|Some Ishful Thinkers...
Welcome! As I write this, I am looking
out my window at the city of Bologna here in Italy. I
just attended the Bologna Children’s Book Fair with
my sister, Jane who, with Mr. Peter Wright, helmed
the the FableVision booth. I spoke to a
wonderful “United Nations-ish” group of publishers,
artists, writers, and educators at the Global Learning
Initiative (GLI) Pavilion at
the Fair. I was amazed how my message of “More
Creativity, Less Mindlessness” resonated world-wide.
One ishful highlight of my trip was meeting
Marinella Barigazzi, the Italian translator of my books
The Dot and Ish! This experience has
reminded me that there is an ishful world of
possibilities out there. I hope you enjoy this issue of
Ishful Thinking, chock full of ideas, activities,
thoughts and examples to inspire ishful thinking in
you, and the people around you!
On My Desk: Projects in the Works
I am busy finishing up the art for a new book,
Someday (Athenaeum Books for Young
Readers) written by Alison McGhee. I am
collaborating with the same team at Simon &
Schuster that helped create my SugarLoaf
books. The next SugarLoaf book, Best Kid
in the World, will be released later this year. Also
on my desk: A new Judy Moody book and a
new Stink book! I also wrote 4 new stories
last month which no one has read yet! You’ll be one
of the first to know though. So... stay tuned!
Ishful Thinking Activity of the Month
Judy Conk, president of Consulting for Results
wrote: “I'm going to use Ish at a meeting at
ASCD this weekend as we review the design matrix
for the Asia Society's Small International High
Schools. We have crumpled several drafts and now I
want them to see we have an ISH draft. It works
wonders with adults too!” You can try this with any
plan. It takes the pressure off of feeling you have to
get it perfect right out of the starting gate. Feel free
to explore the ideas and options rather than being
mired in details.
To contact Judy, who is a wonderful educator and ishful thinker: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ishful Art Activity of the Month
My version of what I call “pop art!” with an ish-
twist (a twisht?) entails doodling a few vases of
flowers. Use a nice thick crayon or grease pencil (my
fave) on white-ish paper. Choose the image that you
feel has the most “je ne sais quois” and then
carefully cut the vase out, leaving just a smidge of a
Add some colors to a separate rectangle, and then
glue your vase to it! Your vase will pop from the
background! Check out the ishful art of Henry H. from
Dedham, Massachusetts. He created this in one of
my workshops at The Blue
Bunny. My workshops are designed to inspire
creativity for kids and “grown up kids.” Remember –
my methods are SUGGESTIONS – feel free to paint,
chop, glue any way you feel suits your creative flow
best! Make it your own! Make your mark and see
where it takes you!
Ishful Writing Activity of the Month
Try writing a story with a happy ending. I have
the good fortune of visiting many schools across the
country and around the world. I read students’
creative writing quite a bit. It gets mailed and e-
mailed to me as well. I have seen a troubling trend in
recent years though. I am seeing more and more
writing involving violence. It is a reflection, I am
sure, of the media they are consuming. Videogames
especially provide a lot of reference material for kids
to draw upon. These games often entail running
amok in an environment. I can’t help but think that
this is a training ground for aimless thinking. My hope
is that we can challenge kids, and ourselves, to think
creatively, to think positively and constructively.
Rather than a pointless story, try making a point.
Power your story with mission. Make it matter.
Enlighten and inspire your reader. There was a very
good reason I named my studio – FableVision. I am a
big fan of stories that teach. A good story can move
us in many ways. My hope is that we can see more
stories that move the world to a better place.
Workshop-ish: A Day with Peter (and Paul!)
My full-day workshop is open to just a handful of
ishful thinkers. It is a day of sharing, reflection, art,
creativity. You’ll be sharing breakfast and lunch with
me, my twin brother, Paul, and fellow creative folks
who, like you, will leave with your creativity batteries
Click here for info or to register...