cover image NOAH'S ARK


Jerry Pinkney, . . North-South/SeaStar, $15.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-1-58717-201-4

Pinkney (The Ugly Duckling) unfurls some of the finest illustrations of his career in this lush, not-to-be-missed version of the perennially popular Bible story. In unfettered, graceful prose, Pinkney relates Noah's faithful work in building the ship and gathering the animals. He enhances the smoothly rendered plot with simple, evocative detail ("The strong wooden beams embraced the clouds"; "[The animals] followed him into the ark, and God closed the door behind them"). The watercolor-and-pencil animal tableaux—delicately hued, vigorously executed—are stunning in their artistry. Realistically drawn creatures flap, leap, lumber and slither about under the watchful, hopeful eyes of a kind-faced, gray-bearded Noah and his family. These crowded but never chaotic scenes, as well as those depicting whales in implicit comparison with the ark, will help children grasp the magnitude of the story's message of faith, stewardship and obedience. Ages 5-8. (Oct.)