Why Dogs Have Wet Noses

Why Dogs Have Wet Noses


Written and translated from Norwegian by Kenneth Steven
Illustrated by Øyvind Torseter

A Tablet Magazine Best Jewish Children's Book of 2015

Comprised of fun and playfully surprising contemporary illustrations and a satisfying tall tale, Why Dogs Have Wet Noses is a refreshing and memorable take on an old story.

Told with dry humor, this is a secular story of how, not long after the world began, it started to rain, and it was the kind of rain that pounds down and never stops. Wise as he was, a man named Noah decided to build a lifeboat, and he set about gathering as many kinds of creatures as he could think of. And he had the good sense to invite slugs, spiders, and the other slimy, creepy-crawly creatures that most people try to get rid of by spraying or stepping on. He also let a funny looking dog with a big soft nose trudge on board all by himself. Had he not done so, the Ark, as you may not know, would definitely have sunk.

A lively tale of man and dog, Why Dogs Have Wet Noses, with its quirky, highly witty illustrations, is sure to delight!


ISBN: 978-1-59270-173-5
9" (W) x 12.5" (H) • 40 pages • HC

Grade Level: 3
Interest Level: K-5
Lexile Level: 810
Guided Reading Level: N

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A Tablet Magazine Best Jewish Children's Book of 2015

★ “A fanciful retelling of the story of Noah and the Ark doubles as a pourquoi tale.” —STARRED REVIEW, Kirkus Reviews

“A nifty combination of a biblical tale and a canine trait, but it's the humorous details of life aboard the Ark that are most likely to captivate readers.” —Publishers Weekly

“Children will pour over the details in Torseter's cutaway view as creatures play cards, a crew member draws a map, and the dog shadows Noah carrying supplies. Twenty days in, the Ark springs a leak, and what do you think is the remedy? (Hint: It answers the title question.) As an extra bonus, Noah needs no dove when he has man's best friend on board to catch a whiff of land. […] Whether or not children are familiar with Noah and his Ark, they will clamor for repeated readings of this original retelling that doubles as a pourquoi tale.” —Jennifer M. Brown, Shelf Awareness

“…an irreverent and utterly heartwarming modern reimagining of Noah’s Ark.” —Maria Popova, Brain Pickings

"And the art—I think it’s pen and ink with gouache?—is even better than the text. Obsessive kids can study cross-sections of the ark, segmented as in a Richard Scarry story, full of kooky creatures—look at the baboon with the bright pink butt! —and hey, Mr. and Mrs. Noah look like aging Berkeley hippies! Torseter is Norway’s most famous cartoonist, and everything he draws is funny. And because the book is published by Enchanted Lion, an arty indie publisher in Brooklyn that only publishes gorgeous books, the paper is deliciously heavy." —Marjorie Ingall, Tablet Magazine

"I like how it’s the story of Noah’s Ark but much funnier. There are funny things happening on every page, like animals eating lollipops, a wet rabbit in a towel, and a dinosaur. I like that the pictures are detailed with shadows but some of them are not colored in. When you are looking at the ark, the pictures show you the walls but also what’s inside the rooms. You can find new things every time you read the story. I love this book!" —Kilian, Age 7, Kids Book Buzz

Why Dogs Have Wet Noses provides a funny, secular retelling of Noah's Ark and explains why indeed dogs have wet noses.” —Alex Mutter, Shelf Awareness

"The text is only half the story here as Øyvind Torseter has done an incredible job illustrating this tale. Children will love all the comical details he's added in each illustration. […] It's a story kids will want to read over and over, just so they can find more funny things with each pass. Parents beware: you just might find yourself sneaking another look once your children are asleep!" —Marcia Berneger, Jewish Book Council


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