Ann Jonas ~ Greenwillow Books, 1990
No matter how religious you may or may not be, when you birth an animal lover as I did, you'll find that the tale of Noah's Ark will inevitably become your kid's favorite and you'll seek out every single incarnation of the blessed story until you have every book ever written or illustrated about Noah and his animal kingdom brood. Of all of my kid's Noah books (and believe me, there are dozens), this one has to be the most interesting and most unique. (I know 1990 is pushing being called vintage, but think about it all you Generation Xers out there... This book was published the year I graduated from high school, some 18 ODD YEARS AGO! So if they can play Corey Harts' Sunglasses at Night (1983) and John Waite's Missing You (1984) on an oldies station, then I think Aardvarks Disembark can be considered old enough.)
Good 'ole Noah lets all the animals off the ark alphabetically, and once he gets to Zebra, he realises there are still a ton of creatures on board. Not knowing the names of the poor beasts, Noah just pushes them out of the ark and sends them on their way down the mountain. As the beasts descend in backwards-alphabetical order, we find out the names of some of God's more bizarre creations. Zebus... zerens... zorils.. youyous and yaks... and so on.
Finally they all reached the bottom of
the mountain: Noah and his wife, Shem, Ham,
Japheth, and their wives, and all the animals
from aadvarks to zebras and zorils to aardwolves.
It was time to go home.
Aardvarks, Disembark! includes the identification of 100+ endangered and extinct animals, with a short geographical glossary at the back. Very cool read, and thanks to it, my son now knows a jerboa and a sitatunga by sight. Plus, Ann is the wife of children's book author Donald Crews... how cool is that?
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