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Prayer for the Earth: The Story of Naamah, Noah's Wife Hardcover – November, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Kindergarten-Grade 3. In a departure from the numerous versions of Noah and the ark, this story centers on Noah's wife, Naamah. After God commands Noah to build an ark and gather all the animals, he then commands Naamah to gather two of every seed. Dutifully, she collects seeds from every tree from "acacia to ziziphus," from every flower from "the amaryllis to the zinnia," and fruits and vegetables from "apples to zucchini." They are carefully arranged on the ark and clearly labeled as a garden, not as food supplies. This garden provides a peaceful respite for Noah and Naamah from the fretful and noisy storm-tossed animals. Later, it is Naamah who soothes the Raven sent out as the first messenger and plants all the growing things after the Flood and whom God calls the Mother of Seed. The text is low-key, descriptive, and suitable for reading aloud to audiences in search of a gentle heroine; it will appeal to those who revere growing things and enjoy biblical tales. The watercolor art aptly conveys the mood and provides vivid splashes of greens, reds, oranges, and blues although some of the scenes seem more appropriate for the Garden of Eden than the Flood.?Susan Pine, New York Public Library
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Ages 4^-7. Noah's wife is hardly mentioned in the Bible, and she gets little more attention in Jewish midrash. That does not deter Sasso, a rabbi and the author of several well-received books for children, including But God Remembered (1995). Here, Noah's wife is named Naamah, a play on the Hebrew word pleasing, because her deeds are pleasing to God. She successfully completes the task that God asks of her: to save each plant on the earth. Before the rain falls, Naamah scours the world looking for growing things. Even the ubiquitous dandelion comes along--though only at God's prodding. Once on the ark, Noah and his wife use the room with the plants as a place of peace. When the rain stops, Naamah happily sets about to make the earth green once again. Sasso succeeds admirably at bringing a feminine presence to the stories of the Bible. She also helps children understand the responsibility that people have to be stewards of the earth. Andersen's colorful paintings have texture and depth that add to the appealing tale; however, a visual key to the plants named would have been nice. Ilene Cooper

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Jewish Lights Publishing (November 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1879045605
  • ISBN-13: 978-1879045606
  • Product Dimensions: 12.4 x 9.4 x 0.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,520,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Sandy Eisenberg Sasso is the author of several nationally acclaimed children's books, including God's Paintbrush, Adam and Eve's First Sunset and In God's Name. Publisher's Weekly selected two of her books, But God Remembered and Noah's Wife; The Story of Na'amah as Best Books of the Year. Abuelita's Secret Matzahs is the winner of the 2005 Sugarman Family Children's Book Award and the 2006 Best Books of Indiana Award. A book for adults, Midrash: Reading the Bible with Question Marks, has been issued in paperback in 2013. She is the 2004 recipient of the Helen Keating Ott Award for Outstanding Contribution to Children's Literature. The Shemah in the Mezuzah won the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Best Illustrated Children's Book. She co-edited the Winter 2014 CCAR Journal entitled, A Symposium on Sacred Teaching and Spiritual Learning. Her latest book is Creation'sFirst Light. She is currently the Director of the Religion, Spirituality and the Arts Initiative at Butler University in Indianapolis, Indiana. Just published - Anne Frank and the Remembering Tree.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 21, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book as church librarian for inclusion in our library. I was looking for any books about women in the Bible, especially ones who took progressive, independent steps to obey God and save the world. War is not the only way to save civilization. Noah's wife is never named in the Bible as far as I know, (she's not Joan of ARK!), so I found it a comfort and pleasure to read about the woman who helped save humankind and is never mentioned much in the story of the flood. She certainly had a lot to do to get ready for this flood--she didn't just sit on her noodle as the Bible seems to imply. In this story Noah's wife, Naamah, is put in charge by God of saving samples of every sort of seed, plant, shrub and tree that grows on the earth. Only through her can the assurance of a green earth be fulfllled. I really like this idea. The illustrations are lovely, freely done and colorful, often slanted in such as way as to give movement to the story. The feeling they give is, "be thorough, but hurry, a storm's on the way! If you do your job your precious earth will be saved!" On each page is a little logo from the previous page of the story to create continuity. This is a further nice touch. I would suggest this book to you if you are looking for Bible stories about girls and women for your own boy or girl, if you are interested in enviormental issues or science issues especially as they apply to girls. Here Naamah is definitely seen as a botanist obeying God's call. A nice book from Jewish Lights publishing. If the author reads this review could she tell us where she found the information for the story. Perhaps she found it in Jewish literature or folklore not readily available to Christians. Just wondering. I found it a delightful book which can give girls a reason to be proud of their religious heritage and their struggle to assume a rightful place in it, whatever creed they follow. Great job, Sandy Sasso!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on September 5, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Winner of the Publishers Weekly "Best Book" award, A Prayer For The Earth: The Story Of Naamah, Noah's Wife is a gentle and entertaining children's picturebook retelling of the story of Noah's Ark... but from the perspective of Noah's wife! The engaging text by Sandy Esignberg Sasso is enhanced with simple yet brightly colored paintings by Bethanne Anderson in this wonderful and recommended story of survival, love, and faith in God.
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