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Last updated Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Author: Peter Reynolds
Date of Publication: 2004
ISBN: 076362344X
Grade Level: 2nd    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Nov. 2009

Synopsis: 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. From School Library Journal

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What is the character on the cover holding in his hand? Do you like to write and draw?

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  What do you think ish is? What do you like to draw? What is another ish word? Ish can be a slang. What is a slang word? Do you have any made-up words that you use with your friends or cousins? How do you use them? How does Ramon use his ish word? Make up a word. What does it mean?

Craft ideas:
•  Pick a word and then draw a picture of that word. Have the kids guess the picture and add the word ish to their guessing.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don't have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!