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Canoe Days

3.76  ·  Rating details ·  168 ratings  ·  42 reviews
Opening this book is like sitting down in a canoe, taking up a paddle, and gliding out into the summer beauty of a hidden lake. In this picture book that is as refreshing and inviting as a perfect canoe day, a fawn peeks out from the trees as ducklings fan out behind their mother. Butterflies pause and fish laze beneath the lily pads. Ruth Wright Paulsen’s sunlit paintings ...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published June 12th 2001 by Dragonfly Books (first published 1999)
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Average rating 3.76  · 
Rating details
 ·  168 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Jul 31, 2013 rated it liked it
The language Paulsen uses is almost poetic. This describes a day out in the canoe on a peaceful, calm lake... "The water is a window into the skylake." It describes the animals that are seen. The illustrations are beautiful and calm and serene, matching the mood of the words. While my children and I have never had the experience of taking a canoe out on the lake (we have been waterskiing and I've been white water rafting...but those are different experiences), we all really enjoyed this book. It ...more
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
A simple, soothing tale that evokes the quiet wonders of summer on a lake, sitting in a canoe. This is an entertaining story, but the illustrations are the highlight of the book. We enjoyed reading this story together.

This book was selected as one of the books for the August 2013 - Summer Outdoor Activities discussion at the Picture-Book Club in the Children's Books Group here at Goodreads.
Hannah Kirk
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-230
This lovely calm book is all about the beautiful things you see as your floating along the pond one sunny afternoon. The story softly flows through each illustration and gives the read a sense of calm serenity. And what pulls it all together is the beautiful paintings.
The Reading Countess
A true mentor text for personal narrative writing by husband-wife dream team Gary Paulsen and Ruth Wright Paulsen. We will return to this text over and over again as we search for just the right word. Strong use of author's craft on ...more
Sarah Reiser
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ls3013-02
nature, calm, color, ecosystem
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
this book was great.
Apr 08, 2021 rated it really liked it
Love Paulsen’s works! This is a beautifully written read about a day on the lake. It’s almost poetic! Of course the illustrations are gorgeous, too.
Mar 20, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If any picture-book author and illustrator are a better fit than Gary Paulsen and his wife, Ruth Wright Paulsen, I'm not sure I've read their work. Drawing on his own fathomless love of nature and vast experience living and traveling in it, Gary Paulsen takes us out in a tiny skiff on the middle of a secluded lake in Canoe Days, and Ruth Wright Paulsen brings the sights, sounds, and other sensations to visceral life through her fine oil paintings. If you've never followed Gary Paulsen's lead an ...more
Kiana Gerard
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Gary Paulsen's Canoe Days portrays a vivid beauty between a man and his canoe. Throughout the book, the character, an anonymous man with obscured facial features, experiences a day out on a canoe by himself on a serene lake. The character encounters many aspects of nature such as fish, ducks, and the breathtaking "skylake". Though a photographic lens, the readers get a picture of what the character is experiencing and engages the reader to be a part of the character's journey. With the help of R ...more
Lindsay Fischer
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was ok
The story recounts a man and his peaceful day on a canoe using illustrative descriptions of the world that surrounds him. The lake is so serene that the flap of a butterfly’s wings can be heard and the footsteps of deer wading into water’s edge. During his day on the water, he encountered many more animals including: a duck, a dragonfly and a multitude of fish. He admires the reflections of the forest on the lake coining it as a ‘skylake’. The man concludes his canoe day pleased, as he pulls th ...more
Merri Platt
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it
Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen
Illustrated by Ruth Wright Paulsen

This book is about what a man sees as he goes on the lake with his canoe. He sees many great things and realizes how quiet but how busy the nature around the lake can be and what really happens. He likes to go on the lake for some quiet time and to get away from life.

The illustrations are very colorful and through the illustrations you feel like you are in the book itself. The author uses wonderfully expressive language so that the rea
Sep 02, 2014 rated it it was amazing
In the book Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen, a man takes a ride in a canoe on a peaceful lake. The story goes through the different types of animals living on the lake but the story is told through the man's point of view. The story vividly describes all of the animals and their actions. Paulson expertly uses figurative language to make his writing stronger. Though the story is told from the man's point of view, he is not the main character in this story. You never fully see his face and when the dee ...more
Elizabeth Menchaca
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it

Canoe Days is a beautifully written and illustrated book. In this story the main character takes you on a scenic and calming ride in his canoe,along the way he encounters various impressive animals and fascinating plants, such as water snakes and lily pads.The first person perspective in the vivid and detailed illustrations make you feel as if you are right there with him, experiencing the raw beauty of nature and a perfect canoe ride in the clear smooth water. One of the things I noticed is th
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book would be a great addition to the bedtime stories list. It is very relaxing and gives off a calm vibe when it is read. It starts off with a vision of a calm lake. The opening line, "Sometimes when it is still, so still you can hear the swish of a butterfly's wing" really sets the tone for the entire book. You imagine little sounds with smooth movements. Throughout the story, you get visuals of what it would be like if you were on that exact lake in the canoe. The author mentions the cr ...more
Kendal Dastrup
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
In Canoe Days by Gary Paulsen, we are introduced to a man whose face in turned away from the cameras view. Although it’s an illustration, they are very life like portrayals of an actual place. The significance of this is to emphasize the world around them and the beauty they are before. We, as readers, are introduces to many different animals that the main character comes across on his canoe ride, but the journey is not in the things he sees but rather the way he explains them. He speaks vividly ...more
Abby Spiel
Canoe Days involves a man, a mysterious one at that, who begins his day by heading to the lake with his canoe. It's a very still day, not much going on and not much to see until the book takes a turn. The mysterious man runs into a spark of life that brightens up the story and turns his day from bland to beautiful.

When I was reading Canoe Days, I couldn't help but to feel somewhat depressed. I didn't know the man in the story, his name or anything about him, but from how the author described the
Sep 03, 2014 rated it liked it
In the book Canoe Days there is a very calm book about the main character being one with nature. The man who is cannoning does not show his face. The author is very detailed about nature, the way he describes nature and the animals is much more vivid and imaginable than the human character himself.
I think the way the book was written in a very calm tone could be maybe read for either naptime or before bedtime. They way the book is written can really calm the child. The animals in Canoe Days are
Chloey Jones
Aug 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
In the story of a canoe-loving man he senses a perfect moment to take a quiet ride down the calm water of the river. Quietly and smoothly he glides through the water taking in the many beauties the world has to offer. He takes a moment to gaze at the reflection upon the skylake, the smooth movements of the fish, and even the undisturbed young playing by the rivers bed.
The detailed illustrations throughout the book allow one to simply dive deep into the waters of that river and immerse themsel
Miss Pippi the Librarian
Sep 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
"Opening this book is like sitting down in a canoe, taking up a paddle, and gliding out into the summer beauty of a hidden lake."

The cover flap explains the story very well. If the reader is familiar with the north woods, canoeing, fishing, or enjoying nature, they can sit back and take a deep breath of vacation. The descriptions of animal activity are distinct and true. The image and play of the fish underwater is fun and interesting. The illustrations only add to the words. The paintings feel
Ayanna Siders
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Canoe Days is a fully immersive text that tells the experience of exploring a lake on a fine day, referred to as a canoe day. It begins with the narrator explaining the conditions that make a great canoe day. Then, during his time on lake, he describes the scenery and animals around him.

The interplay between the text and the illustrations is rather mesmerizing. The page bleed of the full color images draws the audience into the scene, rather than keeping them as a spectator. Also, the canoer is
Jordan Sanchez
Sep 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
In the book Canoe Days You see a man take a calm Canoe ride through nature. As he goes down the river you see him experience different animals and elements of nature. The book I feel does a really good job of focusing on it's main point, which is nature. Instead of focusing on the man this story decides to focus on everything that is going on around him in his trip. It does this by never showing the man's face which prevents you from connecting with the man, and using strong metaphors and langua ...more
Martiah Rall
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book truly reminded me of being back in Western Montana along the rivers and lakes. A man decides to go out in his canoe on a peaceful day to take in the beauty of his surroundings. As he glides across the water he becomes emerged in nature, noticing animals in their natural habitats and the skyline reflected in the water.

I really enjoyed the peaceful persona of the illustrations with the details of the words. Some aspects are almost camouflaged, as the man becomes part of the surroundings.
Hannah Wolf
Sep 04, 2014 rated it liked it
This story is about a man who takes his canoe out for a day on the lake. He goes past all these animals such as ducks, butterflies and deer. Their is innocence in the animals as the baby deer just stare at the man but the mother deer quickly shoo them away. The author does a good job of describing all the animals and the scenery around it. One of my favorite things about this book was the author's use of figurative language. One line he uses when the man is rowing across the lake is "the water i ...more
Bao Chau
Sep 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
in the story, the quiet man took us to a peaceful place by seeing all the nature things through the lake. Reader can see the reflection of the skyline through the water window. The peaceful movement of the fish swimming under around all the flowers. The text was very descriptive. reader don't have to look at all pictures in the book, but we can still see what happen in the story because of the level of vocabulary that author use. the illustration took the entire job about describe.the illustrati ...more
Priscila Lima
Sep 01, 2014 rated it liked it
The book Canoe Days takes the reader on a ride through nature. On a sunny day, a young man gets in his canoe and goes for ride across a lake full of animals such as a butterfly, ducks and fishes. The realistic illustrations covers all the pages and the vivid colors pulls you right in, as if you were inside the canoe with the young man. The figurative language of the book is very descriptive with lots of good adjectives , similes and metaphors and while part of it can be complex with phrases such ...more
Sep 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
In the book, it talked about a man who went on his canoe. He talked about what he saw throughout the lake. He was the visitor of nature. The tone the book set was very calming and peaceful. The author made it seem like you went along on the canoe ride with the character in the book.

In this book, the illustrations were very realistic. The illustrations went along with the words, since the author was very detailed so were the illustrations. One thing that I noticed was how the face of the person
Meghan Brigan
Canoe Days is the story of taking a trip around the edge of a lake in a canoe. There are many things that can be encountered on a journey around a lake. There are racoons, dear, butterflies, fish, and many more critters that come alive through the beautiful illustrations. This book is for children ages four to eight. It is realistic fiction. I really connected with this book because canoeing is my favorite hobby in the summer. I particularly love paddling along the edges of lakes there is a lot ...more
Amber Adams
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book told the story about being out in nature and how different animals live in their habitats. The author uses Personification (over the playground where fish play) and Metaphor (The water is a window into the sky lake.) This helps students get creative with their characters and make their stories different.
Lin Lin
The book depicts a canoe day filled with tranquility and appreciation of the nature. As my son and I read this book together, he commented, "this is exactly what we did at Raquette Lake last month. Perhaps next time we will be able to see all the animals described in this book!" Any outdoor event will make a perfect day. ...more
Kay Mcgriff
Nov 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Did you know Gary Paulsen had written a picture book that his wife illustrated? I didn't, but I'm glad I discovered it. The poetic text immerses you in the quiet stillness found floating in a canoe across the lake. The illustrations glow with a soft light that matches the peacefulness. Now I want to take my canoe and float down the river. ...more
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Although he was never a dedicated student, Paulsen developed a passion for reading at an early age. After a librarian gave him a book to read--along with his own library card--he was hooked. He began spending hours alone in the basement of his apartment building, reading one book after another.

Running away from home at the age of 14 and traveling with a carnival, Paulsen acquired a taste for adve

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