Sunday, February 12, 2017


Somewhat similar to Beautiful Oops!, Ish also makes a great addition to the GT classroom library.

Author and Illustrator: Peter H. Reynolds

Publisher: Candlewick Press

Publication Year: 2004

ISBN-13: 978-0763623449

In the story Ish, Ramon loves to draw. Well, he loved to draw until his brother Leon laughed at one of his drawings. After that, Ramon attempted to draw, but never found himself satisfied with any of his pieces. One day, he discovers his sister Marisol's room full of his crumpled drawings. She explains to him that his drawings are not perfect, but are "ish." That's all Ramon needed to let his ideas flow freely and to develop his love for drawing once again.

This work of realistic fiction boasts incredible illustrations that accompany the easy-to-follow plot. Students who read or listen to this book easily relate to the story, the characters, and the message. Its audiences will find the message applicable for years to come.

School Library Journal:
"Reynolds follows The Dot (Candlewick, 2003) with this companion story about creativity and the artistic process. Ramon loves to draw: "Anytime. Anything. Anywhere." When his older brother laughs at one of his pictures and points out that it does not look like a real vase of flowers, a dejected Ramon crumples up all of his efforts. However, he soon learns that his younger sister has hung the discarded papers on her bedroom walls. When he declares that the picture of the vase doesn't look like the real thing, she says that it looks "vase-ISH." The child then begins to produce paintings that look "tree-ish," "afternoon-ish," and "silly-ish." His "ish art" inspires him to look at all creative endeavors differently. The watercolor, ink, and tea illustrations have a childlike charm. Set against white backgrounds, the quirky line drawings and restrained use of color combine to create an attractive, unique picture book. The small size lends itself to one-on-one sharing and thoughtful examination. Ish, like Leo Lionni's Frederick (Knopf, 1967), encourages readers to see the world anew." - Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI

This book speaks directly to the gifted perfectionists. As they listen to the story, they see themselves in Ramon's character. After seeing the frustration he goes through and then hearing the wonderful freedom Marisol grants her brother with the word "ish," students will find themselves using the "ish" philosophy as well.

In my classroom, I simply use this as a discussion about allowing ourselves to put forth our best effort each day, and understanding that does not equal perfection. After reading this book, we quickly adopt the word "ish" in our classroom and use it throughout the year to remind ourselves of Peter H. Reynolds message.

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