Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Review: Yellow Kayak by Nina Laden, Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon

by Nina Laden
Illustrated by Melissa Castrillon
Simon & Schuster
Picture Book
ages 4 and up
32 pages

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 best part of any adventure is returning home with stories to tell and you best friend at your side.


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 the world of artistic wonder. The colors radiate and are daring, giving each scene a wonderful and inviting atmosphere. Yet, the playful side sits front and center, giving young readers something to discover and enjoy time and again.

The text is exquisite. The four line rhymes are composed and carefully placed, each line only consisting of two words. And these two words are exactly what is needed to call in each emotion and image. It reads like a fantastic dream, letting the adventure slide in harmony with the illustrations. It's calming, invites imagination to take flight, leaves the reader feeling a bit braver and craving an exciting journey of their own.

I highly recommend this read, and see it as a clear favorite among young listeners and older readers alike.

And here they are. . .

The author. . .
Nina Laden is author-illustrator of man books for kids, including Peek-a-Who?; Who Loves You;, Baby?; The Night I Followed the Dog; and If I Had a Little Dream, illustrated by Melissa Castrillon, which School Library Journal called "a sweet bedtime selection." She lives with her husband on Lummi Island, Washington.

The Illustrator. . .
Melissa Castrillon is a freelance illustrator currently based in Cambridge, England. She earned a master's degree in children's book illustration at the Cambridge School of Art. She is the illustrator of If I Had a Little Dream, written by Nina Laden, about which Publishers Weekly said, "Castrillon debuts with a splash. . .She's a talent to watch."

1 comment:

Elizabeth Varadan, Author said...

What a wonderful sounding book! It sounds like a treasure. I love the cover. Thanks for sharing.