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Naamah and the Ark at Nightby Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Synopses & Reviews
As Noahs wife sings the animals to sleep, an age-old tale is told afresh in a soothing poetic form brought to life with beautiful collage illustrations.
Naamah is the wife of Noah, and her name means "great singer." For forty days and forty nights, as the ark tosses on storm-wracked seas, Naamah sings. She sings to the animals, two by two. She sings to her husband, her sons, and their wives. She sings, and they all sleep, finally at peace. Acclaimed author Susan Campbell Bartolettis rhythmic, lyrical text pairs with Caldecott Honor winner Holly Meades luminous collage for a cozy, tender lullaby, and an ode to the power of song.
"In this atmospheric picture book, Bartoletti (The Flag Maker) gives voice to a biblical figure about whom little information exists: Noah's wife, who may have been named Naamah, Bartoletti explains in an author's note. She imagines the soothing effect of song during a long, dark night on the ark, as Naamah sings to her fellow passengers, both human and animal. Inspired by the Arabic poetic form of the ghazal (which Bartoletti also discusses at book's end), she structures a calming lullaby for the ark's inhabitants and readers alike: 'Over the ark, song flows at night./ Two by two, eyes close at night./ Two by two, wings furl at night./ Two by two, tails curl at night.' Meade's (If I Never Forever Endeavor) watercolor collages fill the large-format pages with all manner of animals in various states of repose. On several spreads, the refrain 'Naamah sings all through the night' is paired with gray-black figures silhouetted against a starry night sky. It's a story of quiet confidence and comfort, during trials of truly biblical proportions, as well as a gentle bedtime book. Ages 4 — 8. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Susan Campbell Bartoletti has written many celebrated books for children, including the Newbery Honor—winning HITLER YOUTH: GROWING UP IN HITLER'S SHADOW. She wrote NAAMAH AND THE ARK AT NIGHT in a strict but exquisite poetic form: the ancient middle-eastern ghazal. Susan Campbell Bartoletti lives in Pennsylvania.
Holly Meade (1956-2013) wrote and illustrated IF I NEVER FOREVER ENDEAVOR. She earned a Caldecott Honor for her illustrations in HUSH! A THAI LULLABY by Minfong Ho. She also illustrated AND THEN COMES HALLOWEEN by Tom Brenner; ON THE FARM, IN THE WILD, and IN THE SEA by David Elliott; and many others.
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