Thursday, December 18, 2014

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 243

Picture Book: Nora’s Ark

Author: Natalie Kinsey-Warnock

Illustrator: Emily Arnold McCully

Summary: Grandpa is building Grandma a new farmhouse on a hill. Grandma doesn’t see the point, but Grandpa is determined. It is almost finished when the rain starts pouring and the waters start rising. Prepared and fortunate to have this second home on high land, they move their necessities to the unfinished empty home. Then Grandpa goes to help stranded cows. Meanwhile, neighbors, human and otherwise, arrive at the new farmhouse for shelter. Grandma opens her doors not only to 23 human neighbors but to 100 chickens, 5 pigs, a duck, 4 cats, a cow, and a 3 horses! It is crowded but warm and dry. When Grandpa doesn’t return, Grandma and the young narrator go searching in a boat. They find him and a cow stuck in a tree. After rescuing him and returning to the farmhouse, Grandpa exclaims that he thought he was building a house, not an ark! After three days, the guests leave and grandpa continues work on the farmhouse, now the only house they own. The narrator, explains that the horses’ hoof prints in the new wooden floors of the farmhouse remained as comical evidence of the flood and the extraordinary hospitality of Grandma and preparedness of Grandpa.    

Hanna’s Comments: This story is based on a real event: The Vermont flood of 1927 which killed 84 and drove 9,000 people from their homes. The author’s note says that this story of compassion and courage is one of many that she has heard about regarding this tragic event.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Harper Collins, 2005

Age & Grade Appropriateness: 4 and up, Pre and up

# of Pages: 32

Available in Spanish? Not at present

Formats other than Book: Tablet

PBT Category: Post 2K

PBT Topics this Book Connects with: acceptance, action, adaptation/assimilation, animals, anxiety/worry, beach/ocean/pond/river/sea/shore, belonging, body of Christ, bonds/connections, caring/tending, challenges, change, comfort, community, danger, dependence/interdependence, disaster, diversity, found, grandparents, helping, home, homelessness, hospitality, leadership/servant leadership, neighbors, neighborhood, new home/relocation, nurturing, openness, rain, rescue, safety, safe place/sanctuary, saving/savior, storms, survival, tragedy, unity, variety, victims, water, weather

Scripture Connections: Noah ark (Genesis 6-8)

Idea(s) for Application: The obvious lesson possibility for this picture book is when presenting the story of Noah’s ark to children. Another option is to use the book to talk about the concept of “sanctuary” as a safe haven or place one comes to hide. Tie this concept to the word’s meaning as a place of worship too. You might want to teach the chorus to the song “Sanctuary” by Jaci Valasquez which carries the meaning even further into another context that of a person becoming like a living sanctuary.  

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