Mrs Noah’s pockets

by | May 21, 2020 | Book Review, Fiction, Picture Book

Mrs Noah's pockets - Cover

Book Details

Mrs Noah’s pockets
Jackie Morris, illus. James Mayhew. Burley Gate, Herefordshire: Otter-Barry Books, hb, 9 781 910 959 091, 2017, £12.99, 40pp.
Picture book, 3+ years

This is a very vivid and original reimagining of the story of Noah’s ark.

Mr Noah is busy building the ark and sorting out the pairs of animals to join him, anxious at the same time to ensure that the ‘troublesome creatures’ are not included. There is no explanation of which animals fall into this category. Meanwhile, Mrs Noah is busy sewing, clue in the title, and visiting parts of the woods that are her special domain. Mysterious and intriguing, what she is doing is not revealed until the ark finally finds land after the great rains and we see, in a series of beautiful illustrations, the fantastical creatures she has saved. 

The language is beautiful, opening with the extremely simple sentence “it rained” and continuing with rich evocative sentences, until “then one morning everyone awoke to silence”. 

Mayhew uses paper collage and linocut illustrations to achieve wonderful colours and depth. The use of blue, the darkening of the colours during the rains, the wonderful lightness as the sun reappears and the rain stops, is very effective. The illustrations of the rain with vertical lines changing in intensity and the swirling clouds and tempestuous seas are very effective. This contrasts brilliantly with the calm still bright blue after the storm. The mythical creatures are each wonderful collages.

Mrs Noah’s Garden is forthcoming in 2020….Mr Noah builds a house from the ark while Mrs Noah develops her garden. One to look forward to.

Review by Pam Dix