The Chameleon That Saved Noah's Ark

tr. from Hebrew by Annette Appel. illus. by Orit Bergman. 32p. Penguin/Nancy Paulsen Bks. May 2016. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9781101996768.
PreS-Gr 2—Many picture books reveal how life on the ark presents challenges for Noah and his wife. They organize games and talent shows to reduce boredom and bickering in Tony Mitton's All Afloat on Noah's Boat and Peter Bently's A Lark in the Ark. They help restless animals sleep through the storm in Laura Sassi's Goodnight, Ark and Susan Campbell Bartoletti's Naamah and the Ark at Night. They even locate lost underwear in Smriti Prasadam-Halls's Elephant Pants. The dilemma in Molchadsky's tale centers on what to feed the finicky chameleons. Noah, Naama, and their sons work night and day to prepare and serve meals for the animals. Yet the chameleons grow ever thinner because they refuse anything Noah offers. When Naama discovers that worms have infested the fruit bins, one chameleon pops out her sticky tongue and gulps down the offenders. Two problems solved. The chameleons have plenty to eat, and the fruits and vegetables won't be spoiled. Noah carefully saves two of the worms, however, reminding his family that "everything and everyone has a place in the sun." Bergman employs a folk/primitive style in his acrylic illustrations with predominantly dark colors.
VERDICT This original and mildly amusing account of ark-board life may fill a niche in collections needing additional Noah stories without religious elements.

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