The Ark, the Reed, and the Firecloud
by Jenny L. Cote
Jenny Cote has a wonderfully vivid imagination and very easy reading style. While meant for young readers, this book can be enjoyed by all, young and old. A great book to read to middle elementary with a good attention span and ideal for junior high readers. Something I had never thought about, this is a story about how the animals came together before the great flood. While I may not agree with her exact perspective it is very well written in a way that teaches children about some of the many cultures around the world. I really enjoyed the personalities of the different animals and the characteristics they were given based on the region that they came from. I really liked her perspective on how Noah prepared for this experience and the way the people of that day treated his family. The main message in the book is TRUST GOD. No matter what the situation looks like around you, when God calls you to do something you obey without questioning him. The animals didn't understand why they were following the Fire Cloud, they just knew that they should obey. Noah didn't know why he was building this large boat, but he obeyed and made the preparations he was told to make. A great message and reminder for us all. The only negative thing I could say is that it is a bit long with kind of a slow start. Other than that, this book is greatly recommended.
Also, keep an eye out. This book will be made into a movie later this year. I can't wait to see it!!
About the book:
Wit, Whimsy, Heartache, Tragedy, Triumph and Biblical Truth. A magical adventure of animals traveling worldwide to Noah's ark. Max, a Scottish terrier, takes his usual morning trot down to the loch where he hears a mysterious Voice humming in the reeds saying, "COME TO ME...FOLLOW THE FIRE CLOUD." He embarks on an unknown journey from Scotland, meeting other animals along the way including Liz, a brilliant, petite black cat from France. Max and Liz become the brave leaders for their group, and eventually, for the entire ark. The mysterious journey, filled with danger, humor, trials, and triumphs, leads them across Europe to the Middle East. The moment of arrival for these animals is spectacular as the ark is miraculously transformed into the animals' natural habitats.
Throughout the prior one hundred years, Noah and family have to endure ridicule from villagers while building the ark. Now this family must painfully witness the loss of lives and total destruction of the earth through the mighty flood. After the journey to the ark, the voyage in the ark begins. Liz finds ways to keep the animals occupied, including daily exercise led by the flamingos and talent night where the animals entertain each other with their natural abilities. BUT a sinister plot develops. Someone is out to kill Noah and his family. Liz follows clues that lead her to discover a stowaway who has deceived them all. Max and Liz foil the plot, but at a high price. The end climaxes with unexpected twists and turns, taking the reader from despair to hope.
About the Author:
Jenny Cote developed a early passion for history and the sea. Her first book, Now I Sea! (2003) is an inspirational book of sea stories and spiritual reflections. Jenny's education and career have focused on strategic planning and marketing in healthcare and church work. She now writes full time and lives in Roswell, Georgia, with her husband Casey, and son Alex. She is active in student ministry at Dunwoody Baptist Church.
The Ark, the Reed, and the Firecloud is available at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.