Ish

( 9 )

Overview

A creative spirit learns that thinking "ish-ly" is far more wonderful than "getting it right" in this gentle new fable from the creator of the award-winning picture book THE DOT.

Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere.

Drawing is what Ramon does. It¹s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon's older brother, Leon, turns Ramon's carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily ...

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Overview

A creative spirit learns that thinking "ish-ly" is far more wonderful than "getting it right" in this gentle new fable from the creator of the award-winning picture book THE DOT.

Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere.

Drawing is what Ramon does. It¹s what makes him happy. But in one split second, all that changes. A single reckless remark by Ramon's older brother, Leon, turns Ramon's carefree sketches into joyless struggles. Luckily for Ramon, though, his little sister, Marisol, sees the world differently. She opens his eyes to something a lot more valuable than getting things just "right." Combining the spareness of fable with the potency of parable, Peter Reynolds shines a bright beam of light on the need to kindle and tend our creative flames with care.

Ramon loses confidence in his ability to draw, but his sister gives him a new perspective on things.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
As simple yet stimulating as Reynolds's The Dot, this tale centers on another youngster questioning his artistic ability. Spot illustrations portray Ramon as a cheerful boy who loves to draw "anytime" (he draws in bed), "anything" (he paints pictures of trash cans) and "anywhere" (readers will giggle at the sight of him perched on the toilet, drawing pad on his lap). But his self-confidence plummets when Ramon's older brother laughs at his attempts to draw a vase of flowers ("What is that?"). After months and crumpled attempts at trying to make his pictures look "right," the frustrated child puts his pencil down, announcing, "I'm done." His younger sister runs off with one of the discarded drawings and when he chases her to her bedroom, he discovers (in a moment reminiscent of The Dot) she has created a "crumpled gallery" of his work. Pointing to his attempted rendering of the flower vase, the girl calls it "one of my favorites." When Ramon complains, "That was supposed to be a vase of flowers," she supportively responds, "Well, it looks vase-ish!" Ramon then feels "light and energized. Thinking ish-ly allowed his ideas to flow freely." Reynolds's minimalist pen-and-ink illustrations feature subtle washes of watercolor and ample splashes of emotion and humor. A tidy lesson in the importance of thinking-or drawing-outside the box and believing in one's own abilities despite others' reactions. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Ramon enjoys drawing, "Anytime. Anything. Anywhere," until his brother laughs at his efforts. Then nothing seems "right," and Ramon stops drawing in frustration. But his sister Marisol has saved all his discarded efforts and put them up on her wall. What was supposed to be a vase of flowers, Marisol declares "vase-ish." All the drawings are something-"ish," Ramon realizes. He is inspired to fill his journals with drawings of things, of feelings, even with writings that are "poem-ish." One day, he has such a wonderful feeling that he decides not to draw it, but simply to savor it. "And Ramon lived ishfully ever after." The message of this story is open to many interpretations. But the sketchy watercolor and ink illustrations are directly appealing, depicting Ramon creating and his many "ish-y" creations. We are caught up in his inspiration and his ultimate enjoyment of the moment. 2004, Candlewick Press, Ages 4 to 8.
—Ken Marantz and Sylvia Marantz
Kirkus Reviews
A lovely tale about the trials of a budding artist brought to us by the author/illustrator of Dot (2003). Ramon creates drawings at a furious pace. Everywhere he goes, he draws. But there's nothing like a derisive older brother to put the kibosh on a sensitive artist type. Suddenly, Ramon becomes self-critical. He cannot satisfy his own desire to get things "right" anymore, so he decides to put away his pencil for good. Luckily another family member, his sister, has secretly been collecting Ramon's art for her own private gallery. She convinces him that a successful drawing need not be a perfect reflection of reality. It's okay if a house looks house-ish or a fish looks fish-ish. It is just the liberating sentiment Ramon needs to reignite his creativity. Told in spare prose with Reynolds's signature line drawings in watercolor, ink, and tea, Ish will encourage other little artists. (Picture book. 4-6)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780763623449
  • Publisher: Candlewick Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Series: Creatrilogy Series
  • Pages: 32
  • Sales rank: 219
  • Age range: 3 months - 18 years
  • Lexile: 440L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter H. Reynolds is the president and creative director of FableVision
Studios, the illustrator of the best-selling Judy Moody series, and the author and illustrator of THE DOT. "Nothing irks me more than seeing a person's creativity get shut down," he says. "Through my books, I want to help give kids — and grown-up kids — the vocabulary to protect their exploration, in art, writing, and thinking."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2006

    Excellent Motivator for Kids

    I love this story. I am using it as an introduction to the school year for grades 2-4! I want the children to learn like Carlos did that we can be rewarded for our effort not only the outcome. And better yet, without the slips in our day we would not learn how to do it better the next time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 24, 2005

    I LOVED this book.

    I am a preschool teacher and have worked with many children that feel the need to make things 'perfect' who are then hesitant to try at all. I believe both kids and adults can benefit by adapting an 'ish' attitude into their lifestyles!

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    Posted June 24, 2010

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