Cover image for Canoe days
Canoe days
Paulsen, Gary.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Doubleday Books for Young Readers, [1999]

Physical Description:
1 volume (unpaged) : color illustrations ; 21 x 27 cm
A canoe ride on a northern lake during a summer day reveals the quiet beauty and wonder of nature in and around the peaceful water.
Reading Level:
AD 840 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 3.5 0.5 31078.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.9 1 Quiz: 23808 Guided reading level: O.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Childrens Area-Picture Books
Newstead Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Clearfield Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Grand Island Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Hamburg Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lackawanna Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Lancaster Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Marilla Free Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Williamsville Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Julia Boyer Reinstein Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books
Audubon Library PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



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 and Gary Paulsen's poetic text capture all the peace and pleasure of a day when water and sky are one.

Author Notes

Gary Paulsen was born on May 17, 1939 in Minnesota. He was working as a satellite technician for an aerospace firm in California when he realized he wanted to be a writer. He left his job and spent the next year in Hollywood as a magazine proofreader. His first book, Special War, was published in 1966. He has written more than 175 books for young adults including Brian's Winter, Winterkill, Harris and Me, Woodsong, Winterdance, The Transall Saga, Soldier's Heart, This Side of Wild, and Guts: The True Stories Behind Hatchet and the Brian Books. Hatchet, Dogsong, and The Winter Room are Newbery Honor Books. He was the recipient of the 1997 Margaret A. Edwards Award for his lifetime achievement in writing for young adults.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Ages 4^-8. Succinct, poetic text and rich, textured paintings convey the beauty and wonder of a quiet canoe ride on a lazy summer day. In the middle of the lake, the canoe seems to disappear, making the paddler one with the lake and sky, able to observe fish, ducks, deer, foxes, raccoons, and snakes from a cloak of invisibility. Finally, a dragonfly perches on the man's hat, devouring a deerfly before it can bite the canoeist, capping off a beautiful experience with nature. Ruth Paulsen's frameable, quality artwork, best viewed from a story hour distance, meshes seamlessly with her husband's sparse text and will leave children feeling they went along for the ride. Young nature buffs are sure to appreciate this ode to life in the unspoiled wilderness; creative writing classes may find this a good model for descriptive writing as well. --Kay Weisman

Publisher's Weekly Review

The prolific author of such titles as Hatchet and Soldier's Heart turns from adventure and high action to contemplative moments in this not particularly childlike mood piece. Describing a canoe trip around a lake, his prose poem homes in on quiet encounters with nature: "Sometimes when it is still," it begins, "so still you can hear the swish of a butterfly's wingÄsometimes when it is that still I take the canoe out on the edge of the lake." The images pile up in long, leisurely sentences. The canoe "slides in green magic without a ripple"; the water "is a window into the skylake." Later, the narrator, a man, describes fish, ducks, fox, fawns and other wildlife. Unfortunately, Ruth Wright Paulsen (who previously collaborated with her husband on Dogteam) translates these idylls as static moments in her full-spread paintings. Her grainy oils are realistic but heavy, her fish and animals locked into place with none of the lightness or wonder of the text. The design features two unusual elements: a stylized typeface, imposed atop the paintings, is distracting, but the use of vertical borders in solid colors, alternately contrasting with or complementing the compositions, subtly draws attention to the artist's strong sense of color and helps to create a visual pacing. Even so, the pictures weigh down the text instead of advancing it. Ages 4-8. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

K-Gr 6-From the brilliant blue endpapers and lushly painted artwork to the lyrical words of the text, this book radiates the calmness of a summer day spent in a canoe. At first, the action seems slight-a man paddles around a lake-but as the words and pictures flow, the surrounding wildlife begins to reveal itself. Birds and insects skim the water, sunfish hover, and a pike shoots along, stopping all of the underwater action. Mallards swim by, foxes and raccoons come to the shoreline to drink, and a deer signals her fawn to come away. One of the qualities that moves this book beyond the ordinary nature description is the human figure, the observer, who sits with his paddle raised taking it all in. It is his thoughts that readers hear, and the rhythm of his language fluctuates as the scenes change. In the illustrations, the perspective is altered, looking from above, from a distance, or even under the water. Sometimes viewers see the man in the canoe, but at other times they seem to be looking through his eyes. The book is unified by glorious swathes of blue and green, and most of the paintings spread across double pages with bands of complementary colors running along the sides, both confining the pictures and adding a light touch. Full of sunlight and clear water, this book is for winter dreaming and summer doing.-Barbara Scotto, Michael Driscoll School, Brookline, MA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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