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
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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