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Monday, July 2, 2012

Old MacNoah Had an Ark, written by Sally Lloyd-Davies and illustrated by Jill Newton. Harper, 2008. $21.50 ages 2 and up

"And on that ark
they had some rain,
With a SPLISH! SPLASH! here
and a SPLISH! SPLASH! there,
Here a SPLISH!
There a SPLASH!
Everywhere a SPLISH!

There are some familiar animals from Old MacDonald's farm here and they join other animals of the realm to find safety on the ark that Noah built before the flood. It's a humorous take on the old story, and children will be singing along the first time they hear it!

It's always interesting to me how authors find new ways to tell old and familiar stories. Sally Lloyd-Davies is a prolific and accomplished author who brings a totally new vision to this one. She says she has never been on an ark, but in her head she can imagine that had this been a recognized song at the time of the great flood, the animals would have been singing it...maybe even making it their favorite as they waited for a stop in the deluge and bright sunshine to return.

It won't be long until young readers are sharing the song with anyone interested in listening. The sound effects will have them using their imaginations to find new ways of regaling their audience with the variety in sounds included in the telling. There are a few that are sure to encourage real drama and much laughter:

"And on that ark it got quite smelly,
With a POO! POO! here
And a POO! POO there,
Here a POO!
There a POO!
Everywhere a POO! POO!
Old MacNoah had an ark,

Can you hear them?

The pages are filled with action, expression and a real sense of adventure in the artwork created by Jill Newton. Bright colors with soft rounded lines and many familiar images from the original bible story will encourage children to share what they know.

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