Noah’s Ark
Peter Spier
1985
Caldecott Medal

There are some really great Noah’s Ark retellings and illustrations out there (someday, I’ll review Jerry Pinkney’s amazing version). But Spier’s version is my all-time favorite. Aside from the image of him shutting the ark’s door (the Lord does that in Genesis), this version could very well have happened. Spier fills each page with myriad details, inviting–no, demanding–one to take a closer look. Since Noah and company were on the ark a very long time, Spier allows the animal population to grow. (Watch for the hoard of bunnies leaving the ark!). He also gives clues as to the potential chaos on board, the mess generated by that many animals, and the relief all must have felt when the waters began to recede.

This is not technically a wordless book since the first page or two contains a line from Scripture and a centuries-old poem. Lest you are tempted to skip the poem, I should point out that my children request it! The rest of the book is word free, though. Spier’s illustrations are so detailed that my children love to pore over the pictures again and again–each time they notice something new. Unfortunately, this book is out of print. However, since it is a Caldecott winner, you’re likely to find it at your local library since they tend to hang onto those!

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