Noah and the Great Flood

Noah and the Great Flood

by Mordicai Gerstein
     
 

According to the Bible there once lived a race of giants. The giants were greedy and violent and they turned away from God. Only one man pleased God at this time -- Noah. God chose Noah to tell the giants to change their ways, or e would destroy the world with a great flood. But the giants just sneered, so God instructed Noah to build an ark and collect a male and

Overview

According to the Bible there once lived a race of giants. The giants were greedy and violent and they turned away from God. Only one man pleased God at this time -- Noah. God chose Noah to tell the giants to change their ways, or e would destroy the world with a great flood. But the giants just sneered, so God instructed Noah to build an ark and collect a male and female of every creature on the earth. Miraculously, the ark helped to build itself, and the animals came on their won -- even some no one knew existed, such as the og and the rayeem. It rained for forty days and forty nights, drowning the giants and leaving only Noah, his family, and the animals alive. On the day the rain stopped, God gave Noah an important promise in the form of a special sign that would serve as a reminder of their pact until the end of time.

Mordicai Gerstein uses legends that have arisen around the story of Noah to create a richer, more detailed version of this familiar Biblical tale. His intricate oil paintings further enhance the drama of the text, making this a refreshing and valuable telling of an old and cherished story.

Editorial Reviews

Horn Book Magazine
As he did in Jonah and the Two Great Fish, Gerstein augments a story from the Hebrew Bible with elements from Jewish legend. The legends lend fantastical details to Gerstein's retelling: prismatic light beams out of Noah's eyes at his birth; the ark helps build itself; and "animals no one knew existed" file on board. Surprisingly, these details make the story seem more real, not less, serving to flesh out the bare-bones account from the Bible. Substance is also provided in the illustrations, which depict God in a comprehensible manner; as in Jonah, the sun in the sky is the eye of God-fitting for a God known to appear as a burning flame. Fluffy white clouds or dark storm clouds and lightning surround the eye, creating apt facial expressions. The illustrations also offer concrete evidence of Noah's goodness, through his physical resemblance to the God he worships: spikes of Noah's bright orange hair and his long flowing beard form a sunlike array around his balding head. The true selves of the people who anger God are also revealed in the artwork-Gerstein portrays them as gruesome giants and one-eyed Cyclopses, their outward ugliness a sign of their inner cruelty. Prisoners of their own hatred, they wear black-striped clothing that makes them look like inmates. Refreshingly, Gerstein fails to give his retelling a trendy environmental or moralistic slant, and instead recognizes the real reason for Noah's staying power: it's simply a blockbuster of a story, with a noble hero, evil villains, death at sea, a promise of undying love, and an unsinkable boat of titanic proportions.
Children's Literature - Lois Rubin Gross
This is the best book about Noah's Ark that you will ever buy. Using as his sources midrashim (rabbinical legends) that have been told about the Great Flood, Gerstein has created the ultimate Noah story, from his remarkable birth through his divine selection as God's emissary to a fatally flawed world. Delightful detail is what makes this book special. Did you know, for example, that Noah was born with rainbow eyes foretelling his mission as a "bridge" for mankind? Or, did you know that the ark cooperated with Noah by building itself? Gerstein's fanciful oil paintings show wondrous creatures, previously unseen, who survived the watery calamity with Noah's human family. The urshanas, in particular, look like creatures ready for licensing as stuffed animals. All in all, this is a book that will delight young and old readers with its original and imaginative presentation of a treasured Old Testament tale.
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 2-A colorful interpretation of one of the most well-known stories in the Old Testament. The narrative is woven together from the biblical accounts of Noah and legends in the Jewish tradition. Compared to some of the more traditional accounts in which Noah appears as an elderly man, this Noah seems more akin to a force of nature with his sweeping gestures, flowing robes, and flame-red hair and beard. The wicked masses are portrayed as giant blue and green ogres rather than wayward people and the angels figure more prominently than in other versions. However, the most unusual aspect of this retelling is Noah's ultimatum when the rains end, "...we won't come out unless you promise that there will never be another flood like this one...." Beautiful full-color oil paintings enliven the story and varied page layouts provide additional visual interest. Purchase this for collections needing more Jewish folklore or looking for an interpretation with a different twist.-Torrie Hodgson, Burlington Public Library, WA
Kirkus Reviews
The basic story is retold by Gerstein (Victor, p. 1117, etc.), with extraordinary details: Noah was 498 years old when he married and had his sons Shem, Ham, and Japheth; he lived among cruel, greedy, violent giants whom God views with pained regret; for 120 years, Noah tries, at God's request, to change his neighbors' ways, to no avail. With the help from an angel, Noah builds an ark and gathers his fold, including the unknown creatures urshanas, ogs, and rayeems, and so the story is played out. Gerstein's fusion of a variety of sources for the story gives it a richness; although for the picture-book audience, the details will be extraneous, there is no denying their value as curiosities, and as welcome springboards to discussion. (Picture book. 5-10) .

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780689813719
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication date:
02/01/1999
Pages:
32
Product dimensions:
8.35(w) x 10.85(h) x 0.51(d)
Age Range:
7 - 10 Years

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