The long procession of animals, disembarking in reverse alphabetical order from the ark, becomes an assembly of rare, threatened and even extinct species among the familiar. The overall impression is one of the diversity of the animal kingdom as well as the fragility of the balance of nature.
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The flood waters have receded, the dove has returned with the olive leaf, and Noah has sent the animals out as they came in, two by two in alphabetical order. But after he ticks off "zebras," there are a lot of animals left, all strange to him. So he calls, "Everyone, disembark!" and when at last the Ark is empty, he hurries down the mountain, passing pairs of "zebus. . . zerens. . .zorils. . .youyous. . .yaks. . .," etc. - a grand, labeled cavalcade of curiosities. The ten dozen names become a chant that increases in power as both type size and animals grow larger ("binturongs. . .boobies. . .bandicoots. . ."). The beasts, simply rendered in delicate line and clean watercolor, wend their way serenely down the slope, gather at Ararat's base, and peacefully disperse. A wonderful tour through less-traveled parts of the animal kingdom, and also a plea for conservation: Jonas closes with a list showing which creatures are endangered or extinct. (Kirkus Reviews)