Here’s an entirely original rendition of the Noah’s Ark story that will surprise and delight, especially those who love a subversive character for we surely have one in Jackie Morris’ Mrs Noah.
As her husband is busily constructing an ark and making plans to rid the world of some of the ‘more troublesome creatures’ thereon, Mrs Noah, aware of his lists of condemned creatures, is not as her husband thinks, stitching curtains for the ark; rather she’s snipping, threading, tacking, tucking and stitching herself a coat of many pockets: pockets in which to hide all those creatures her husband intends to leave behind when they set sail.
And set sail they do, eventually finding a safe landing place where Mr Noah could allow his chosen animals to spill out and Mrs Noah too, could release her animals, those magical stowaways which are the stuff of fantastical tales of their own.
The whole book is superb: its overall design; Jackie Morris’ perfectly crafted, at times poetic, prose; and James Mayhew’s dramatically eye-catching, new style illustrations both large and small – a mix of collage and print-making. Together they make for what must surely become a classic picture book.