story Spier had contemplated and included for the reader’s consideration. One illustration, in particular, has stayed with me for nearly a quarter century: one of a group of elephants standing in thigh-high water. There is so much to look at and talk about on every single page. This book is a joy to read!
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