The Chameleon That Saved Noah’s Ark

Yael Molchadsky, trans. from the Hebrew by Annette Appel, illus. by Orit Bergman. Penguin/Paulsen, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-101-99676-8
Life on the ark keeps Noah and his family hopping, but he still cares about every creature on board, and the chameleons have him worried. “They’ve tried to feed them everything,” writes debut author Molchadsky, “seed and roots, nuts and fruits—but they refuse every dish.” Noah carries one of the chameleons around in hopes of finding out what pleases these finicky eaters, but it takes serendipity to reveal the answer: when the chameleon is inadvertently placed in close proximity to some worms that are spoiling the food stores, she sticks out her long, sticky tongue and “with a flick and a flash, she swallows both worms.” In her U.S. debut, Bergman uses Mediterranean-hued acrylics and a playful sense of composition to immerse readers in an ark that’s joyfully busy 24/7. Her Noah is an equally wonderful creation: a man with soulful eyes and boundless energy, an approachable patriarch of a multiracial family. There’s no mention of any deity in this version, but it’s easy to infer why Noah was entrusted with keeping the “wonders of nature” safe. Ages 5–8. (May)
Reviewed on: 03/07/2016
Release date: 05/03/2016
Genre: Children's
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