Using a Pair of Books to explore the story of Noah's Ark

Tuesday's are TWOSDAYS here at Myth Aunty, where I explore pairing books in different ways.

By pairing books, we not only extend a book we've read, taking it on to better comprehension, to just dwell on the topic or theme, to encourage them to make their own text-to-text connections, which they can carry with them as they grow as readers.


Both books in this Twosday's pair are based on the old Biblical tale of Noah’s Ark.



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While in ‘The Enduring Ark’, the storyline remains exactly the same, Tara books has explored the form through which it is delivered. Drawing from the West Bengal Patua style of scroll painting, we see the story unfold as the accordion style book does…into a long continual image, from the huge deluge of water to the rainbow of hope at the end.

Explore how this well known tale, has been Indianised through its illustrations and form.

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The second book in this pair is ‘Mrs. Noah’s Pockets’ by Jackie Morris and James Mayhew.

It takes the same old tale, and makes it new by including themes of exclusion and prejudice, individuality, female empowerment and fantasy to create a wonderfully imaginative take.


When Mr. Noah is asked to build a huge ark and to save a pair of each creature on earth, he sees it as a great chance to get rid of some of the more ‘troublesome’ creatures. Mrs Noah watches him draw up lists of creatures to take on the ark and she starts stitching herself a new coat with oversized pockets. While Mr. Noah builds the ark, Mrs. Noah is hard at work, sewing away. She makes herself a large coat with deep pockets.



As Mr. Noah gathers the animals two by two, Mrs. Noah disappears into Mythico woods on a last minute errand, returning for the journey, with her pockets bulging. The children sometimes thought they saw mysterious movements in her coat pockets, but sleepy and tired, they dismissed it as a trick of light.


When they reach land, Mr. Noah is chuffed at how much tidier the creatures of the earth seem, minus the troublesome ones he left behind.


While Mrs. Noah disappears into a nearby woods. Emptying her coat pockets gently, freeing some of the creatures, her husband thought he had left behind, into a new land of their own.


Who or what is in her pockets?

What is Mrs. Noah upto?

Who were the troublesome creatures left behind?

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This here is a perfect example of how clever endpapers offer the reader an opportunity to engage with the illustrations and draw meaning from them.


Endpapers can offer information to the reader, that helps them understand the narrative as intended by the author and illustrator.



Note the front endpaper.

Perfect for the story of the great flood and Noah’s ark.


If you remember the storyline that I mentioned in my post yesterday, Mr. Noah had seen the selection of animals to go in his ark, a wonderful opportunity to get rid of some ‘troublesome’ creatures.

While the last page of the story, shows us a few of the creatures she carried in her pockets, the back endpapers offers us the chance to dwell further on them.

What is this land? Who are the creatures?

They seem to sometimes pop out of the woods they live in to sneak into our imagination and stories.


Which of the ‘troublesome’ creatures can you spot in these endpapers?



I love how endpapers tell stories!!


Pair these books with the original tale to explore unique ways of exploring stories.

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