Friday, July 13, 2007

The Story of Noah

The Story of Noah by Patricia A. Pingry is a simple retelling of the biblical story appropriate for young children. Here, you'll find no mention of why God wanted to flood the earth, or of the evil being done around Noah (although the author says "Noah's friends laughed at him, 'That Noah is crazy,' they said. 'It never rains in this desert.'").

But we do learn God wanted Noah to build the ark, that Noah did, and that Noah filled it with pairs of animals. We learn that it rained a lot, and that eventually, the land was dry again. Then "Noah looked up and saw colored stripes in the sky. This was the very first rainbow." The author concludes:

"'Look for My rainbow after every rain,' God said. 'It means I love you.'"

This last part isn't terribly correct. Genesis 9:12-16 says:

"And God said, 'This is the sign of the covenant I am making between me and you and every living creature with you, a covenant for all generations to come: I have set my rainbow in the clouds, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth."

But the idea of covenants and God destroying the earth may be too complex for this book's target audience (infants to preschoolers).

What I Like: It would be tough to find a more simple retelling of this favorite Bible story. The illustrations, by Stacy Venturi-Pickett, are charming, with a friendly-looking Noah and plenty of cuddly animals.

What I Dislike: I wish the author had found a better way to explain the symbolism of the rainbow. Also, while the illustrations are kid-friendly, they are mostly in pastels; younger readers generally prefer bright colors.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: According to the publisher, 4 - 8, but infants and toddlers will like this book, too.

Publishing Info: Candy Cane Press, 1997; ISBN: 0824940954; board book, $6.95.

Buy Now at Amazon for $6.95.

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