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STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

SCARS book cover

Kendra must face her past and stop hurting herself--before it's too late.

Awards: #1 in the Top 10 ALA Quick Picks, ALA's Rainbow List, a Governor General Literary Award Finalist, Staff Pick for Teaching Tolerance.

Yes, it's my own arm on the cover of SCARS.

HUNTED book cover

Caitlyn, a telepath in a world where having any paranormal power at all can kill her, must decide between saving herself or saving the world.

Awards: A finalist for the Monica Hughes Award for Science Fiction and Fantasy, and the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award.

PARALLEL VISIONS book cover

Kate sees visions of the future--but only when she has an asthma attack. When she "sees" her sister being beaten, and a schoolmate killing herself, Kate must trigger more attacks--but that could kill her.

Awards: 2013 Gold Winner, Wise Bear Digital Awards, YA Paranormal category.

STAINED book cover

Sarah, a teen with a port-wine stain and body image issues, is abducted, and must find a way to rescue herself.

“Powerful. I raced through it, wanting to know if Sarah would find a way to escape both her captor and her self-doubts. A real nail-biter!“
- April Henry, NY Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die

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Uplifting Picture Books That Don't Preach


Ish

Review

Ish
written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
Candlewick,(2004)
ISBN-10: 076362344X
ISBN-13: 9780763623449

My rating:



Ramon loved to draw.
Anytime.
Anything. Anywhere.
One day, Ramon was drawing a vase of flowers. His brother, Leon, leaned over his shoulder.
Leon burst out laughing. "WHAT is THAT?" he asked.
Ramon could not even answer. He just crumpled up the drawing and threw it across the room.
--Ish, Peter H. Reynolds, p. 1-7.

Ramon loves to draw; he always has. But one day, when his brother puts down his drawing of a vase, Ramon loses his love of drawing. He starts to become a perfectionist, judging his drawings the way his brother did, and hating them. He can't make anything look like he wants it to, and he just keeps throwing his drawings away.

Then Ramon catches his little sister taking one of his crumpled drawings away. He follows her, and finds his drawings plastered all over her room. Her favourite is his drawing of a vase, which she says is "vase-ish." Through his sister's eyes, Ramon is able to become free with his art again, and to love the "ish-ness" of his art, which is unique to him. He regains his happiness, and also learns to savor "ish" moments.

Reynolds (The Dot) has crafted an important book about accepting yourself and the way your creativity emerges. The story reminds readers that they can be creative in their own way, and that they don't have to be like everyone else. It lets readers know that art doesn't have to look realistic; that it's the feeling that it evokes in others that counts. And it gently tells readers to listen to themselves, and to do what makes them feel good--not what other people expect and want.

The free, loose ink drawings on white have small splashes of colour (watercolor and tea) that perfectly coincide with how Ramon is feeling--brighter and more color when he's happier and excited, and darker and fewer colors, even just one color, when he's feeling awful. Near the end of the book, as Ramon becomes excited about drawing again, the illustrations come most alive with many vibrant colors and swirls of ink. Reynolds' drawings themselves have a freeing "ish" quality that are full of emotion. The last spread, especially, is uplifting.

The text starts off with one sentence on the first page, three words with three images on the next, quickly drawing the reader into the story. The text and art build on each other, each adding something different to the whole. There are places the text tells instead of shows us what the characters are feeling and thinking, and at times it may feel slightly wordy, but overall the story flows nicely.

Ish is a feel-good book that lets us know we don't have to be perfect. A great read. Highly recommended.

-Added November 2006


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