All Aboard for Noah’s Ark!

  • Review
By – January 8, 2024

Amus­ing, bright­ly col­ored ani­mals and peo­ple with friend­ly faces inhab­it this retelling of Noah’s Ark. The hedge­hogs want to help Noah pre­pare for the trip and assist him dur­ing his jour­ney, but Noah does­n’t see the val­ue of these small, unas­sum­ing ani­mals. Noah refus­es their help, pre­fer­ring to ask larg­er, flashier ani­mals for assis­tance — assis­tance they are often unable to pro­vide. All along, unbe­knownst to Noah, the hedge­hogs are prepar­ing the oth­er ani­mals for the long jour­ney in a num­ber of help­ful ways. When they are aboard the ship, the winds begin to howl, the rain pours, and the ocean swells, but the hedge­hogs keep the oth­er ani­mals calm and pro­duc­tive. They even fig­ure out a way for the ani­mals to return to their orig­i­nal habi­tats after the water recedes and dry land appears. Noah final­ly real­izes the val­ue of the small hedge­hogs. Because of their impor­tant work, all liv­ing crea­tures are now free to roam the new world.

These hero­ic hedge­hogs demon­strate to young read­ers that even though they may be small in size, their con­tri­bu­tions can be large and impor­tant. This new take on the bib­li­cal sto­ry is both orig­i­nal and charm­ing. Par­ents and teach­ers can use it to illus­trate impor­tant edu­ca­tion­al con­cepts and instill in chil­dren a sense of com­pe­tence and self-esteem.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and children’s book reviews. A for­mer librar­i­an, she has lec­tured on top­ics relat­ing to lit­er­a­cy, run book clubs, and loves to read aloud to her grandchildren.

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