The Story of Noah and the Ark: From the King James Bible

Overview

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring

into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

A magnificently illustrated edition of a favorite Bible story

The story of Noah: he builds an ark, gathers his family, and brings the animals two by two into the ark to save them from the flood. From the tumultuous waters to the...

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Overview

And of every living thing of all flesh, two of every sort shalt thou bring

into the ark, to keep them alive with thee; they shall be male and female.

A magnificently illustrated edition of a favorite Bible story

The story of Noah: he builds an ark, gathers his family, and brings the animals two by two into the ark to save them from the flood. From the tumultuous waters to the dignity and beauty of the animals, Gennady Spirin's sumptuous illustrations are a feast for the eyes and the imagination.

Mr. Spirin has drawn on his classical training and his Orthodox Christian faith to create a lavish book that people of all ages and faiths can enjoy.

Illustrations accompany the Biblical text telling how Noah obeyed God's command to build an ark in order to survive the great flood.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Luminous" —Kirkus Reviews

"Neither cute nor ingratiating, this rendition of the Bible favorite is one to inspire awe." — Publishers Weekly

"Teeming with exotic animals, these images bring to mind the work of early masters such as Jan Brueghel."—School Library Journal

" In a series of beautiful oil paintings, Spirin illustrates the story of Noah's ark. Far less childlike than most interpretations, his skillfully rendered pictures of the ark, animals, storm, and flood are particularly accessible to older children. The scale of the illustrations is vast, encompassing dimly lit but exquisitely detailed cities, landscapes and seascapes. . . . A handsome, if somewhat somber, traditional interpretation of Noah's story." —Booklist

"[A] thought -and discussion-provoking choice for older children."—Horn Book

Publishers Weekly
With characteristically graceful watercolor-and-pencil illustrations in dusty earth tones, Spirin (Moses: The Long Road to Freedom, Children's Religion Forecasts, Jan. 26) throws his hat into the substantial ring of Noah's Ark picture books. What makes Spirin's approach different is the formality of his design and style. As in his Easter and Christmas books, the language comes straight from the King James Bible. Here the passages appear as large blocks of text on several double-page spreads, framed by an image of God presumably delivering these words from the heavens, and later, featuring Noah releasing dove and raven from the ark's window (the passages are referenced in spot art as well). In each case, the text is followed by numerous pages of sweeping paintings that depict such key scenes as the roiling, ominous dark seas and clouds, the parade of animal pairs and Noah's family. Spirin's finely crafted portraits of a bearded Noah with a gentle countenance, and of creatures that appear simultaneously realistic and fantastic, beg close inspection. A poster packaged inside the back cover features three scenes from the book connected as one continuous mural-a perspective that only heightens this story's grand scope and scale. Unlike more kid-friendly retellings, the initial passages and art clearly depict God's displeasure as something to be feared, making God's generous post-flood blessing and covenant all the more moving. Neither cute nor ingratiating, this rendition of the Bible favorite is one to inspire awe. All ages. (Apr.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
The text is directly from the King James Bible. It is interspersed, as if on sheets hung in front of paintings, on facing pages followed by double-page tempera, watercolor and pencil illustrations with no text at all. Spirin's vision is of a classically white-bearded patriarch ordering from on high. We see Noah, another old, white-bearded man, releasing birds from the ark's portholes. But the real power of this version of the story resides in the pages with crowded masses of animals. The more exotic species get top billing. They appear as couples, but far from the orderly parade typically illustrating this tale. Passion is incorporated in scenes like that of the dark, rolling sea dominating the ark, and in the final prayerful poses of Noah's family. These are reminiscent of later Renaissance paintings, researched for naturalistic representations and clearly designed by a masterly intellect. An equally stunning poster showing all the animals with no text is included. 2004, Henry Holt, Ages 6 up.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-Spirin uses excerpts from the King James Version of Genesis to accompany his watercolor paintings of Noah's story. God is remote and majestic, an old man with flowing white hair and beard. He towers above the world, pronouncing watery judgment, and remains aloof even beneath his rainbow sign of promise. The enormous ark dwarfs Noah, his sons, and even the elephants helping with its construction. The panorama of animals boarding the vessel is more impressive in the accompanying poster, which opens to more than three feet, than in the sequence of spreads. Teeming with exotic animals, these images bring to mind the work of early masters such as Jan Brueghel. When God summons destruction, the palette darkens further, and the paintings recall the apocalyptic deluge scenes by artists such as John Martin. Spirin includes the flights of the raven and dove, the disembarkation, and Noah's prayers of thanks. Perhaps parents or church-school teachers in search of a picture book using the KJV of Genesis will welcome this offering. However, the old-fashioned language and dark, formal paintings offer little to entice most children browsing the shelves themselves.-Kathy Piehl, Minnesota State University, Mankato Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Spirin's detailed, luminous paintings provide a traditional interpretation of the familiar Old Testament story, using the old-fashioned, measured cadences of the King James Bible as the text. The elegant design includes text blocks incorporated into illustrations of God as a white-haired old man looking down from his heaven or depictions of Noah looking out of portholes in the Ark. These facing text pages utilize mirror images in the illustrated elements, subtly reinforcing the two-by-two theme. A recurring circular inset in the upper corners of the text pages includes the relevant Bible verse citations or a related illustration, such as the dove returning with an olive leaf. The pages relating the story are interspersed with wordless spreads that allow Spirin more freedom to explore the sweep of the story by showing the enormous Ark, the parade of intriguing animal pairs, and the surging waters of the flood overshadowed by black clouds. These spreads have a mysteriously dusky lighting giving them the look of old masterpieces from a long-gone era. (poster) (Picture book/nonfiction. 5-9)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780805061819
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
  • Publication date: 4/1/2004
  • Edition description: Poster Included
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 32
  • Age range: 4 - 8 Years
  • Product dimensions: 8.80 (w) x 11.34 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Gennady Spirin was born on Christmas Day in 1948 in a small town near Moscow. He is a graduate of the Stroganov Academy of Fine Arts in Moscow and has received many awards for his work both in the United States and internationally. Mr. Spirin lives in Princeton, New Jersey, with his wife and three sons.

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