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!

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  1. The Dot and Ish are two of our all-time favorites! Peter H. Reynolds has wondeful way of delivering valuable lessons within the context of engaging stories. His book, The North Star is also wonderful!

    Everything in our house has become ishish 🙂

  2. We love these books!

  3. Great books! I’ve always wanted to own a children’s bookstore just like Meg Ryan’s character in “You’ve Got Mail.”

  4. We love these books, too. I think they inspire creativity.
    I also wish I could be a children’s librarian or own a little shop like the one in You’ve Got Mail! Fun to find like-minded friends!

  5. I LOVE these books by Peter Reynolds. I bought The Dot after our Art teacher at school shared them with my class a few years ago. I think your right–they deal with the frustrations of a child with art, but could be used in a variety of areas.
    I will have to check out The North Star!

  6. These books sound great. I’m going to look for them in the library.

  7. I will look for these at the library tomorrow. Thanks for the new books!

  8. I’m dying to check out The North Star now! I didn’t see it at our library.

  9. Now I’m dying to check out The North Star! I didn’t see that one at our library.

  10. I love these books too! A great message about creativity for our children.

    My good friend is a children’s librarian. It’s a lot of work but she loves it! My daughter also has a favorite children’s librarian at our local library. She thinks of some sort of book to look for just so she can talk to the librarian.

  11. Ah, a kindred spirit! I’ve been saying lately that I may have missed my calling and should have been a children’s librarian…

    Anyways, we loved The Dot– my kids love drawing shapes using their negative space now all because of this book. I hadn’t seen Ish though, so I’ll have to go check our online catalog now!