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Noah's Ark by Heinz Janisch

Noah's Ark (1997)

by Heinz Janisch

Other authors: Lisbeth Zwerger (Illustrator)

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Large format picture book retelling of the story of Noah and the great flood. Watercolor illustrations. Two-by-two animals look like plates in an old biology book.
  Lake_O_UCC | May 7, 2017 |
This book, quite frankly, ticked me off. There are so few times that I come across a book that I want to burn or have unpublished. This is one of those times.

The story is about Noah's Ark. There are hundreds of books about this topic and that is fine. There is no reason that there should not be. What angered me was that this book was not factual. It was as if the author had read a bunch of children's stories about Noah's Ark and decided to write one without consulting the Bible, which is the origin for the story.

In the book, God speaks to Noah and tells him there will be a flood. The author chose to summarize God's word. This is a children's book and I think summarizing in order for the reader to comprehend what is actually being said is fine. It is the whole reason why there are so many translations of the Bible. What is not fine is summarizing incorrectly and inserting "facts" which are not stated in the Bible.

The first red flag was when I came across the section saying that God told Noah the flood would come in seven days. That is a blatant lie and disregard for biblical text. God did not tell Noah that the flood would come in seven days. Noah didn't have seven days to build the Ark; he spent years building it with his sons. There were a few instances of misguided information and even the sequence of events was wrong in a few places. The author had them land on top of the mountain prior to sending out the birds, when in reality, Noah sent the birds first. I can point out more, but I will not.

If the lies were not bad enough, they had to be topped off with overall bad writing. I stopped on several pages going, huh? The wording did not make any sense in a few areas and word choices were made poorly. For instance, the book translated a Bible verse resembling something like "go forth and multiple" to "Go forth now, be fruitful and multiply, and people the earth." Really? People the earth? Populate would have made since; people the earth is just odd.

The trouble does not end there. Apparently the illustrator was incompetent as well. The clothing the illustrator drew was not appropriate for the time period. I am not a historian, but I am not an idiot either and I am pretty sure they did not have people wearing multi-layered suits and busty women with top hats and dress shoes. Some characters looked as if their clothing belonged in the circus.

Next, you come to constructing the ark. The illustrator included metal ladders and quite a few people helping Noah build the ark. If they had read the bible, they would know that everyone, even his family (at first) thought he was crazy. They would not have helped him build an ark to protect them from a flood. His family helped, but not the other people in the area. Oh, and the artist decided to throw in a centaur in the background. If I had not been reading a library copy of the book, I would have found a nice spot outside to light the book on fire while having "Light Em Up" by Fall Out Boy play in the background. Oh, and there were people walking around with umbrellas when the flood came. They did not have umbrellas back then. They had never seen rain before. It had never rained. They didn't even have a word for it. I could go on further, but I think this will be sufficient.
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  ZetherBooks | Jun 15, 2016 |
This is a familiar tale many children here. This retelling is simple and enjoyable. I also really liked the modern illustrations. It is interesting to think of people trying to use umbrellas in such a great storm. ( )
  Kathdavis54 | Jul 16, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Janisch, Heinzprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Zwerger, LisbethIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0698400828, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:04 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Retells the story of the great flood with which God destroyed all the world, except Noah, his family, and the animals he carried on the Ark.

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