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Noah's Ark (Picture Yearling Book) Paperback – August 1, 1992

66 customer reviews

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Waiting is a big part of childhood. Waiting in line, waiting to grow up, waiting for something special to happen. However, now a child sets the stage and pulls the strings in a timeless, heartfelt picture book about imaginative play, friendship, and surprises. Paperback | More for ages 3-5
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Noah's Ark (Picture Yearling Book) + Our Animal Friends at Maple Hill Farm + Make Way for McCloskey: A Robert McCloskey Treasury
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This Caldecott winner tells the biblical rainy-day tale with practically no text and his signature delicate, detailpacked illustrations. Ages 2-6.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.


"The colors are lovely. The scenes are unbelievably detailed...the book is a triumph, the definitive 'Noah's Ark.'"
--Publishers Weekly.

A Caldecott Medal Book, The American Book Award, An ALA Notable Children's Book, A New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the Year (1977), The Christopher Award, International Board on Books for Young People Honor List.

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 3 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Preschool - 2
  • Series: Picture Yearling Book
  • Paperback: 48 pages
  • Publisher: Dell Publishing; Reissue edition (August 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440406935
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440406938
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,447 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book won Peter Spier the coveted Caldecott Medal for the best illustrated children's book in 1978. Most Caldecott Medal winners enhance the story with illustrations. But a few transcend the written material by becoming the story. Noah's Ark is of the latter category.
The book opens with a scene of brutal war on the left hand page. On the right hand page is the image of Noah tending to his agricultural tasks. The words at the bottom of the page say simply, " . . . But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord." Next, there is a translation of a Dutch poem written by Jacobus Revins that tells the briefest outline of the Noah saga. The rest of the book until the last page is wordless. The final page shows Noah after the flood tending to his agriculture with the words, " . . . and he planted a vineyard."
The illustrations provide nonverbal stories about Noah. You see the enormous task it was to build an ark, the difficulties of rounding up all the animals, the even greater challenges of taking care of them during the flood on the ark, and the process of returning to the land as the waters receded. By using only illustrations, you and your child have some latitude as to how you wish to interpret the story. You can be very literal, or you can be more poetic. A lot depends on how sensitive your child is. I can remember feeling frightened as a young child to realize that God could choose to destroy virtually all life on Earth.
The illustrations are brilliant for portraying perspective. The ark is made to appear enormous. Yet there are some illustrations during the flood where the ark is clearly tiny in the context of the worldwide ocean.
There are a lot of stories within the story.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 15, 2000
Format: Hardcover
My 4-year-old son was completely smitten with this book the first time we read it. He loved to look at all the details; the illustrations are wonderful. The book beaufully portrays God's vengeance and God's ultimate love. What struck me was the accuracy of the biblical story that so many of today's Noah's Ark books overlook or twist: - the length of time the flood waters took to receed - enough time for the animals to procreate (especially the bunnies!); - that God chose Noah, not that Noah was some sort of savior who, on his own, saved mankind; - the depravity of humanity (a city on fire); - the mess and smell of animal waste and the hard work to care for the animals - it shows Noah shoveling manure.
I strongly recommend Peter Spier's "Noah's Ark" for anyone who is interested in teaching children biblical truths so often secularized in today's world and also for the beautiful illustrations and details.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mark Bodenstein on August 10, 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am particularly struck by three things in Peter Spier's Noah's Ark. First, the panoramic quality and amazing detail of the illustrations. The more time you spend with each picture the more you find. Second, the way a fairly complex story is beautifully told without words. Third, the way Spier is able to convey depth and breadth and nuance of emotion in his drawings. He exquisitely captures the body language and small facial details, in drawings that seem simple but apparently are not. This adds realism, helps you put yourself in the character's place, and is the part of Spier's artwork I like most.
Note that the illustrations at the beginning of the story depict violence and are somewhat gory if you examine the details. You might need to consider how to present this, especially with younger children (say under 4?) With the youngest, pre-verbal, you might want to skip the beginning of the story entirely.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on June 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A far peppier illustrated version of the tale of Noah's Ark than I've encountered before. On picking up this book I was greatly afraid that perhaps I'd be reading some dour staid careful accounting of the exact facts surrounding Noah, his ark, and the animals that stayed on it. Instead, I was somewhat relieved to find that this was a rather cheery offering. Here, wry wit and realism pop up in the most unexpected of placed. To my mind, there is no story so great that a little humor can't make it even better. "Noah's Ark" backs up this belief.

We begin with the oddest of two page spreads. On the left page, in the distance, we see an army marching away from a burning city. Along the side of the road, men and cows have been indiscriminately slaughtered, and they lie in small pools of blood in a dead burnt field. On the right page, Noah is tenderly harvesting his grapes. A single shaft of light illuminates him and in the distance we see his house and livestock, awake, alive, and contented. All the text says here is, "...But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord". Thus begins our tale. Slowly (and wordlessly) the ark is built. Opposite a page where Noah's sons are loading up the ark with a host of necessary provisions (things like shoes, hoes, rakes, barrels of food, watering cans, etc.) is "The Flood" by Jacobus Revius (1586-1658). Author Peter Spier has taken the liberty of translating this from the original Dutch, and the poem consists mostly of a listing of the kinds of creatures that boarded the ark. This is the only explanation of plot the book contains. From here on in, "Noah's Ark" is a wordless affair, reminiscent of the books of Anno. We watch as animals are collected and gathered. The floods rise and Noah & Co.
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