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Out of the Ark: Stories from the World's Religions

Out of the Ark: Stories from the World's Religions

by Anita Ganeri, Jackie Morris (Illustrator)
Retells stories from religions around the world, arranged in such categories as "Creation Stories", "Flood Stories", and "Animal Stories".


Retells stories from religions around the world, arranged in such categories as "Creation Stories", "Flood Stories", and "Animal Stories".

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Ganeri's retelling of stories from a wide range of the world's religions provides a much-needed book on comparative religious studies for children. The stories are categorized by theme-Creation stories, flood stories, lives of religious leaders, etc.-so that children can see for themselves the wide variety of understanding available globally. There are a few unfortunate factual errors, particularly in the telling of tales shared by Jews and Christians, wherein the stories are labeled either Jewish or Christian, instead of both. For the most part, however, this book, with its joyous watercolors, will help children learn and value the stories from many of the world's faiths. Ages 8-12. (Mar.)
Children's Literature - Uma Krishnaswami
This ambitious collection is divided into sections, each with its own theme - creation, catastrophe, animal stories, and so on. With a few exceptions, the stories are drawn from the world's "living" religions. They are succinctly told, and complemented gracefully by eye-catching illustrations that reflect cultural nuance and difference. Some are variants of well-known tales - e.g., the story of Lie and Evil getting onto Noah's Ark. It's hard to read this book all at once, though. It works better if you pick a point in the tapestry and follow its threads. An appendix lists characters, though not a pronunciation guide, and information is provided on seven of the religions represented. "Out of the Ark" is a useful addition to a multicultural shelf. However, it gave this reviewer the odd feeling of a slightly unsatisfying compromise - as if it should have been either a series of more focused books, or else a giant encyclopedia!
School Library Journal
Gr 4 Up-Ganeri does a fine job of retelling traditional stories from seven major world religions in a straightforward and respectful manner. They are arranged thematically, such as "Flood Stories" or "Birth, Courtship, and Marriage," and each section includes from 5-10 selections. The reteller places each tale in the context of its religious tradition but does not allow doctrine to dominate story. Similarities between certain tales are noted, but usually readers are left to draw their own comparisons. Appendixes offer basic facts about each religion represented and brief identifications of characters. Unfortunately, there are no source notes or bibliography for those who want to find longer versions of these tales or related stories from a particular religion. Morris's attractive watercolor illustrations provide visual variety to the layout. Although it is unlikely that most people will read the volume cover to cover, the book can serve as a worthwhile resource for comparative culture or mythology studies.-Kathy Piehl, Mankato State University, MN

Product Details

Harcourt Children's Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st U.S. ed
Product dimensions:
8.54(w) x 10.95(h) x 0.65(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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