Tuesday, February 5, 2008

This Is The Ark That Noah Built

This Is the Ark That Noah Built, by Shirley Neitzel, is written in the style of the poem"This is the House that Jack Built." Noah and the animals are depicted colorfully and vividly by illustrator, Benrei Huang.

Two by two the animals file into the ark as Noah stands by watching. The sheep look a little nervous as the lions follow them into the ark. Your children will giggle if you make animal noises as you read the following aloud:

"These are the lions, with deafening roars, that lay by the sheep with frightened baas, that followed the donkeys, with hees and haws, that went in the ark that Noah built."

After the animals are all in the ark, the writing style departs from its repeating rhyme, and the author tells us how it rained and rained until finally a dove returning with an olive branch caused Noah to realize that the water was receding.

"'Noah,' God said, 'you've obeyed my command. Never again will I flood all the land. That is my promise. Remember it by the rainbow I've placed high in the sky.'"

The last few pages of the book are devoted to related family activities such as making a rainbow, puppets and a mobile. There are also helpful and fun facts about the story of Noah and the Ark.

What I Like:
I love the lilting rhyme that this beloved story is written in. I like the suggested family activities and the fact sheet at the end of the book. Children will be engaged by this book.

What I Dislike: I have a problem with the fact that the book is not biblically correct. The animals are pictured as entering the ark while the rain starts to pour outside. A whole page is dedicated to describing how Noah's family helped him to shut the door of the ark. One of my favorite parts of this biblical story is how God shut the door of the ark! There is also no mention of why God flooded the earth to begin with.

Overall Rating: Good.

Age Appeal: 4-8, but can be read aloud to younger children.

Publishing Info: Augsburg Books, 2004; ISBN:0806646438; paperback, $9.99.

Special Info: View the author's web page here.

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