A long time ago when the earth flooded over,
some creatures set sail on an ark built by Noah.
On board Noah's ark are two pesky moa wondering when they will be able to get off the boat. After the lions? Before the penguins? Follow Noah and the two pestering moa as they search for their ideal home.
A delightful rhyming account of Noah's trip around the world, and the moa who are constantly asking "Are we there yet?".
When I saw Moa's Ark I knew straight away it would be a hit with my Miss Two she loves animals and birds and being based loosely around the Noah's Ark story with animals boarding the ark with Noah in pairs during a flood I knew there would be lots of animals for us to look at and read about. Being just 2 she gets a lot of enjoyment at pictures in books pointing out the things she recognises as I read and animals bring a lot of joy as if familiar she can make the noises and name the animals she sees. While she had never seen a Moa before she straight away knew it was a bird but a big bird in fact after a rather unusual experience with a Emu a few months ago she thought it was a big scary bird (we may of been chased by an emu).
The illustrations in the book are beautiful I love the way the Moa have been drawn with quite a comical feel about them I thought it was quite a fitting way to portray them as the Moa in the book were quite bossy and stroppy and impatient. When we meet the other New Zealand creatures at the end of the book when Noahs ark finally makes land in New Zealand we enjoyed looking at the pictures of the other NZ birds like the kiwi too.
I loved the way Noah dropped off the animals at their new homes based on what land suited them as much as this seemed like a long wait for the impatient Moa finding lands that were too cold, or to hot before finding the perfect home in NZ. The bouncing rhyming nature the author has used makes the story fun to read allowed and my daughter loved it when Iused character voices for the Moa and Noah making her giggle and ask for more and more when the story was finished. It is a short book to read aloud so perfect for this toddler age group to enjoy. We may have read it enough times now that Miss Two can remember the words and precict what is coming next.
I would highly recommend this book to kiwi kids and would make a great gift to send to relatives overseas. I love books with a NZ theme and I think its important for my children to be able to recognise NZ wildlife while Moa are now of course extinct and they will not see them that too presents a good lesson in protecting some of our other species of birds that are endangered so that they can stick around for future generations to see too.
Miss Two likes nothing better than a new book. Although she cannot read yet, she quickly learns the story as her mum or dad reads to her while she looks at the pictures. As a result, it is not too long before she can revisit the book and know what it is all about! She loves animals, and got very excited as she looked at the first picture which features several pairs of animals and birds perched on top of the ark. As she pointed to each one, she made the appropriate sound as she recognised the animal.
But when she came to the moa she was stumped - a new bird! When told they were called moa, she responded "sound?" but of course neither mum nor dad knew the answer. A GOOGLE search revealed that nobody can say with authority what the call of the moa might have sounded like, although there are educated guesses based on the physiology of the fossil remains. Although the pictures are stylised, Miss Two could still recognise the individual creatures - and now she knows what a moa might have looked like too! It is fascinating watching how such a young child processes new information, and exciting to see how she builds on prior knowledge.
The words are easy to follow with the rhyme patterns making it simple for a child to follow. The word flow is effortless; after the third reading Miss Two was able to join in with some of the words, particularly the rhyming words which ended each line. Some of the new words fitted in context so that their meaning was clear, although there was an occasional need for explanation by the adult reading to her. However, there was no need for complicated explanations; the new words extended her vocabulary effortlessly, so much so that she did not realise she was learning at the same time as she was having fun.
The backgrounds are special too - each landscape is different, according to where each animal or bird embarks from the ark. We loved the detail which made it possible to talk to Miss Two about boats, various trees and plants, and even the different climate zones (ranging from hot to freezing and back to temperate.) The images of the turbulent sea reminded me of those I have seen in oriental etchings and screen prints. Altogether the artwork was stunning; it is nice to see images like this available for children to enjoy.
The book length was perfect for a child of this age - not too short, but not so long that she lost interest. Of course, you also have to factor in the turn-back time (when a child suddenly needs to revisit the last page) and the question time (when the child asks something that has to be answered before you can continue with the story). And the bonus is that she can take the book and "read" it herself while the story is fresh in her memory. This is another book that will be enjoyed for months to come before it is passed on to her little brother.
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