Thursday, October 22, 2009

Ish - Peter H. Reynolds

Summary: 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. (Summary by Shawn Brommer, South Central Library System, Madison, WI via

My Review: I was disappointed by this book. I recently spent some time creating an Amazon wish list of books for my daughters (Christmas is coming after all) and this book often came up as a book that "people who bought the book on your wish list also bought..." So when I saw it at the library I snatched it up and read it as soon as I got home.

The premise is nice and the story starts off well enough. However I thought the second half - after Ramon discovers "-ish"ness, rather mediocre. It was as if the author knew he had an idea that us feel-good, artsy parents would like (dare I call myself artsy?) and decided to coast. With some expert wordsmithing I would have jumped on the "Ish" bandwagon, but it didn't have that. A children's story, told in few words must be well crafted. I had no desire to read this book more than once, so back to the library it went.

The illustrations were done by the author, and they were great. If the narrative had been two notches better I could have really liked the book.

My Rating: 2 Stars - I won't be adding it to my kids "wish list," regardless of what those other Amazon shoppers do.

In one sentence: Concept, illustrations and good writing are key in making a good children's book.

No comments:


Related Posts with Thumbnails