Ish by Peter Reynolds

Hi, Hello, Bonjour! Welcome to Blue Hair and the Ghost. We hope you enjoy our children’s literacy reviews and activities. We are so excited about finally getting our ideas and views out there to help you read and learn with your little! Here’s to having fun and learning. Enjoy our first review.


Ish by Peter H Reynolds

[BH] I found this book one day when I went on a book hunt at Barnes and Noble. When I was teaching, I used to spend an afternoon just looking through different children’s books trying to find quality books to use in the classroom; Ish has been my favorite book ever since. This is a wonderful story about a little boy who loves to draw but is discouraged when his older brother cannot tell what he is drawing. He loses hope and the desire to draw until one day he discovers his little sisters room. She has collected all his drawings and wallpapered her room. She describes them all as “ish”, “vase-ish”, “flower-ish” and so on. His love for drawing and creating comes back to life! This book is the perfect length and has beautiful illustrations to top it off!

[BH]I absolutely love using this book in the classroom because it helps teach children that they do not need to be perfect, their drawings don’t need to be perfect, their writing doesn’t need to be perfect. They just need to … wait for it.. my favorite thing to say to children… TRY. They just need to TRY! This book helps encourage those littles that are unsure of what they are doing to just try it – just go for it! This book will help your child gain confidence in whatever they decide to try, because just like the book their drawing or writing will probably come out “ish” like. The message is such a positive message for littles to hear. Anytime your little is getting frustrated or overwhelmed with a new task bring up Ramon to encourage them to try.

[G] For most of my life, I have hesitated to do things when I know that I would struggle.  Trying new things, especially as I got older, was not something I really enjoyed because I did not like the learning curve that went along with it! I think that part of the reason I love Ish so much is because I can relate so much to this character! (Even though I am MANY years older than Ramon).  This book is a great way to introduce the idea that starting something is just as important as finishing something—a lesson that adults sometimes need to be reminded of.

[G] Beyond this main idea, there are also important lessons about family and feelings! It’s a good way to start talking about bullying (which the older brother does!) and making others feel better (which the younger sister does!)


Ish Still Life Activity: I hope your littles and you love this book as much as we do. Now here is an activity to try!

DSC_1369  DSC_1372This is an easy activity to put together in a few minutes – A still life drawing

Stay with me here, I am not crazy for telling you to have your child draw a still life – believe me they will love it – and you can do it with them!

Choose any object, toy, food, instrument, anything and place it on the table. place two pieces of paper – one for you and one for your little – and two pencils!

Now get to work drawing and have FUN.

While you are drawing talk about the book and how things are coming out “ishy”. Talk about how its fun to try and draw different and new things.

Easy extension activity grab your smartphone/computer/tablet whatever is closest and look up some still life artists like Chardin or  Henri Matisse.

We would love to follow along and see what your little choose as their still life!  Tag us in pictures on instagram @bluehairandtheghost or  #bluehairandtheghost ! We can’t wait to see your little’s ISH creations!

7 thoughts on “Ish by Peter Reynolds

  1. Mary says:

    I can’t wait to try this with my students. I must get the book. Please keep me updated on your latest book suggestions.

    • says:

      I hope your students love it as much as mine did! It was a huge hit in my classroom. Also check the blog every Monday and Thursday there will be new posts!


    Love this site and can’t wait for my granddaughter’s next visit to read and create with her.

    • says:

      Mary, thanks so much! by the time your granddaughter visits next you will have a ton of ideas from the blog to do with her!

    • says:

      Thanks so much. I am glad you loved it and I hope your grand nieces and nephew enjoy the books too! Thats exactly what we wanted this blog to do!

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