I sat down with Little Man (age 6) to have my first look. I knew it was a wordless book but Little Man didn’t. He saw the first page and said, “Cool!” The illustrations kind of jump out at you and your eyes beg to dive deeper into all that is occurring on each page. Being so caught up in the pictures, it took Little Man a few minutes to realize there weren’t words.
The first few pictures show Noah and his wife living a normal life. The next set demonstrate the emotions that Noah felt upon hearing from God to build the boat. I love his wife’s face in the image above. So telling. All of the emotions expressed are amazing. Next is an architecturally sketch of the ark. Little Man and I had a great conversation explaining that God give Noah specific instructions. Then the book takes you on the journey of building the ark, gathering animals, the flood, and God’s promise.
I love the little things that Mr. Ludy adds to the story. The dinosaur helping to build the ark. The tears coming from Noah’s eyes as he begs people to join him as a flood is coming. Snow falling and the clothes line on the ark. Fishing off the side of the ark and Noah’s love for the animals. These add so much life to the story.
After reading through the story, I told Little Man that the illustrator hid a little mouse named Squeakers on each page. He has spent hours looking for this little mouse on every page. We have only found him on about 25% of the 64 pages. You really have to look! But in looking for Squeakers, you see so many aspects of the pictures that you would have missed otherwise. I found out that the author has not yet revealed where all the Squeakers are. So…we will continue to scour each page for the little mouse.
And because I have to give my honest opinion and show you both sides…
I feel like I know the story of Noah pretty well. But even then, I wasn’t quite sure what the illustrator was trying to share on a few pages. Also, the book shows that Noah’s children were born after Noah heard from God to build the boat. I am not a Bible scholar but I question the accuracy on this. (Be sure to contact me if you have wisdom to share!) Either way, I would encourage you to read the Biblical account of Noah before looking through the book. Without prior knowledge it would be hard to lead a child through this book.
Second, I felt like the pictures included a lot of modern touch. Once again, I am not a scholar on pre-flood tools and home products but I question whether Noah truly had hanging glass lanterns with decorative additions in the ark. The tools look very modern as well. The glass windows are gorgeous but not sure about timely. Then again, let me know if I am incorrect!
Last, a couple of illustrations can be a little dark by showing people falling to their death or drowning. While this is very accurate and a fact of life, it could be a little much for younger kiddos. I used the situation as a teachable moment to explain to Little Man that there are consequences for disobedience and not listening to God’s warnings. No, it probably won’t be death instantly, but disobedience has definite consequences. Then we discussed the consequences that he has when he choices his way over God’s way.
No book will be 100%, exactly what you desire. But those few things can be wonderful conversations starters with your child (age appropriate, of course) if you grab hold of the opportunity.
In review: Noah: A Wordless Picture Book. Opening your eyes to a man who obeyed God.
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