Noah's Ark

By Peter Spier

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Literary Elements

The illustrations are pretty much the majority of this book. I know I will reiterate that point throughout this project too so get used to that recurring motif. The story is told entirely through pictures after the first page but the theme, style, plot, setting, and characters are all still obvious. Characters wise, Noah, his family, and the animals make up a majority. The setting is depicted beautifully too even though it changes from land to ocean and is all over the place. The theme and style are also apparent through the soft and descriptive pictures throughout.

Physical Features

I agree with the review that I read on about the book that the book is formatted like a graphic novel or comic book. I loved what the author of that article said about the format of the book:

“Some of the pages are divided into neat, even, four-panel grids, some have two or four vertical panels stretched up and down across the page. Some layouts have a top panel that stretches horizontal across two pages, with smaller panels below. There are some full-page splashes, and some two page splashes. All in all, there's a great variety in the layout and page design, and it's very smart”.

The poem is written in large text and the fact that the book is word free after the first page makes it very accommodating for young kids. The pages are large and have soft pages that would be tough to get cut on. The book is hardcover as well.
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Artistic Style And Media

The art in Noah's Ark is realistic but also cartoonish and purposefully comical at points resembling the graphic novel style. It contributes to the story by telling the original tale from the bible with high accuracy and because it is easily interpretable. It makes the book an easy read for both parents and kids. The artist used watercolors over pencils for a very light art style that is cozy to the eye no matter what is happening in the picture.

Visual Elements

The two pages I analyzed thoroughly were in the beginning of the book. The poem by Jacobus Revius is extremely descriptive of the events that occur over the rest of the book and especially of the picture next to it which is of all the animals gathering outside the ark before the flood. These two pages give good examples of the gutters in this comic book styled story as well as the framing of the pictures and shapes that Spier used. The colors are light and the gutters are white and clear which differentiates pictures well.

Elements Of Illustration And Interplay of Text and Illustrations

Many of these elements are lost because of the location of the actual text, but the page turns I feel are especially important due to this aspect. The reader is able to experience the story immediately every time a new page is in view because it is all pictures. The arrangement is also important because the reader is told the whole story without pictures and then only with them. The text and pictures work together in concert to create meaning by using extremely descriptive rhymes. For example: "Worst and best stayed on shore. Were no more...Which brought all. To the fall".


Below is a short author video about Peter Spier and his other work as well as some comments on his Caldecott award and illustrations throughout the years. He seems like an interesting person.
Peter Spier Author Video


1. Spier, Peter, and Jacobus Revius. Noah's Ark. Print.

2. "Every Day Is Like Wednesday." As It Turns Out, Peter Spier's Children's Book Noah's Ark Is Actually a Comic Book. Web. 12 Feb. 2016.

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By: Ryan Sanders