cover image Mrs. Noah’s Pockets

Mrs. Noah’s Pockets

Jackie Morris, illus. by James Mayhew. Otter-Barry (PGW, dist.), $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-91095-909-1

Mr. Noah sets out to build an ark—under no one’s orders but his own—unaware that his wife is busy with her own plans. As rain pours down, “dark as a bruise, falling hard and fast,” Mr. Noah thinks it a fine opportunity to “get rid of some of those more troublesome creatures.” Mrs. Noah, meanwhile, breaks out her sewing machine. “How lovely,” thinks Mr. Noah. “Mrs. Noah is making curtains for the windows of my ark.” In reality, she’s making a large, billowing coat “with a hood and a cape and very deep pockets.” Mayhew tracks the drama of the flood in boldly colored, multi-textured collages, and Morris builds slow, beguiling suspense. What are the troublesome creatures? What is Mrs. Noah up to? And who or what is in her pockets? Finding out is worth the wait, and, in the final pages, mythical creatures—dragons, griffons, unicorns, and more—repopulate the newly dry landscape. Mrs. Noah may not get a name of her own, but she never wavers in her moral resolve, and her cleverness and compassion shine in this sly secular reimagining. Ages 5–up. [em](Mar.) [/em]