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Ish by Peter H. Reynolds
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will use to teach confidence to believe in oneself. and also while teaching art
  nalapow | Apr 22, 2015 |
This realistic fiction was about a boy named Ramon who loved to draw anything, anywhere, at any time. His older brother tells him that one of his drawings does not look like he thinks it does, and Ramon is crushed and crumples up all of his art. Later Ramon finds out that his little sister has hung up all of his art in her room because it looks like the thing-ish. Then Ramon is inspired once more to draw everything agin, isn, and falls in love with art again. ( )
  sommerkirk | Apr 20, 2015 |
If I had to pick one book to read to my drawing classes, it would be Ish, by Peter H. Reynolds. In this book, a little boy named Ramon draws constantly until his older brother mocks his work, saying that it doesn't look like what it's supposed to. Then, nothing is good enough. Until one day, when Ramon finds his little sister has been collecting his artwork, and she says that it looks "ish", when Ramon has a revelation and begins drawing everything, as long as it's tree-ish or house-ish, he's wonderful.

There's a wonderful release in not caring about matching up to anyone's standards, and Ish captures that release in the character's development from carefree, to not good enough, to -ish, that wonderful, freeing -ish that allows you to do anything.

One of my favorite parts is when he learns how to draw -ish-like feelings. This would be a great section to talk about with students, because it's hard to draw feelings, but that's a lot of what art is.

From there, he starts to write, without standards of perfection to hold him back. Then, he enjoys life, and he doesn't feel the need to capture it, but just to enjoy it. This is what it is like to be at peace with the world and with life.

The greatest artists aren't perfect, but broken people with an understanding that they are who they are and they create what they create, even if it's ish, it's absolutely wonderful. "Not good enough" isn't a thing in the art world. All art is art, regardless of what it is and who does it. This is a concept I want all my art students to not only understand, but believe, and this book is an excellent way to communicate that belief. ( )
  AmandaLK | Apr 17, 2015 |
I dunno. I guess I'm just not the creative type. When I do make something, it's more functional, like curtains or greeting cards. And then I want to do my very best. In other words, on an abstract level I appreciate the message of this book. But it doesn't do any more to make me *feel* the message than any other presentation of the message I've seen already. One thing I did really like was that the family was, I think, Hispanic, but that wasn't an overt statement, rather, it was just there. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
This is the story of Ramon who wants to be able to draw well. Every time he finishes a drawing he crumples it up and throws it away because he doesn't believe it's good enough. His sister has been taking the crumpled pictures and hanging them on her wall of her room. One day when Ramon is ready to give up on drawing all together he sees his sister running away with one of the crumpled sheets. When he gets to her room he sees all the drawings on the wall. His sister points out her favorite drawing and Ramon says it doesn't look like a vase of flowers which is what it is suppose to be. His sister says "well, it looks vase-ish!" Ramon started to see his drawings differently and began to let go of the perfection he had been clinging to in the beginning.
Classroom extensions for this book would be to have the students draw something they wouldn't normally. Then, if they wanted to they could crumple it up before presenting it to the class. I would have them all hang their finished work on their desks after as well.
The second classroom extension would be to have them write a poem. This was also something that Ramon did toward the end of the book. Even if the students do not feel like they can write well, the isn factor allows them to write anything and it still be considered a work of art. ( )
  emedwards | Mar 22, 2015 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 076362344X, Hardcover)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:02:35 -0400)

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

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Candlewick Press

An edition of this book was published by Candlewick Press.

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