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Reviewed by Barbara Fanson for Readers' Favorite
Olive and the Great Flood is a wonderful and warm story that children and parents will read again and again. Author Connie Arnold tells the story of Noah’s Ark from the point of view of Olive, the dove, but it’s not a biblical story; instead it’s an interesting fable. The story focuses on the important role that Olive plays. After watching animals board the giant ark, two by two, she, too, boards the ship. Then, Olive the friendly dove cooed to soothe the other animals during the rainstorm. When it looks like the rain has stopped, it is Olive who flies to a tree and brings back an olive leaf. When she sees the rainbow, she knows it’s safe for all the animals to leave the ark after the flood and start their new life. This book is a rhyming, easy-to-read story with colorful illustrations of animals and landscapes. Olive and the Great Flood demonstrates how it’s possible for many different breeds to live together in an enclosed space for 40 days; perhaps there’s a lesson in here for all of us.
Illustrator Kathleen Bullock provides realistic images with full, bold tones for Olive and the Great Flood. Her blending of blue and green hues produces realistic water scenes. Her full-page pictures set the mood for the story. The aerial view illustrations show Olive the dove’s viewpoint; a nice technique that isn’t used very often. I especially love the Olive and the olive tree picture on pages 5 and 18. Author Connie Arnold has created a winning combination of interesting, rhyming story with beautiful, accurate illustrations. Children 4 to 8 will enjoy this book, especially if they love animals.