The Ark has landed; the ground is rocky and bare. Mrs Noah misses her garden –what can she do? The earth is warm, in her pockets are seeds, carried in the hold of the ark are plants. All it needs is work and loving care. Mr Noah is busy turning the Ark into a house but there are the children and the animals – (even the “tiresome” ones) to help and by Midsummer Day magic has taken place – a magic that not only brings the world to life but binds this family with love.
We have already met Mr and Mrs Noah in Mrs Noah’s Pockets, and though Mrs Noah’s Garden can be enjoyed by itself, threaded throughout the text and the pictures are references to that first story, adding depth and humour to the narrative. Once again Mrs Noah, loving, caring – and quietly creative, is at the centre of the story. Mr Noah, as in the first book, is completely focused on the practical. Not for him any imaginative nonsense – no troublesome unicorns. What he wants are curtains for his new home – what he gets is so much more. The simple text by Jackie Morris avoids excess, setting the scene clearly without fuss, easily accessible to a young audience. Bringing the text to glorious life are the illustrations by James Mayhew. They teem with colour, texture and life, both real and imaginative. The production is excellent – clear font and well-placed text to accompany illustrations that have their own rhythm sweeping across the spreads, adding to, expanding and enhancing the words on the page and in the mind.
Morris and Mayhew capture the essence of an old, well known story giving it life for a diverse contemporary audience.