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Ish (Creatrilogy) Hardcover – August 19, 2004

4.9 out of 5 stars 211 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Starred Review. Kindergarten-Grade 3 - 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
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

PreS-Gr. 2. Reynolds' previous book, The Dot (see Top 10 Arts Books for Youth on p.497), imparted an important message to kids about the various ways in which art can be defined. This has a similar message, but unlike the character in The Dot, who doesn't believe she can draw, Ramon loves to draw. In fact, he draws wherever he can, even on the toilet. But after his older brother laughs at his work, Ramon loses confidence; none of his drawings look right to him anymore. He's about to quit drawing when his sister shows him that she has kept all his crumpled efforts. Now he understands that though he doesn't draw exact replicas (his trees are only "tree-ish"), the response his art engenders is what matters. It's likely that fewer children will identify with Ramon than with the girl in the previous book, but this certainly has a strong message, and the overriding theme about creativity versus exactitude will resonate with many. The line-and-color artwork is simple, but it has great emotion and warmth. Kids will respond to that, too. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 and up
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 440L (What's this?)
  • Series: Creatrilogy
  • Hardcover: 32 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick; First Edition edition (August 19, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 076362344X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0763623449
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 0.4 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,444 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stacey Chin on November 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"Ish" is a great book to share with children. After his older brother teases him about his artwork, Ramon loses his love for drawing, until his younger sister teaches him an important lesson. She shows him that art does not have to be perfect, and even when a drawing of a vase doesn't look like a vase, it still looks "vase-ish". This book is wonderful for teaching students that not everything needs to be perfect, and that even imperfect things can still be enjoyed. A lot of students obsess so much about getting everything perfect that they neglect to see the real purpose of an activity. They worry so much about drawing a perfect dog or spelling every word perfectly that they cannot see the bigger picture. "Ish" will teach these students that imperfection can be a wonderful thing.
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Format: Hardcover
I bought this book for my four year old son who had practically zero interest in creating art. He would take crayon to paper for about 14.6 seconds before tossing both aside and moving on to his other toys. After several readings of Ish, he (independently and unprovoked) picked up a marker and paper and drew something person-ish!!! As he was drawing, he was telling me what the body parts were. I was glowing and speechless. Since then, he has been walking around proud as can be with his art and creating more to boot. I am so happy to have found this book. I think every child has a creative side and I'm happy to have found a way to get my little guy to express his ish! If you have a reluctant artist, I highly recommend this purchase! As a matter of fact, I even recommend it for the most artful child as a reminder to draw happily and with abandon!
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Format: Hardcover
A great book for all to read. What a beautiful way to have children understand that their creativity is valued and their feelings are important- with confidence or sometimes feeling kinda "ish." This book is fantastic, and every child should read it!
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Format: Hardcover
This book is on my curriculum for all grades now! and they LOVE it. as an art teacher, it so helps me to teach the spiritual lesson of SELF ACCEPTANCE. many of my classes will clap when i am finished reading it. it's an absolutely astounding book with an astounding message for all of us.
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Format: Hardcover
Most books don't bring tears to my eyes--especially not children's books. ISH is moving because we've all had the childhood experience of being told, "NO, you're not good enough." But, o, for the person that sees the skill and effort and says, "I like it."

I'm buying copies of this book as a gift for friends. I love it.
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Format: Hardcover
When my daughter read this she told me "It's a great book. It teaches you to believe in what you see." So, of course, I had to read it and I see now what she means. It's a lovely way to introduce children to the idea of abstract things (art and otherwise), although it seems children get the idea more easily than adults, they just don't have a word for it. And now they do: "ish".
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Format: Hardcover
With precious illustrations this heart warming story reminds the reader that our individuality is a gift not to be taken for granted, by others or ourselves. The message in this book is a treasure to be read over and over again.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We have bought over 10 copies of "Ish" to share with other young children. But although this book perhaps targets children of say 5, 6, 7... The message of art not needing to mirror reality... that something can have value even if it is "flower-ish", is wonderful. Liberating.
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