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The Chameleon that Saved Noah's Ark

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The Chameleon that Saved Noah's Ark

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The Chameleon that Saved Noah's Ark
By Yael Molchadsky
Illustrated by Orit Bergman
Translated from Hebrew by Annette Appel
Nancy Paulsen Books, 2016
An Imprint of Penguin Young Readers Group
ISBN: 978-1-101-99676-8

Reviewed by Simone Bonim - May 3, 2016

A long, long time a man named Noah built a huge ark. When a great flood swept over the land, Noah and his family took two of each type of animal that they could find, and brought them onto the ark for safety. In Yael Molchadsky's book, The Chameleon that Saved Noah's Ark, she shares a little known story about the chameleons that were passengers aboard the ark, a story that somehow missed being included in the Biblical story...

In this delightful children's board book, Molchadsky tells how Noah and his family strove to feed the varied animals under their care and how they knew what to feed everyone - except for the chameleons. As the story unfolds, the preferred food source for the chameleons is discovered and in the process the chameleons save the food stores for the humans. Where it not for the chameleons, as Molchadsky's story goes, there might have been a very different ending to the story of Noah's ark!

Molchadsky's lively story is accompanied by energetic, folksy illustrations by Orit Bergman, who presents Noah's family as a multiracial family who finds joy in caring for all the animals despite the never-ending work that it causes. It is also a family in which Na'ama, Noah's wife, has just as much responsibility in caring for the animals as does Noah. The illustrations run the gamut from bright, cheerful, and calm scenes to hectic scenes filled with multiple animals and which have so much going-on that pre-readers will have a ball searching through all the images trying to pick out all the different animals on the page.

Designed for kids in the 5-8 ages range, this book is ideal for use as a read-out-loud book for pre-readers, and as a read alone book for new readers. The book not only entertains, but also teaches positive values such as working together for a common goal and that every creature in the world has a purpose. The Chameleon that Saved Noah's Ark will make an excellent addition to any school or public library catering to young readers, and it will delight both boys and girls in a home setting.

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