What We’re Reading Wednesdays: The Dot and Ish

Welcome back to What We’re Reading Wednesday!  Emily returns to share two more recent favorites in her home.

I love sharing books with people who get just as excited as I do.  My dream job is to be a children’s librarian.  My husband thinks that would be the world’s most boring job, but then again he flies airplanes upside down for a living.  I thought you all might appreciate my dream.

I had a tough time picking the next book I wanted to review because there are just so many good ones!  So I decided to pick two: The Dot and Ish are both written and illustrated by Peter Reynolds. It was impossible for me to choose which I liked better so I’m sharing both!

the-dotThe Dot is about a girl named Vashti who is frustrated in art class and cannot think of anything to draw.  Her teacher tells her to, “Just make a mark and see where it takes you.”  Through this simple encouragement, Vashti unleashes her creative juices and finds her love of drawing.  Along the way she discovers that she does have talent when she was sure she had none.  This lovely tale ends as Vashti encourages another boy who believes he can’t draw by passing along the same advice she was given.

ishIsh is another tale about a would-be artist, Ramon, who loves to draw, but gives way to doubt when his older brother makes fun of his drawings.  His epiphany comes when he finds all his crumpled up, self-rejected drawings have been rescued from the trash by his sister.  She has smoothed them out and lovingly taped them all to her bedroom walls.  Ramon learns that even though he drawings aren’t perfect, they’re still beautiful.

These books are both quick reads with beautifully simple illustrations.  Although they are about children’s frustrations with art, I think the lesson could be translated to any subject with which a child was struggling.

I will be adding The Dot and Ish to my list of favorites, and I’m just sure you will too!

Simple As That: Inviting Stillness

still

I had something else entirely planned for Simple As That today.  I changed that plan when I read Leo Babauta’s article Be Still this morning at Zen Habits.  Leo writes:

We are always on, always connected, always thinking, always talking. There is no time for stillness — and sitting in front of a frenetic computer all day, and then in front of the hyperactive television, doesn’t count as stillness.

This comes at a cost: we lose that time for contemplation, for observing and listening. We lose peace.

Summer means many things for family: camps and camping, swimming lessons and wading pools, exciting travel and quiet appreciation of home.  If we don’t actively invite stillness into the days of summer, even the lazy days of summer can become crowded with noise.

Today, take a moment to seek out stillness and invite reflective quiet into the day.  Model this for your children and encourage them to spend a moment or two of quiet, thoughtful stillness.  Do the same thing tomorrow and the day after.  Pursuing peace is a priority driven by intention, and the reward is always worth it.

How and when will you be still today?

photo courtesy of kevindooley

July 17th: SK Showcase and Weekend Links

Well, the showcase pool has dried up, so I don’t have anyone’s fun to show off for you this week.  If your family has been up to some delightful, creative, joyful living, won’t you take a moment to share it with the Simple Kids community? You can email your submission to me at simplekidsblog at gmail dot com!

Did you know Simple Kids has a Flickr group?  It’s true, we do!  And I have been one lousy moderator of that group.  I originally had thoughts of organizing monthly creativity challenges and all kinds of other Flickr-y fun, but I just have not been able to carve out the time to attend to that.  I received such an overwhelming response last week when I asked for volunteers for the book review team, I thought I might seek out help from this awesome and supportive community once more.  Is there anyone who might like to volunteer to manage the Simple Kids Flickr group? If so, send me an email and we can talk about specifics.

And now, your weekend reading:

Simply Practical

Simple Nest: Simple Shoe Organization for a Welcoming Entryway
The Creative Mama: Your Go-To Bag Revisited

Simply Delicious

maya*made: fairy berry pies
red bird crafts: lemonade for everyone!

Inspired Projects

Kids Craft Weekly: Cutting Crafts
ABC and 123: Blowing Bubbles: Recipes, Activities, Books
Playful Learning: There is Hope
Katherine Marie Photography: Pop Pop Pop {Theme of the Week}

Inspired Images

Mountain Mama: Simple pleasures of a summer weekend
elsewhere living: My favorite picture in the history of the world. Ever.
Living and Loving Every Minute of It: PJ Hopscotch Rocks!

Inspired Words

A Magical Childhood: 10 Ways to Make Your Kids Giggle
holy experience: Kindreds: How to Heal a Family

What were some of your favorites this week?