The ark : Creator of Gnomes, Dogs and Dutch Treat, Dutch artist Poortvliet tackles the Biblical story of Noah and the flood in this oversize, lavishly produced album. We watch as Noah and his family build the ark with a big wooden crane, then see how the animals adjust to cramped conditions on the boat, until they finally go forth onto dry land. While this imaginative, pictorial retelling shows empathy for the animal kingdom and gently preaches reverence for life, the pictures are sentimental to the point of anthropomorphizing the animals, and the handwritten commentaries are frequently coy or trite. Besides continually proclaiming his awe at the infinite variety of creation, Poortvliet devotes pages to comparative studies of beaks, eyes, ears, snouts. He annoyingly mixes in boyhood reminiscences and musings on being an artist.