Noah's Ark

Noah's Ark

by Heinz Janisch, Lisbeth Zwerger
     
 

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The story of Noah and his ark filled with animals, and the terrible flood that covered all the earth, has always held particular appeal for children — and great fascination for artists.

This new version, faithful to the spirit and content of the Bible text, is graced with stylish and distinctive illustrations by internationally acclaimed artist Lisbeth

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Overview

The story of Noah and his ark filled with animals, and the terrible flood that covered all the earth, has always held particular appeal for children — and great fascination for artists.

This new version, faithful to the spirit and content of the Bible text, is graced with stylish and distinctive illustrations by internationally acclaimed artist Lisbeth Zwerger. Fanciful yet reverent, her full-page pictures and charming vignettes offer an imaginative interpretation of this favorite Old Testament story that will appeal to all ages.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Janisch retells the Bible story in biblical cadences. Noah builds the ark as God commands. The flood arrives. After 40 days and nights, the water drains away and the ark comes to rest. Finally Noah, his family and all the animals can leave the ark. God sends a rainbow as a sign that there will be no more floods. "And Noah went away from the ark, in hope and trust, and his offspring peopled the earth." The story is the frame on which Zwerger can build her imaginative visual version. Her focus is on the animals and they are lovingly visualized. We see an extensive landscape with an infinite parade approaching the huge red ark, a page of beetles and bugs, a couple of pages from some scientific journal, several pairs of Australian creatures loping across the bottom of a page. There's a quiet spirituality to the finely wrought naturalistic paintings that mates naturally with the biblical story. Reviewer: Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Children's Literature
This retelling of the biblical story of Noah's ark is illustrated with drawings that provide a mystical, almost otherworldly quality to the story. If you recall, the story tells how God is perturbed that the world has become so evil and chooses Noah and his wife to construct a ship, gather a male and female from all the worlds creatures, and float safely away as He floods the earth with forty days and nights of rain. Noah and his entourage survive and repopulate the world as a new beginning. The telling is rather straightforward, but the ingenious illustrations provide a more contemporary feel to the story. The textbook-like portrayal of some animals and eery glances into what may have theoretically taken place during this event, are thought provoking. For instance, does the glimpse of the unicorn and Minotaur, which did not make it into the ark, suggest that if you are different you do not fit in? Whatever, the interesting illustrations are the attraction in this typically told story of good and evil. 2001 (orig. 1997), North-South Books, $16.88 and $7.95. Ages 5 to 9. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger
School Library Journal
K-Gr 6--Janisch's version of the Bible story does not gloss over the violence that preceded the flood or the destruction that accompanied it. The reteller uses words with economy and power to convey the familiar tale of God's order to build an ark and the efforts of Noah and his family to carry out the commands to save themselves and the animals. Zwerger's signature style of illustration brings fresh insight to the tale. From the haunting opening with burning towers and discarded weapons through a fascinating menagerie of animals assembling to board to sea creatures undulating through submerged buildings, one image after another commands viewers' attention. Small pictures at the bottom of pages of text are carefully juxtaposed with the full-page illustrations opposite. For example, images of cats and koalas in cramped but cozy shelter on board face the scene of the ark buffeted by huge waves while clouds shed more rain. Text, illustrations, and page design work harmoniously to create a distinctive version of the often-told story.--Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN
Horn
In a far more ominous version than most "Noah's Ark"s for children, an angry God proclaims: "The people I created have become wicked, and do violent deeds. I will destroy them all, and cleanse the world of evil." The foreboding yet lyrical text is aptly matched by Zwerger's delicate, muted illustrations. Shadow falls on Noah's tightly clustered family as they look upward to receive God's commands; people clutching umbrellas run through the steely rain along with a centaur and a unicorn-clearly those who do not make it into the ark. The eerie scenes of destruction are balanced by Zwerger's beautifully detailed insects and animals, shown filing toward the ark and, on some pages, as figures in a hand-lettered catalog, a book of life. At the end of the long, dark confinement, Noah sees a rainbow in the brightened sky and leaves the ark "in hope and trust." The evocative and bewitching interpretation through both pictures and text effectively maintains the awesome and reverential tone of the original biblical story.
Kirkus Reviews
This unusual telling of a familiar story begins lyrically: "It came to pass in the days when giants strode the earth and were heroes among men, God saw that His people had grown wicked. They thought only of war and destruction. And God was angry." Beyond that, the text is negligible, a frame to showcase Zwerger's art. She finds whimsy in the suits, pillbox hats, and black umbrellas that adorn Noah and his family; in scenes of the animals that were left behind (among them, the satyr and the unicorn); and in the paintings of enormous fish swimming in and out of submerged houses. The watercolors effectively portray reflections of people and the ark mirrored in blue and silvery grey water. Elsewhere, Zwerger presents labeled plates of the pairs of animals, reminiscent of an Audubon notebook. Eccentric, if not cohesive, and appealing.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698400825
Publisher:
Minedition
Publication date:
05/29/2008
Pages:
36
Product dimensions:
9.80(w) x 9.70(h) x 0.40(d)
Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Lisbeth Zwerger was born in Vienna, where she later studied at the Academy of Art. Internationally renowned as one of the finest contemporary illustrators of children's literature, Zwerger chose "The Gift of the Magi" as the first American story she illustrated.

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