On Noah's Ark
G. P. Putnamís Sons
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Picture the animals packed into Noah's ark--big, small, furry, feathered, sleek and shiny. How did they manage all crowded in together?
Jan Brett imagines Noah's granddaughter finding the way as she boards the ark with the animals and helps them settle down. That's not so easy because they thump and bump and push and press against one another. But this resourceful little girl keeps the peace, and as the ark rocks gently in new seas, the animals fall sound asleep. Then she tiptoes around, untangling necks and tails, wings and paws, until she too sleeps safely between the lion's paws.
The story of Noah's ark braving the great flood for forty days and forty nights until the waters recede and life starts anew on land is beautifully told in an original text and magnificent paintings, which reflect Jan Brett's love of animals great and small.
The story not only appealed to Jan Brett because she loves to draw animals, but it meant going to Botswana, Africa to see mammals and birds in their natural habitat. "To be physically close to Africa creatures was a primal, rapturous experience," she says.
Seeing the giant cushion like tracks of the wild elephants and then examining the feet of a semi habituated elephant crystallized the "mythic-to-intimate" scale that marked the trip for her.
As Jan and her husband, Joe Hearne, paddled along in dugout canoes in the channels of the Okavango Delta, they saw vast stretches of papyrus plants, inspiring Jan to create borders of papyrus paper, so long linked to our early history.
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