Monday, April 4, 2016

Noah's Ark by Peter Spier

I love Peter Spier. He is a fabulous illustrator. So fabulous that he doesn't even need words. I like fewer words at times. Especially in any story based on the bible. This is just my personal thought, but I want to be the one to explain things to my kids. Not because I am wiser than anyone else, (I am not. In case you thought I might be from all my wise and erudite posts...ha!) but because it just seems important for me to teach my kids about God--part of the reason God gave kids parents.  

Isn't that an adorable little Noah's Ark? I love it. eBay! It does puzzle me why Noah and his wife have little Dutch style outfits on, but it is still cute. 

This is the sum total of the words in the book. Well, besides the poem that you will see a picture of in a second. 

Noah and his sons building the ark, while everyone else passed on by.

The poem. Very basic, but effective.

Loading up

Haha! Noah trying to keep the number of bees at two. 

The donkey had to be stubborn.

Closing the doors

The rains began. The animals outside the ark is pretty heartbreaking. All of them dying because of man's stupidity. 

The ark rising over everything

They were full up! I love Peter Spier's attention to detail--the water for the animals, scooping the poop, the inevitable mess of that many animals in a confined space. 

It wasn't a luxury cruise.

Peter Spier does rain so well. 


Elephants and mice

Collecting eggs

Having a space for animals who need water and dry land is something I never thought of.

All alone on a sea of nothingness. Rather frightening if you weren't sure of God's support. 

Have you noticed the multi panel style of this book? Peter Spier does a lot of that. I think it is a pretty effective format. Since there are no words, a single picture per page wouldn't tell as complicated or nuanced a story as multiple pictures per page can tell. And if you tried to make each of these pictures a full page illustration, think of how gigantic this book would be. 

The multi panels also allows Spier to delve into the details that makes each page worth pouring over.

Long dark nights. I like that Spier includes the potentially darker moments. Noah is a little lonely, unsure looking here. Although he had monumental faith in God, I am sure his heart ached for the sinful, destroyed world; for those, maybe friends, who wouldn't heed his warnings and perished. There was also the weight of caring for all the surviving souls in the world. Not that God wasn't caring for them, but there would have been much for Noah to do and countless details to be remembered.

It is good for kids to see that it is normal to have some low times. 

Owls and full moons

The ark hits ground and things go slightly askew.

Sending out the crow

The dove

The green branch

Oh, the joy!

Spreading the good news. The animals excitement is paralleled by the cows at this time of year--green grass after a long winter of hay.

Getting ready to disembark.

Hesitant elephant

The rapidly multiplying rabbits testify to the length of time they had to live on the ark.

The world's creatures going forth

The abandoned ark. This is sort of poignant. This ark that was their world, that saved their life, was discarded, left behind. God didn't want them to live in the ark. 

I wonder if there were some worries in the minds of the others about living on the land that had just been flooded. Could it happen again? Maybe we should build quite close to the ark just in case. 

But God made a promise to them in the rainbow. And they had faith enough to leave the safety of the ark behind.

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