Noah and the Devil: A Legend of Noah's Ark from Romania

Neil Philip, Retold by, Isabelle Brent, Illustrator, Neil Philip, Author
Neil Philip, Retold by, Isabelle Brent, Illustrator, Neil Philip, Author Clarion Books $16 (32p) ISBN 978-0-618-11754-3
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Folklorists more than families may gravitate toward Noah and the Devil: A Legend of Noah's Ark from Romania by Neil Philip, with sumptuous panel paintings by Isabelle Brent. A composite of several Romanian legends, it has a cherchez-la-femme premise: Noah's wife (""She really was a stubborn woman"") provokes Noah by refusing to board the ark, whereupon he says, ""Oh, you devil, come in!"" and thereby allows the real Devil to enter. Other twists in the relatively lengthy text includes magical explanations for why cats fear water and why fleas bite. The gold-leaf and watercolor compositions, elegant and detailed, don't match the earthy folk quality of the story. (2001)
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