Aardvarks, Disembark!

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When Noah called the zebras out of the Ark, he thought it was empty, but he was wrong! There were still many unusual animals aboard—from zerens to aoudads. "Totally unique, innovative, and involving....This tour de force concludes with a list of the 132 species of animals pictured in the book, including a pronunciation of the difficult ones, along with a line of information about each. Those now extinct or endangered are indicated....From any perspective it's a ...
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Overview

When Noah called the zebras out of the Ark, he thought it was empty, but he was wrong! There were still many unusual animals aboard—from zerens to aoudads. "Totally unique, innovative, and involving....This tour de force concludes with a list of the 132 species of animals pictured in the book, including a pronunciation of the difficult ones, along with a line of information about each. Those now extinct or endangered are indicated....From any perspective it's a masterpiece."—Horn Book.

Author Biography: Ann Jonas, author-artist of Splash! and Round Trip, lives in Germantown, New York.In Her Own Words...

"I grew up in a family that attached great importance to knowing how to do as many things as possible, from skating to skiing to cabinet-making to repairing the family car. Everyone always had several projects going at the same time, and drawing was considered an incidental skill, a tool for planning a project rather than an end in itself. It was only after a few years of dead-end jobs following high school that I decided some specific training might be helpful, even necessary. I attended Cooper Union and after graduation went to work in the studio of my former graphicdesign instructor.

"A few years later my husband, Donald Crews, was inducted into the Army and subsequently sent to Germany. I followed and found a job with a German advertising agency, trying to design ads with a "Madison Avenue" look for them. We lived in Germany for one-and-a-half years, sharing a rambling apartment with German friends. Our first daughter, Nina, was born there. When we returned to the United States, we started our own freelance design business.

"Our seconddaughter, Amy, was born, and the design business grew. It wasn't until both daughters were nearly ready for college that I considered doing books for children, and then it was only through the urging of my husband and his editor, Susan Hirschman.

"My first book, When You Were a Baby, came together very quickly. I drew strongly on memories of my children and their friends at two and three and their evident pride in their accomplishments. Two Bear Cubs was next and then Round Trip, which was the working out of an idea that had interested me in the abstract. With succeeding books, I've been trying to explore other ways of stretching children's imaginations. I find myself drawn more and more often to designing books that involve some sort of visual play. It seems like a wonderful opportunity to encourage children to look at familiar things in different ways while offering the appeal of a game or a puzzle. If I can also deal, even if only lightly, with some of a child's deeper concerns, then I feel that I've served him or her as well as I can."

After the flood, Noah calls out of the ark a variety of little-known animals, many of which are now endangered.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
From the start, when readers discover this book's pages open vertically instead of horizontally, it's obvious that Jonas ( Color Dance ; Round Trip ) is bent on taking a different approach to the tale of Noah and the Ark. After a brief recap of the familiar Bible story, Noah takes a roll call (aardvarks to zebras) and discovers that there are still many animals waiting to disembark. Readers are then treated to 13 spreads devoted to the more exotic leftovers--such unusual creatures as aurochs and gerenuks, lechwes, peludos and urumutums. Although Jonas's lucid artwork is appealing and her concept intriguing, interest ultimately flags as the book becomes merely a listing, with only a tenuous story line to hold it together. Ages 4-up. (Oct.)
Children's Literature - Beverly Korbin
Having emptied his ark of its creature cargo (alphabetically, of course!), Noah descended Mt. Ararat, passing paired zebus, you yous, xerus, and scores of other creatures that have or are about to become extinct. Ms. Jonas' unique slant (both figurative and literal - as you will discover at first glance) dramatizes the precarious state of the earth's animals. 1994 (orig.
School Library Journal
Jonas begins her picture book at a point where most Noah's ark stories end. Once the dove returns with an olive branch, Noah begins the process of unloading the animals. Jonas accompanies Noah on his trip down the mountain past the disembarking animals. Past zebus and tuataras, past margays and aoudads, Noah joins the creatures ready to begin life on Earth again. Jonas' watercolor paintings are striking, introducing dozens of animals rarely seen in picture books. Page layout and design effectively enhance the feeling of descent since the pages open upward, creating a vertical orientation. As Noah proceeds through reverse alphabetical order, the animals increase in size, giving viewers the sensation of standing on the plain as the creatures approach. Adults called upon to read this book may tremble when faced with a daunting list of unfamiliar names to pronounce, but the guide to animals on the last page not only supplies pronunciation help but also provides a brief description of each animal. Growing attention to conservation and the increasingly popular concept of zoos and wildlife refuges as types of modern arks should extend this book's interest and usefulness to those well beyond preschool. As an alphabet book, an introduction to endangered species, and an example of impressive graphic design, Jonas' book brings new dimensions to the Noah story. --Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688072070
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/28/1990
  • Edition description: 1st ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 40
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 11.31 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 0.44 (d)

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