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Meet at the Ark at Eight    by Ulrich Hub & Jorg Muhle order for
Meet at the Ark at Eight
by Ulrich Hub
Order:  USA  Can
Eerdmans, 2012 (2012)
* * *   Reviewed by J. A. Kaszuba Locke

Wonderful, Wonderful, Wunderbar!!! This picture book is the epitome of humor, with good lessons to learn. It begins with three penguins (one smaller than the others). Ulrich Hub writes: 'They all look the same. But that's the way it is. If you've seen one, you've seen them all ... They might be completely harmless, but they have a distinctly fishy smell.'

''You stink', says the first penguin. 'So do you', replies the second. 'Oh, stop bickering,' says the little one, giving the other two a kick.' Every day seems the same as they view their surroundings - 'Ice and Snow, Snow and Ice, and Ice and Snow' - wishing for something new. Then a butterfly appears and that is a wonderful thing... sort of!

The subject of 'Thou shalt not kill' comes up, leading the littlest one to ask 'Who says so?' A big storm looming, the dove delivers a message of only TWO vacancies on the Ark. The penguins are given a passage tab: 'This ticket is valid for passage only, and does not entitle the holder to a seat. Tickets are non-refundable, and will become invalid after the flood.' The dove tells the penguins 'you have to meet at the ark at eight o'clock. If you're late, you'll drown.'

The two larger penguins decide to sneak the littlest one aboard inside one suitcase. As rain droplets fall, the dove keeps telling herself that she has forgotten something. She admonishes the penguins when they arrive a little late. As they are shown to their cabin at the bottom of the Ark, they hear the wails and calls of other animals - the growling of bears, grunting of pigs, hissing of snakes, belching of hippos.

The dove is very weary, as Noah had given her quite a task to gather one of each animal-kind, two-by-two. When she begins to cry, a disguised voice comes out of the penguins' suitcase! You will have to read yourself to learn what happens. But you will love this book ... I kid you not! Author Ulrich Hub and illustrator Jorg Muhle are perfect partners in turning this classical biblical tale into a delicious, delirious, delightful story.

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