From ancient India comes this Eastern version of Noah’s Ark.
When good King Manu prays for God Vishnu to protect the world, his prayers are answered in a most unexpected way. Vishnu appears as a small fish that grows and grows, obliging the king to find larger and larger aquariums to hold him. Eventually, Vishnu reaches a gigantic size and enters the ocean. He announces that a terrible flood will drown the world and that Manu should fill an ark with plants and animals of every species. As in the biblical tale, the floods eventually subside and peace returns to the earth.
Emma Moore’s luminous artwork is reminiscent of Maxfield Parrish’s “Garden of Allah,” creating a magical realm of shimmering waters and rainbow-colored deities that complements her simple prose retelling of this ancient, universal story. This is an ideal introduction to a wisdom tale that appears across cultures worldwide.
Moore, who studied Indian art and philosophy, writes her first children's book, telling a version of the great flood story that Christians and Jews know from the biblical tale of Noah. Manu ("Father of Man") is a compassionate king who lived in ancient India. Every day Manu asks the god Vishnu to keep the world safe, offering him a handful of river water. One day Manu finds a tiny fish in his hands, and the fish asks to be taken home for protection. After that, the fish grows magically, since he is in fact the god Vishnu. Pleased with his human subject, Vishnu warns Manu that a flood is coming, but he will send a boat that the king must load with every living thing, which Manu does. The flood comes, but life is safe. After it recedes, Manu continues his devotion to Vishnu. Many of Moore's pastel and watercolor crayon illustrations are full-bleed spreads filled with sinuous lines and soft jewel colors. Changes in Vishnu's eyes mark the progression of the story. A beautiful, accessible work that is both simple and sophisticated. Ages 7 up.