Rocco’s meticulous paintings depict a brown-skinned family carefully preparing for the weather; the animals are not directly anthropomorphized, but compositions give a cozy sense of community. Bringing the beauty of and responsibility for nature to the city, this will win over readers with its parallel storytelling and appreciation for human- and nonhumankind alike.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Those familiar with the original story will enjoy finding the parallels and omissions in Banks’s retelling; newcomers will find a satisfying tale about noticing and caring for wildlife, enhanced by Rocco’s naturalistic, detailed spreads.
The story is an intriguing blend of the realistic and the fantastical…the notion of a dramatic storm, a clever construction, and a kindly rescue will have considerable kid appeal. Rocco’s pencil and watercolor illustrations lean more toward realism than in Blackout (BCCB 6/11), and he focuses with naturalistic precision on the enumerated animals. The fancy of animals afloat in their furnished little house is an enticing one, and Noah’s focus on his local creatures may encourage some youngsters to have a look at their own ecosystems.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Readers needn’t be familiar with the Bible story to appreciate Noah Builds an Ark. They needn’t even be animal lovers: they require only an appreciation for inspired tales of empathy and ingenuity.
—Shelf Awareness for Readers
Rocco’s digitally enhanced pencil-and-watercolor illustrations are realistically rendered, appropriate to the story’s style, and feature rich earth tones. Most effective are the paired illustrations contrasting human and animal storm activities, including one scene in which the ark floats. A reassuring look at riding out the intense storms that seem to occur with increasing frequency.