I just finished reading this book to my kiddos and we all enjoyed it very much! They would ask me to read more when we would come to a stopping point and were sad when I told them that we were about to finish the story. I am so glad that there are more books in the series. :) The author was careful to hold true to the biblical account. I enjoyed her creativity and her imagination. My kids are 5 & 7 (boy & girl) and they both enjoyed it equally.
The Ark, the Reed, & the Fire Cloud is a book written by Jenny L. Cote. She takes stories from the Bible and brings imaginations alive with the adventure of the main characters and their mates: two dogs, Max and Kate, and two cats, Liz and Al. They all embark separately on a journey of Faith, following the fire cloud after they all hear the Maker calling to them. They soon meet each other and together forge a friendship that is inseparable. They go through many countries and past many waters following the cloud, but also discover that they are not the only ones. Liz, the expertise on many things, notices that two animals from all over the world have been called, and struggles with her faith of the impossible. Meanwhile Max has a fear of water, and when they reach their final destination he discovers it is an Ark. After all of the animals are finally loaded, flood waters rise and the rains come down for forty days and forty nights. During the time of waiting to reach dry ground, Max has been declared a hero, and when things get out of hand Liz suspects one of Max's friends, and in discovering this she could end her friendship with Max. Will Max be able to understand the importance of what is happening, or will he ignore the evidence?
The story is very exciting and involves the reader. The author writes in a very unique setting, many of which are not used a lot. Jenny L. Cote brings her characters alive and the details make you feel as if you are a part of the story. For example, in one scene she shows how when the animals step into their stalls, the animals' natural habitat appears with everything they need, from waterfalls and rain forests, to deserts and ice.
In the end the main characters learn to not be prideful and to trust God, not trying to logically solve everything. Max learned to conquer his fears and not be prideful, like the waters from the flood, and to give he glory to God instead of himself, while God showed Liz how all things are possible with Him, like the ark stalls transforming into the animals natural habitats.
I loved this authors take on the story of the flood. God uses a dog and a cat to bring the animals to the ark. Along the way Mack and Liz find new friends and learn how to depend on God for all things. The most amazing thing I loved about this book was the authors take on how the animals lived on the ark. It was an amazing concept and it has given me much to think about.
The book itself is quit thick, 432 pages but you do get your moneys worth. Overall a wonderful book for children to read or be read to.
I think the story of Noah's ark is the most fascinating of all the majestic tales which have been chronicled in the Bible. Never has it been told like Jenny Cote tells it here. From a flatulent cow to a cerebral cat, which chooses as a mate Garfield's prototype, to aerobic instructing flamingos to a poetry spouting frog, several of the myriad animals booked for passage on the ark come to life for the readers. The characters speak with native accents and sprinkle in words from their own languages. So the French feline named Liz purrs in Francais, and the Scottish Terrier named Max growls with a Scottish brogue. Of course in reality, at this time in Earth's history, languages such as French and Spanish and English and countries such as Canada, America, Russia, Scotland, and Argentina were just a twinkle in God's eye. This is fantasy after all, and a reader must suspend a modicum of disbelief in order to enjoy that genre.
Jenny attempted to give us a different and entertaining perspective on this whale of a tale. She succeeded admirably. If you're looking for wholesome and faith building entertainment for your children, you can't go wrong with this book, and I suspect the same for the rest of the series.