Thursday, March 21, 2013

Come Inside the Ark

The familiar story of Noah’s Ark is revisited again in Judith A. Harrah’s book Come Inside the Ark. Harrah introduces the story by stating that all involved in producing the book believe “the events of the flood, the ark, and all who boarded the ark are truth as God wrote it.” She goes on to say that the book “contains animal facts and human activities mixed with whimsy and fantasy to challenge children’s curiosity…”

The story is written in rhyme—sometimes rhyming couplets, sometimes with a different rhyme scheme altogether. The amount of text varies per page. Some pages hold only two stanzas while others hold many. The illustrations, done by Jack Foster, are cartoonish and have a bright, modern look, almost like computer graphic images.

After the introduction, the book starts with God telling Noah to build a boat and load it with animals and supplies because rain is coming. Once all are on board, God closes the door.

From then on, the author describes a variety of animals on the ark. Interjected into these animal introductions are a few other events. At one point, the continuous rain is again mentioned. We also learn about the chores Noah’s sons and daughters performed, and of all the hard work Noah’s wife had to do.

The story ends with Noah and family still on the ark. The last line states, “But this is a short list of all that came. You wouldn’t believe, if they ALL were named!”

Following the ending, the author includes true facts about the animals featured in the story.

What I Like: I appreciate that the author included real animal facts. Animal lovers will enjoy this extra bit of information.

What I Dislike: First, $17.99 is a little pricey for a paperback. Also, there is no set rhyme scheme to this story, which, for me, made it awkward to read. In addition, we know God told Noah to build a boat because of rain, but we aren’t told why God chose Noah to do this, why Noah needed to stay in a boat, what happened to everyone and thing outside the ark, or why God was going to flood the earth in the first place. Also, at one point, Noah’s sons sit on the Ostriches backs and race through the ark. Though I suppose this could have happened, there is nothing in the Bible that mentions this… and, in the book, it is given equal credence as other events. Perhaps the most disappointing part for me was that this book doesn’t tell the complete story. We never see the rainbow in the sky nor learn about the rainbow’s significance. So while this is a “feel good” story, it leaves a lot of gaps. Reading the story of Noah’s Ark directly from the Bible or explaining the story in greater detail to your child will help fill in the missing facts.

Overall Rating: Good. It’s not the greatest book to introduce your children to the story of Noah. However, it might serve as a fun “additional” book that can help your child imagine what it might have been like to be on the ark.

Age Appeal: None indicated. I'd go with preschool age.

Publisher Info: ShadeTree Publishing, LLC, 2012; ISBN: 978-1937331122; Paperback, 66 pgs., $17.99
This book is not available at
Buy it at for $14.03.
Buy the Kindle version for $5.99.

Special Info: You can read CCBR reviews of other Noah's Ark books.  

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