book cover Noah's Boat
by Louise Elliott

Picture book | 32 pp | Years 24

Getting Started


[ Overview | Author profile | Useful websites | Focus questions ]


Noah's Boat, written and illustrated by Louise Elliott, is a heart-warming and gentle story of Noah and his efforts to design and build a boat suitable for an ever-increasing range of animals. While Noah is confused by the fact that there is no sea near him, he is spurred on by dreams that instruct him to make the boat bigger, "quite a bit bigger". He is guided at first by the local wildlife, and as the boat continues to grow, more and more animals move into the district to add their advice. The story closes with the boat completed and the animals assuring Noah that it is just the way it is meant to be.

Based on the biblical story of Noah and his ark, this interpretation is set firmly in the Australian bush with a boat designed to meet the needs of all the animals that will need it. Young readers familiar with the bible story of Noah will appreciate the quiet humour of the animals who seem to know what the future holds, and for Noah, who completes his task in ignorance of what is to come.

The complex and beautifully designed illustrations feature the careful addition of Australiana and a rich combination of styles add depth to this story. Louise Elliott has combined black and white illustrations and pen and crayon drawings on top of scenic photography. She captures the landscape and provides many details that will engage the observant reader. Text types vary in size and colour to emphasise different aspects of the story. Overall, Noah's Boat is a visually stimulating and intriguing book to delight young readers.

Author profile

Louise Elliot was born in England and went to boarding school from the age of ten. She loved art and went on to study at an art school, work in advertising in London and then as an art teacher. She married and had three children. They lived in an old farmhouse with lots of animals until 1983 when she and her family came to Australia to live. Louise's children are now grown up and she works as a designer, writer and illustrator. You can find out more about Louise, her books and her designs for soft toys on the Louise Elliot's website (

Louise writes for many different audiences and has published adult and young adult novels, including Summer Ghosts that won a Notable Award in 1999 from the Children's Book Council of Australia. Her novels for younger readers include Holly and Mr Hornbeam's Treasure Hunt. Noah's Boat is her first picture book and is an excellent example of Louise's writing, designing and illustrating skills coming together to create an artistic piece of work for children to enjoy.

Useful websites

Focus questions

Before reading the book

  • What do you know about another Noah? What was he famous for?
  • Are there any clues in the cover illustrations that let the reader know something about the setting of this story?
  • What clues does the blurb provide about the story?
  • What different art techniques can you describe from the cover illustrations?

During and after reading the book

  • How can you explain the time it took for Noah to respond to the dream?
  • Why did Noah find it hard to follow all the instructions?
  • How does Noah respond to the requests from the different animals?
  • What were the most important considerations for Noah in designing the boat?
  • How does Louise Elliot set the scene for the story?

© Curriculum Corporation 2006