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Yellow Kayak

3.96  ·  Rating details ·  541 ratings  ·  138 reviews
A child and his beloved best friend go on a grand sea adventure in this magical picture book by the author and artist who created If I Had a Little Dream.

You just never know what a new day will hold if you are brave enough to find out. On one quiet afternoon, a boy and his special friend’s unexpected adventure bring joy and excitement and sights never imagined. And the bes
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 23rd 2018 by Simon Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
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Average rating 3.96  · 
Rating details
 ·  541 ratings  ·  138 reviews

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Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Hilary by: Found in the library
The illustrations are beautiful, turquoise, pinky red, and mustard yellow, the occasional overlap to make green. Wonderful patterns and interesting designs and viewpoints. I felt the rhyming text, consisting of four lines, two words on each line, on each double page spread didn't add anything to the story. I think I would have liked this more as a story with no text. Really lovely illustrations though, I think this would be magical and comforting for a child to look through before going to sleep ...more
La Coccinelle
Oct 15, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
The cover drew me in, but unfortunately, that's about the only thing I liked about this book.

Yes, the illustrations are cute. But I have a big problem with them: they don't match the text on multiple occasions! And you just know that kids are going to notice something like that. It starts on the very first page with the text:

Yellow kayak.
Blue sky.
Paddle swiftly.
Wave good-bye.

Now, what colour does the sky appear to you? Because it looks pink to me.

Yellow Kayak

I suppose you could argue that the turquoise stuf
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Readers Looking for Beautifully-Illustrated Picture-Books
A boy and his giraffe friend set out to sea in a yellow kayak in this lovely picture-book from author Nina Laden and illustrator Melissa Castrillón, who previously collaborated on If I Had a Little Dream . The simple but poetic text sets out their many exciting and perilous adventures, while the vibrantly colorful artwork accentuates the beauty of the marine world around them, and the tension of their passage through it...

Yellow Kayak is my first book from either Laden or Castrillón, but I ce
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The illustrations are gorgeous. I need this art in my life.
Charlotte & Alexei
This book is so beautiful! It has an almost dream-like quality throughout and follows a young boy and his Giraffe friend who embark on a kayak adventure and get caught up in a storm. The entire story is told through short punchy rhyming sequences, perfect for younger readers and I get a Dr Seuss-esque feeling as I looked at all the intricate underwater creatures and illustrations. Beautiful use of colours and a genuinely charming story.

Kate Yates
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really liked this book but think that, as often seems to be the way these days, the artwork is more for the adults than the children. This story, in the form of simple rhyme, is great for 5-8 year olds who read confidently but may get put off by too much text. Great for any little girl or boy who loves a maritime adventure!
Feb 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A super beautiful and calming storybook! I'm not usually a fan of short rhyming patterns in childrens books but "Yellow Kayak" does it so well; the whole effect is charming and soothing all at once. Love this one.
Jun 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time, it-rhymes
Whaaaaaaaaat is going on here? I don't know and I don't care. But I love it.

Except when the rhythm of the words was off. Which was a few times.

Other than that, though--a wonderful trip for the whole family! Without the acid!
Feb 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
The text is completely meh, but the illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, so I'm still giving this 4 stars.
The Brothers
Apr 25, 2018 rated it liked it
A boy and a giraffe (?) set out in a yellow kayak and have many adventures including weathering a storm, getting lost, and getting found. Kinda weird.

Illustrations are beautiful!
Oct 19, 2020 rated it liked it
I picked this book because I fell for the beautiful hardback cover. Interestingly, when I read this a first time I didn't take in many of the words but felt immersed in the pages. On my second read, I noticed that the poetry itself doesn't really compliment the illustrations or even make sense in some parts. BUT, I would actually love to use this with my class (possibly could be catered to any age group) by giving them the pages having blanked out the words. They could then write their own story ...more
Emily Duchon
ooohh, super cute! this is a lovely picture book with intricate, colourful illustrations anyone would love. the rhyme scheme is perfect for those emerging little ones who are just putting words together (toddlers i'm looking at you) but would be fine for an older audience as well and keep their attention.

the story is about a young girl adventuring in a kayak. a subject near and dear to my heart (go girls)!

a good song pairing would be "orca whale" (jbrary,
Jan 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Such a beautiful picture book.
May 28, 2020 rated it liked it
Really pretty pictures. My 2 year old wasnt interested in reading the words and just wanted to see the pictures my 3 year told enjoyed the little foreboding poem style and pictures.
Apr 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful illustrations! Very simple rhyming text that tells a sweet story. Because the story is told with short rhyming lines of text this could work well for younger or older kids. The illustrations are the real winner here.
extraordinary ordinary whimsy
This book is so darling. I sing/read it to my girls to the tune Oh My Darling Clementine. Try it. It's so charming.
Michael Fitzgerald
Sep 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
Rather pointless. The poetic text is mediocre - just rambling, mostly four word-pairs often without regard for rhythm. Illustrations have some charm and the colors are interesting.
Megan Wagner
Jan 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
5 stars just because this book is so gorgeous. Would purchase just for the art.
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Beautiful artwork. Short sentences. Big adventure.
Becky B
A child and a giraffe go out to sea in a yellow kayak. When a storm rises, they have more of an adventure than they bargained for, yet they see many marvelous animals and find help from unexpected friends.

This is told in short two word sentences laid out in rhyming quatrains throughout. The illustrations are packed with action and only done in pinks, aquas, and brownish-yellow with black and white outlines. The result is a lyrical sea story that feels like a refurbished antique. The story is pre
Baby Bookworm
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Our book today is Yellow Kayak by Nina Laden and Melissa Castrillon, a lovely fable about having courage through the storm.

A child and a giraffe set out from their small island in a tiny wooden kayak, expecting a day of adventure. As they get further out to sea, however, the adventure soon becomes more than they had bargained for: the sky grows dark, the wind whips up, and the s
Tonja Drecker
Jan 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
With pointed text and stunning illustrations, this book invites into the world of dreams and endless possibilities.

A boy and his friend, a simple giraffe, take a boat ride into adventure. The journey takes them through storms, peaceful waves, swirling sea creatures and bucket loads of other sights and unexpected places.

The illustrations in this one are amazing. While in some ways reminding of the swirly, imaginative style found in Dr. Seuss, these colorful depictions go a step further and enter
Georgia Ball
Mar 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s
In the story, an unnamed child climbs aboard a yellow kayak with a giraffe from a small island and has an adventure on the water. They ride out a storm, stay afloat overnight, and take in the wonders of nature. It’s a simple journey told in rhyme that lets the illustrations do most of the talking.

This is the second book I’ve purchased by Nina Laden that was illustrated by someone else, artist Melissa Castrillon. Castrillon works in bold colors and patterns reminiscent of elaborate, handmade fabr
Bonnie Lambourn
Sep 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I am well aware that sparse text is very in right now, and as that goes, the words are well-chosen. Definitely no waste here. I like to write short lyrical poem stories myself. But I feel a little flat from the rhythm here of two words, two words, and a very simple plot... I guess this could be considered almost a concept book - except it is not clearly a concept book either.

However the artwork is amazing, beautiful, imaginative in ideas and composition. It has some retro influence [also big ri
A young child and a giraffe set off on a journey over seas and broad rivers where they encounter storms and danger as well as starry skies and a sense of tranquility. The voyage, illustrated by Castrillon in almost an lithographic (but digital) format, is steered by Laden's poem with a sense of trust and hope. Together, both words and pictures leave the reader with much to see and imagine.

Again, I have fallen prey to 'pretty books'. I know that Castrillon and Laden have worked together before b
Feb 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Melissa Castrillon’s intricate illustrations in this book, originally done in pencil with digital colouring, invoke a nostalgic sense of calm to this story. The unusual colour palette of greens, pinks, reds, oranges and yellows further contribute to its timelessness. It is in its essence, a story of an adventure that goes a little awry. A day trip in a kayak with a small child and his giraffe companion becomes a dangerous expedition when a sudden squall appears; the friends and their boat are in ...more
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Yellow Kayak by Nina Laden, illustrated by Melissa Castrillon. PICTURE BOOK Simon and Schuster, 2018. $18. 9781534401945



A young boy and his giraffe set out in a boat to travel the seas. As they ride the waves together they experience the thrill of adventure on the open water finding both courage and joy. When the winds quiet and the rain stops, they make their way back to the comfort of home.

Simple, yet effective, verse tells the story of
Feb 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Disclaimer: my brain is probably partially fried, and it's probably affecting my reading

I certainly didn't hate this book, but I don't really think it's fair to say "I liked it," because I didn't, not really. The rhyming word pairs have never been my favourite way of telling a story - but at least this book does, in fact, tell a story. A beginning, a middle, and an end!
The illustrations are nice, but they're far too busy for the text - the text is great to read aloud (say, in a storytime), but t
Stephanie Tournas
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
A boy and his giraffe companion set out in a yellow boat, perhaps not noticing the lowering clouds. A frightful storm ensues and they must spend the night in their boat. Sea creatures visit, and ultimately, the pair are nudged towards home by a pod of friendly whales. The luminous pencil drawings are what make this book special - sea plants and animals dance together in a dreamlike swirl, deflecting the scariness of the storm. Even the giant waves and fearsome lightning are more majestic than fr ...more
Here is another beautiful book by Nina Laden and Melissa Castrillon, the pair who also brought us "If I Had A Little Dream." In a limited palette of blue, gold, green and red, Melissa decorates the pages where Nina Laden tells the story, each page with a small rhyming poem. There is excitement as the young boy begins his journey in the yellow kayak from a house on a hill. His companion is a young giraffe, quiet in the boat, seemingly "going along for the ride". Illustrations of sea creatures sur ...more
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