Thursday, March 14, 2013

Nora's Ark by Eileen Spinelli Book Review

Prolific Author Eileen Spinelli Pays Homage to Noah’s Ark in an Adorable New Book for Children
“A respectful, exploration of the power of a child’s imagination”Publisher’s Weekly

My review:
This is a sweet little book about the imagination of a young girl who hears a prediction of rain and begins to build her ark "...just like Noah.  Well, not just like Noah."  The illustrations show Nora's actual boat and her imaginary boat.  It is so fun to watch how she recreates her ark with spiders, goldfish, cats, toy monkeys and various other oddities.  And in the end when the rainbow appears, she is joyful just like Noah.  This is a precious little book that shows children that imagination can take you anywhere and it's especially fun to make a Bible story come alive!

Author and poet Eileen Spinelli has written more than 40 celebrated books for kids.  Now she’s using her talent to reimagine a favorite Bible story in the new children’s book, NORA’S ARK (Zonderkidz; $14.99; February 2013).  

With beautiful watercolor artwork designed by award-winning illustrator Nora Hilb, NORA’S ARK introduces an ambitious young girl who attempts to recreate the biblical story of Noah’s Ark in her own backyard.
When the local weatherman predicts rain, Nora decides to follow in the footsteps of Noah and build a makeshift ark.  To fill it, she invites her baby brother, Franky, her pets, and her best friend, Lily, to seek shelter from the storm.

Unlike Noah, however, Nora lacks the tools and resources to create a massive structure comparable to the one in the Bible.  Instead, working with what she finds in her family’s home, the little girl improvises.  She locates a broken attic chair, two dusty wooden boxes and pieces of an old fence, incorporating them into her design.

While Noah welcomed aboard two of every animal, Nora welcomes two spiders, two goldfish, two cats and two toy monkeys.

Spinelli poetically compares the stories of Noah and Nora, alternating between the grand construction of the Biblical ark in Nora’s imagination and the work she's doing in her backyard, assisted by Hilb’s charming illustrations.

Dubbed by Publisher’s Weekly as an “homage to the joy of creative play and storytelling,” NORA’S ARK is an endearing interpretation of the sacred Bible scripture, capturing the innocence and charm of inventive little dreamers everywhere.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Eileen Spinelli is a poet and the author of more than 40 books for children, including I know It’s Autumn, Thanksgiving at the Tappletons,’ and Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch. She lives in Wayne, Pennsylvania with her husband.

ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR: Nora Hilb is an Argentina native and award-winning illustrator of dozens of children’s books including Slither Slide, What’s Outside? and Leo’s Tree. Hilb lives in Buenos Aires.
Zonderkidz™, a division of Zondervan, inspires young lives through imagination and innovation. As the leader in Christian children's communications, it produces bestselling and award-winning Bibles, books, board books, graphic novels, audio, video and digital products that awaken the hearts and touch the souls of kids under 16 and the people who love them, from family members to educators. Zonderkidz is the publisher of the NIrV (New International Reader’s Version) Bible translation, the third-grade reading level edition of the NIV that is ideal for children and those who speak English as a second language. Visit Zonderkidz on the Internet at

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