Author Spotlight: Peter H. Reynolds
It is not very often that picture books make it into my “all-time favorite” category. Throughout my career in education and as a parent I have read many varieties and have a lot of “good” ones that I recommend… but “all-time favorites” only come along once in a blue moon. Ish, written by Peter H. Reynolds has recently been inducted into my picture book hall of fame. The most exciting part of falling in love with the book Ish, is that there are plenty of other inspiring books where that came from. Peter H. Reynolds has written The Dot, The North Star and many others – he also recently collaborated with Marlo Thomas and Carole Hart to redesign and illustrate the 35th Anniversary Edition of Free to Be You and Me.
Peter H. Reynolds is an author and illustrator with the mission of inspiring children to believe in themselves. Ish is a story about a boy who becomes easily discouraged by his artistic abilities and crumples up his work if it is not perfect (exactly what my daughter used to do). Yet as the story progresses he becomes liberated when he realizes that rather than having to draw an exact replica of the vase, it can look vase-ish. The term “Ish” is now a standard part of our family vocabulary as we celebrate the “Ishness” of our endeavors – and the crumpled papers have vanished!
The North Star is another book that promotes positive family dialogue. The main character is happily following life’s path when along comes some confusing signs and characters that cause the character to stray and get lost. The story is about staying true to your own personal North Star and encourages the reader to listen within in order to know the right course to take in life. Again, this book has given our family a common language and context that we use to discuss similar issues that surface in our own lives.
I recently discovered that Peter H. Reynolds has founded the media company FableVision, which is “dedicated to helping all learners discover their true potential.” FableVision has created some truly amazing software programs (see below for links to free demos). My favorite right now is Stationery Studio, which has brought new life to our writing area. Children can use it as an introduction to word processing software or parents/teachers can print out a wide variety of writing papers and customize everything from the fun borders to the style and width of the lines. It is definitely worth a visit over to the FableVision Website – there are plenty of inspiring things for both children and adults to explore.
Sparking the Creative Spirit by Peter H. Reynolds
The North Star – Read the Story Online
Clip Art by Peter H. Reynolds – Here & Here
The Stellar Cafe Blog
Stationery Studio – Free Demo
Animation-ish – Free Demo
SmartMoves – Free Demo