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

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!



Categories: Age 1-5, Age 6-9, Perfect Picture Book Friday

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

52 replies

  1. 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 🙂

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

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

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  4. 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!

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    • 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! 😉

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  5. 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 😉

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

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  7. 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!!

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  8. 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,
    Cupcake

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  9. 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!

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  10. 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.

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  11. 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.

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

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

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  14. 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 🙂

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  15. 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!

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    • 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! 🙂

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  16. 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.

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  17. 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!

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

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  19. 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!

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  20. 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!

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  21. 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!

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

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

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