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Yellow Kayak

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  386 ratings  ·  104 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 (first published 2018)
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Showing 1-30
3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  386 ratings  ·  104 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
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!
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!
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, youtube.com)
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!
Deborah Embury
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.
Feb 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful art work!
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.
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.
May 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
Beautiful artwork. Short sentences. Big adventure.
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
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
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
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
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
Carol  Vanhook
What an amazing magical story about a little boy and his friend, a giraffe, that bravely set forth on a sea adventure! Of course, they meet all kinds of weather conditions and sealife! Eventually, they return to safety. Children will be ready to set sail on their imaginary oceans once they read this story. It is beautifully written and flows like poetry. The illustrations are seaworthy and extraordinary! This is a sweet adventure and a great summertime read! Can't win Caldecott, do not think, as ...more
Apr 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I was initially drawn to YELLOW KAYAK by the illustrations and then lulled deeper into the book by the language. The simplistic rhyme keeps the reader (adult/teacher/parent) gently swaying, buffeted occasionally, as if on a journey of their own. It is comforting and lyrically. This is one I would love to read again and memorize. There are moments of tension, reminiscent of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE, and a peaceful quiet that I love in children's books. YELLOW KAYAK could easily find itself shelv ...more
mary dewley
Mar 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
The only part of the book I enjoyed was the movement and perspective angles of the illustrations. I'm not a fan of using the retro colors from the fifties. The picture of the boy in the boat holding the umbrella over the giraffe, I swear I have seen that same illustration with different characters previously used in a Dr. Seuss book. I refer to the yellow kayak as a boat, because there is only one instance in the picture book that is elongated and narrow like a real kayak. Otherwise, it just res ...more
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adventure
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.
This is a beautifully illustrated story of a young child taking a voyage in a kayak with a giraffe. I love the easy, simple rhymes and the illustrations are wonderful. I think this would be a great book for a small storytime so that children could really investigate the pictures.

My only problem is the giraffe. It doesn't have a name, doesn't do anything special. I'm not sure why the story has a giraffe and not a human friend.
Rebecca Ann
Mar 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This is an absolutely gorgous dreamscape. The illustrations are absolutely lovely and I want coloring page versions of them so bad. I felt the text was actually unecessary to the story, it actually almsot got in the way. While I don't know that the text is necessarily appealing to children, I do think adult readers will find it sweet. I think the best audience for this book is a one on one read with preschool ages.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, this book is something else (in a good way). It's calming yet adventurous. Under the jacket cover, the book is shiny. It has a great rhyme. I could see this book being confusing for some kids because the words and pictures don't always line up, but I don't see that as a bad thing.

Lots of things could come up with the whole book approach. Some pages bleed to the edges, some fit in frames. It's really just a beautiful book. I think K-1 would fit it better than preschool.
Jim Donahe
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Beautiful artwork and lovely sparing text. My only point of disagreement with the text is that the color of the kayak is not always yellow. At one point, the text reads "Yellow kayak." The kayak in the picture is red! I understand artistic license, but it could be confusing to young ones. On the other hand, it could be a talking point between caregiver and child about artistic license.
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