Noah

Mark Ludy. Plough (IPS, dist.), $19.95 (64p) ISBN 978-0-87486-639-1
Ludy (The Farmer) takes on a simple but big and familiar story in this wordless picture book. Noah is living an ordinary life until he gets an extraordinary message from God. He sits down to his drawing board and slowly, over the years that it takes to raise three sons, builds an ark. The rest is history of a sort. Ludy’s choices of what to depict and what to leave out fascinate as his story offers a graphic midrash on the biblical tale. Noah’s eyes and their changing expressions are one thread to follow. The animals are visually arresting, but their role is understated relative to the unfolding epic drama, which Ludy keeps focused on the title character. The emotional heart of the story is challenge and triumph, not catastrophe and punishment. The flood is sometimes cited as an example of the wrath of God, but Ludy emphasizes the scale of the drama and God’s power, not destructive anger. Adults may argue the theology, even while younger readers study the many playful details, including Squeakers, Ludy’s signature mouse, hidden in the illustrations. All ages. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/22/2014
Release date: 11/01/2014
Genre: Children's
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