Tammy Yee, Illustration and Design

The Castle That Kai Built

By Tammy Yee
Island Heritage Publishing
Hardcover: 32 pages
ISBN-10: 1617104108
ISBN-13: 978-1617104107

What happens when Kai the mermaid and her loyal pet anglerfish build a castle under the sea?

They are joined by a rollicking cast of sea creatures — including a mischievous octopus, a school of jellyfish and playful dolphins — whose wild antics stir up trouble. Tammy Yee's bright illustrations invite children to search for details as the follow Kai on her aquatic adventure.

The Castle That Kai Built is a cumulative tale in which the story repeats and builds as more characters are introduced.


Mermaid Evolution: Creating "The Castle That Kai Built"

Before there was Kai, there was an anglerfish.

Who was roughly based on my bulldog, Roxy.

And since every memorable character needs a sidekick, I gave her a mermaid.
Who looked something like this...

And this.

Mermaid study, acrylic.

This was back in 2013. She wasn't ready for the world, so I put her aside and worked on other things.

When she was finally ready to come out again, I decided to soften her. And make her more representative of children everywhere. After all, diversity isn't represented in the color of your hair, whether it be pink or purple. So Kai got several makeovers.

The final illustrations were done in Procreate on an iPadPro.

And that's Kai's story!

Coloring and Origami Activities

© 2019 Tammy Yee
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