Perfect Picture Book Friday! Nora’s Ark by Eileen Spinelli

10 May

Susanna Leonard Hill has a feature on her blog called Perfect Picture Book Friday. It is a list of “perfect” picture books recommended by all sorts of people. I chose this book because I love Mrs. Spinelli’s books and the message is great!

norasarkNora’s Ark

By Eileen Spinelli

Illustrated by Nora Hilb

32 pages – 4+ years

Published by Zonderkidz on February 19, 2013

Theme/Topic – Religion / Imagination

Opening and Synopsis – 

“The Weatherman predicted rain.

So Nora built an ark.

Just like Noah.

Well… not just like Noah.”

Nora heard it was going to rain, so, she built an ark. She gathered animals 2 by 2. She uses her imagination and a broken chair, planks, and boxes, to make a great ark. Now all she has to do is wait for the rain!

Why I liked this book – Once again Mrs. Spinelli creates a masterpiece! Besides being a wonderful re-telling of Noah’s Ark, this book has a great message about using your imagination!  Nora uses what ever she can find to use her imagination to build an arc and save the world’s animals. The illustrations are soft and beautiful and go perfectly with the story. They show what Nora thinks is going on in her mind – what she is imagining, and then shows what really is going on. I love that Nora paints her toenails waiting for the rain and one of her crew mates (her little brother) has to leave to take a nap! I won’t give away the ending, but you will probably figure it out! 😉

Activities and Resources –

I found a great activity on PBS kids that I actually did in school. You build a boat out of tin foil and then put pennies on it until it sinks. Then you try to change the design of your boat and see how many pennies it can hold. It teaches you about how a boat floats! Click HERE to get the activity!

Foil boat activity

Foil boat activity (Photo credit: Micah Sittig)

Boatful of Pennies.

Boatful of Pennies. (Photo credit: San José Library)

I also found a boat building activity on Scholastic Book’s teacher’s site. It is meant for younger kids (PreK-K). Click HERE to go to it!

To learn more about Mrs. Spinelli, please visit her website HERE!

To find more Perfect Picture Books please visit Susanna Hill’s blog  HERE!

52 Responses to “Perfect Picture Book Friday! Nora’s Ark by Eileen Spinelli”

  1. The Story Reading Ape May 10, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Take time out to call by my blog Erik, you might like it enough to browse and even follow, it’s about New (to me) Authors 🙂


  2. Wendy Greenley May 10, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    A new Eileen Spinelli book is cause for celebration! And I love your activity–hands on but not too messy.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

      We actually did the boat building activity in school. It was cool to see who could design the best boat!


  3. aliciafinnnoack May 10, 2013 at 11:07 am #

    Cool activity, I love it.


  4. Jarm Del Boccio May 10, 2013 at 11:21 am #

    I love Spinelli’s books. Thanks for suggesting yet another to read, Erik!


  5. Joanne Roberts May 10, 2013 at 11:42 am #

    I have no doubt this must be an amazing book. Thanks for presenting it. I am sad to say I’ve been working on the same idea for some time – of course, the amazing Eileen will have done it better. That just goes to show what comes to procrastinators who doubt themselves. I suppose it’s all right in the end. The world gets a beautiful book, and I get to revel in a shared experience.
    This activities looks like fun!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 10, 2013 at 4:22 pm #

      The book is really great. I am a huge fan of Mrs. Spinelli. That’s happened to me – get an AWESOME idea and then find out there already is an awesome book out with the same idea. I think it just means that great minds think alike! 😉


  6. Catherine Johnson May 10, 2013 at 12:08 pm #

    What a fun book! I was just going to say I’m surprised no one else thought of that by now, and there Joanne says she wrote one. What else is there we can be first 😉


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

      I saw another picture book and a MG book with the same name, but they have different stories. Maybe we can write Norman’s Ark 😉


  7. Joanna May 10, 2013 at 12:14 pm #

    I love that the illustrator is named Nora… I wonder if that helped her inspiration? Looks a lot of fun, Erik.


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 10, 2013 at 4:25 pm #

      I saw that too! Isn’t that cool?!? The illustrations are as wonderful as the story!


  8. Laura Anne Miller May 10, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

    Thanks, Erik. This is my first intro to Ms Spinelli. I visited the link and her books look amazing. This is on my library list right now!!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 10, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      Mrs. Spinelli is one or my favorite PB authors! I hope you read lots of her books! 😀


  9. Genevieve Petrillo May 10, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

    I’m afraid of rain. And I’m pretty sure I’m also afraid of boats, and pennies, and foil, and nail polish!

    Love and licks,


  10. Nora Hilb May 10, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Thank you so much Erik, for the lovely review! I´m the Nora who added pictures to the book, and you´ve added sunshine to my day. “Nora´s Ark” is among the most beautiful stories I ever illustrated. A hug from Argentina!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 10, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

      WOW! Thanks Ms. Hilb! Thank you for taking the time to comment! I really LOVE the illustrations you did for this book!


  11. KidLitReviews May 10, 2013 at 4:19 pm #

    Very nice review! I am going to find this book during my next library visit. It sounds terrific. I love the cover. I bet the illustrations are fantastic. I love Ms. Spinelli’s books. She is so imaginative, just like her Nora.


  12. patientdreamer May 11, 2013 at 2:26 am #

    What a great find, Erik. I like that we get two views, one of what is in her mind and what is really going on. Very clever. Thanks for sharing and have a great weekend.


  13. Barbara May 11, 2013 at 2:48 am #

    Great book, Erik! I’m pinning it. We do that experiment and my class always loves it!


  14. ontheplumtree May 11, 2013 at 5:49 am #

    What a lovely idea – re-telling the classic Noah’s Ark and building it by using your imagination to save the world’s animals.


  15. Susanna Leonard Hill May 11, 2013 at 10:22 am #

    This book sounds terrific, Erik! I love the details you included about the toenail painting and the nap – so perfect! And I love your activities, especially that boat building one! Thanks for sharing 🙂


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 11, 2013 at 11:20 am #

      I love that humor in the book! They are saving the world’s animals and the little brother has to go take a nap! Hee hee!


  16. Joanne Fritz May 11, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Books about using your imagination are the best! I love Eileen Spinelli’s books, and she’s such a sweetheart, too. I hadn’t heard of this one (I’m out of touch since the bookstore closed), but in 2005 Natalie Kinsey-Warnock wrote a book called… Nora’s Ark! However, the Nora in that book was an elderly woman, not a little girl, and it was based on the Vermont flood of 1927. Check it out sometime, Erik!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 13, 2013 at 7:01 am #

      Mrs. Spinelli is VERY nice! I remember seeing her at the bookstore at the event I met you at! 🙂 I did see that book when I was looking for a cover image to use. I am going to see if our library has the other Nora’s Ark! 🙂


  17. Cathy Ballou Mealey May 11, 2013 at 9:09 pm #

    Wow – so many interesting comments. I love that Nora-the-Illustrator left one too!

    My kids and I will be boat building soon – you can count on it! Thanks for a wonderful review, as always.


  18. Penny Klostermann May 12, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

    The book sounds delightful, Erik. It’s a must read for me. Love the tin foil boat activity…especially that you fill it with pennies…LOL…since my name is Penny. But, I kind of think just one of me would sink it!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 13, 2013 at 7:03 am #

      I don’t think you’d want to sail on a tin foil boat anyway 😉
      Thanks Ms. Klostermann!


  19. Patricia Tilton May 12, 2013 at 8:37 pm #

    What a unique story Erik. Loved your review. Like the idea of Nora using her imagination to save the animals.


  20. readingwithrhythm May 13, 2013 at 12:15 pm #

    I love Noah’s Ark stories, but they never seem to show any dogs! I hope Nora brought dogs on her ark! This sounds like a good book and I like your boat activity! Pretty clever! Thanks for sharing!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 13, 2013 at 5:18 pm #

      Sadly there were no dogs… goldfish and spiders but no dogs. 😦 It’s still a very nice story!


      • Nora May 13, 2013 at 5:20 pm #

        But there are cats! and two little crows!


      • thiskidreviewsbooks May 13, 2013 at 5:26 pm #

        YES! YES! And toy monkeys!!! All BEAUTIFULLY drawn!! 😀


  21. viviankirkfield May 13, 2013 at 8:44 pm #

    What a great choice for PPBF, Erik! This looks like a wonderful book…and I love that it is a ‘Nora’ who builds the ark with her imagination. Sounds like something Josie might do…with your help, of course.:) GREAT activity…fun AND educational!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 14, 2013 at 6:52 am #

      We build forts together (and separately)! I like doing that. Nora’s Ark is GREAT!


  22. julie rowan zoch May 13, 2013 at 8:46 pm #

    Still waiting on this book from the library – now even more impatient! Love your activity – maybe I can float a cookie or two, in case I get hungry reading in the tub!


    • thiskidreviewsbooks May 14, 2013 at 6:53 am #

      *snicker* I hope *breathing deeply, as if to hold back a laugh* you find it! *snicker snicker snicker*


      • julie rowan zoch May 14, 2013 at 9:52 am #

        Snicker used to be my favorite candy bar, back when it might have been the only thing I was gonna eat for hours – and granola bars were not yet on the scene!


      • thiskidreviewsbooks May 15, 2013 at 5:39 pm #

        My parents love snickers – twix is my favorite 😉


  23. Myra GB May 19, 2013 at 12:46 am #

    Oooh. Very interesting premise for a picture book. I also liked the activity links you shared. Very nice.


  24. Darlene May 31, 2013 at 9:32 pm #

    This book sounds like fun. I’m sure the younger ones will love it.


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