Thursday, June 23, 2011

Noah's Ark

 It's that time of year - the kids stand at the windows, salivating at the sight of all those glorious puddles, anticipation etched on their faces and rain boots (i.e. galoshes, wellies, gumboots) lined by the door.

Peter Spier's Caldecott Medal winning Noah's Ark (c. 1977) seemed an appropriate picture book under the circumstances.  When you think of Noah's Ark, do you think of the classic childhood toy where the animals march into the ark two-by-two in a nicely double-file line?  I did.  Peter Spier (quoted by Doubleday as one of the "most gifted illustrators in this country") presents quite another image ~ a realistic portrayal of what must have happened.  Spier persuades with images, powerfully telling this story with intricately detailed illustrations rather than words.  His illustrations left me saying to the Mister, "I bet Noah and his wife were sooooooooo ready to get off that ark!"  Oh how I love Spier's humor!  There's a picture of Noah fishing after the rain lets up that give new meaning to the phrase: "I'm just going out for a while."  And then there's the descent from the ark . . . ALL those rabbits!

Needless to say, I highly recommend revisiting Noah's Ark through Peter Spier's perspective.  Spier captures the enormity of the task from building the ark to life at sea, shedding further appreciation onto that very first covenant rainbow.


  1. Our favorite part is the picture of the owls sleeping with one eye open ...