Story time is the best time of the day. Whether we're snuggled up on the couch or cozy in our pjs before bed, reading stories with my little ones is one of my favorite things to do. Everyone has a favorite book they remember from their childhood, and every day, parents and kids are discovering new classics of their own. There are many fabulous children's books out there, some of which everyone knows about and others we would have never discovered had my son not simply pulled a random book off a library shelf. I created this blog to share some of these wonderful stories with you. Think of it as a year's worth of the best children's books around, since no day should be without a great story. In the end, I hope we'll all have discovered at least a few new titles that will have made their way onto our list of family favorites. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Day 155: Ish

I love drawing and doing any kind of art.  My daughter does, too.  She'll sit and color for ages, or at least  until I take her crayons away because she is trying to eat them.  My son, on the other hand, has never cared much for coloring.  He'll do it for a few minutes if the materials are out and available, but usually after a few scribbles he's off and running to the next thing.  I've long suspected that part of his reluctance to draw comes from a sort of perfectionism, though I don't know whether or not that is really the case.  He's a stickler for details, and if his picture isn't going to look just like he wants it to (which would be virtually impossible), he doesn't even want to try.  He does like painting -- especially rocks outside -- so I just keep making art accessible and encouraging him to try it out with us.  I was thrilled to find this fabulous book a few weeks ago and honestly think he enjoys drawing more now that we've read it several times.  The other day, for example, we made our own animal ABCs book and he excitedly drew a picture for each animal he had chosen.  All 26 of them.  In one sitting!  I was beyond amazed.  Several times, when part of his drawing didn't look the way he wanted to, he'd say something like, "Well, it might not look just like a frog, but it's frog-ish!"  And then he'd happily continue scribbling and drawing.  It was awesome.  He's made similar "ish" comments while drawing on other occasions, too, and I love that this book seems to have encouraged him to take chances and not worry so much about whether his work looks "right."  I just want him to have fun and enjoy the process along the way.  It's funny, too, because no matter how many times I have encouraged him to draw without worrying about it looking perfect, the message never really seemed to stick until we read this book.  Here's a little taste of what Ish all about:

Ramon loves to draw more than anything in the whole world.  Anytime, anything, anywhere.  One day, as he is drawing a vase of flowers, his older brother walks up behind him and laughs, "What is THAT?"  With those three words, Ramon's whole attitude towards his art changes.  He keeps trying to make his art look "right," but it never does.  After months of frustration and countless crumpled papers, Ramon gives up.  Fortunately for Ramon, his younger sister sees things differently.  When he sees his vase drawing and other castaways proudly displayed on the wall of her room, Ramon begins to realize that perhaps art doesn't have to be perfect to be just right.  It might not look like a vase, but it is "vase-ish," and that, it turns out, is good enough.

Children needn't be reluctant artists or perfectionists to enjoy this book, though I especially recommend it if your child is like mine.  This would be a great book to share in classrooms, too.  More than anything, I just love the way Ish encourages children to let their ideas flow freely and appreciate the individuality of their work.  Thank you, Peter Reynolds, for inspiring us to "live ishfully ever after."


Allen jeley said...

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