cover image The Boat of Many Rooms: The Story of Noah in Verse

The Boat of Many Rooms: The Story of Noah in Verse

J. Patrick Lewis. Atheneum Books, $16 (32pp) ISBN 978-0-689-80118-1

The tale of Noah and the Ark, arguably the Bible story best known by children, receives an unusual makeover at Lewis's (Earth Verses and Water Rhymes) poetic hand. Noah's selection by God to captain an ark of animals, ""two of every kind,"" through the great flood leads off an elaborate collection of poems that form a careful narrative. Lewis employs a wide variety of rhyme scheme and stanza length to convey the bustling energy of preparation as well as the monotony of being too long at sea and the joy of first sighting dry land. The vocabulary and phrasing ranges from silly to challenging, providing youngsters with plenty of fun as well as food for thought. Cartwright's stylized oils, awash in gentle earth tones, depict Noah and the beasts as one big happy family. Kind-faced creatures and chunkily drawn humans offer an understated air of fantasy to this rendition. Ages 6-10. (Feb.)