Friday, September 20, 2013

PPBF: The Book of Jonah

Perfect Picture Book Friday is back. Here's my first pick of the season.

The Book of Jonah, retold and illustrated by Peter Spier

The Book of Jonah,
Written and illustrated by Peter Spier
Baker Books, 1985, Biblical non-fiction,
ages 4-8

Themes: History, Adventure, Religion

"One day, as Jonah the prophet was going about his everyday work, the Lord God spoke to Him. 'Jonah, I want you to go to the great city of Nineveh with a message from me."

The Book of Jonah follows the original narrative of the Biblical account from the call of Jonah through to the reprimand the prophet receives for his lack of compassion.

What I Love:
Anything by Peter Spier is bound to capture the attention of its readers. His graphic novel layouts tell the story with plenty of action. His illustrations engage the reader with a multitude of details. This edition also includes four pages of back matter, giving readers archaeological information about the Assyrian empire through maps, diagrams, and text.

Lancaster County, PA
1.  Explore the science of aquatic life. Go on a whale watch or tour an aquarium.
2. Explore the history of Mesopotamia through the web or at museums like the Met.
3. Read about modern day Jonahs, like this article in the Rock City Times.
4. Handy with a needle? Dress the part with McCall or Simplicity patterns.
5. Make a clothespin fish from Messy Inspiration.
6. Visit Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster, PA to witness the stage version of Jonah, or see it  in Branson, MO in 2014.

Check out all the recommended titles for Perfect Picture Book Friday for September 20, 2013.
Thanks to Susanna Leonard Hill.


  1. Oh my gosh, that paperclip whale is hilarious! I love little Jonah with his hands up inside.

    1. I can see the kids having fun with it too! Thanks for stopping in.

  2. Love the clothespin idea, and everthing Spiers!

    1. I picked up Peter Spier's Tin Lizzy recently. It's great!

  3. Spiers did an excellent job writing and illustrating this book. I didn't realize that a man had been swallowed whole by a whale last summer and survived! Quite remarkable. Lovely review.

    1. I remember seeing a picture in the paper when I was in 6th grade. A man had been recovered from the inside of a sea creature (can't remember what kind.) He had been bleached white from the digestive juices. Gross but fascinating. I couldn't find a record of that article online though.
      Nice to hear from you. 'Hope you had a nice summer!

  4. This looks like a wonderful, picture book telling of the story of Jonah, Jarm! Love your activities, too! Thanks so much for adding this to our list!

    1. Thanks for looking. And thank-you for maintaining such a valuable resource! Plus it is a fabulous way to find out about great picture books . . . your site is almost as much fun as browsing my local library!

  5. This looks like an awesome telling of a fascinating tale. What a scary thought to be gobbled up by a whale! That front cover is pretty powerful! I like your activities - that little whale clothespin is pretty clever!! thanks for sharing!


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