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Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch
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Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch

4.16  ·  Rating Details  ·  288 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Here is an imaginative tale about the unconventional fifteenth-century Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch, as told by his wildly dissatisfied housekeeper. Caldecott Medalists Leo and Diane Dillon and their son, Lee, depict a most unusual household filled with pickle-winged fish, flying furniture, and other bizarre delights. “From its sumptuous paintings to its gilt frames to ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published October 31st 1991 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Lisa Vegan
Jun 06, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it it was amazing
Fun, fun, fun rhyme with phrases that kids will love to repeat long after reading the book or having it read to them. The illustrations and story are a hoot. There is an informative note at the end about the real artist, which sort of makes this an art and historical fiction book as well as a pure fiction picture book. I love the two main characters and the story arc. Flamboyantly entertaining.
Feb 10, 2013 Jenny rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed both the illustrations and story. Hieronymus Bosch was a real artist who died in 1516. He drew and painted pictures of people and objects acting in strange ways and twisted to creative shapes. (I had never heard of him before reading this!) Willard turned this into a fun poetic story of an artist with unusual creatures creating havoc in his home. The Dillons created amazing artwork that really complements and completes the story. Wonderfully done! Quite magical. I also enjoyed t ...more
Samantha Jones
Mar 21, 2011 Samantha Jones rated it really liked it
This is a strange tale filled with remarkable creatures and odd images. The first page has no illustration other than within the text, and I find this very exciting in a suspenseful kind of way. However, the rest of the book is laid out rather specifically: on the left page is the text in a colorful font that was hand-lettered by the illustrators, and directly above the text is an image that appears to be sketched and generally faces the right page in a fashion that implies motion to progress th ...more
May 06, 2013 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an entertaining, fantastic tale/poem that is fun to read aloud. The illustrations by Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon are wonderful, as I expected from the Caldecott Medal-winning illustrators. The rhyming, lyrical narrative is quite humorous, if a bit strange.

We really enjoyed reading this book together and I enjoyed reading the note at the end of the book that explained that Hieronymous Bosch was a real person, an artist who lived in the 15th century. I never knew!
Casey Koch
Mar 13, 2016 Casey Koch rated it it was amazing
Pish Posh Hieronymus Bosch is an ingenious tale about the unconventional fifteenth-century Flemish painter Hieronymus Bosch, as told by his wildly dissatisfied housekeeper. In Willard's playful poem, the artist's housekeeper is vexed to the max by such distractions as “a beehive in boots and a pear-headed priest who call monkeys to order and lizards to feast”, but ultimately accepts that her lot and her affections lie with Bosch and his menagerie, however maddening.

Caldecott Medalists Leo and Di
Sarah Ashburn
Jun 08, 2015 Sarah Ashburn rated it liked it
Shelves: language-play
Once again this book had a very good story line and included a good amount of language play but the book had too many difficult words. I think that this story would be another teacher read aloud because it would be too difficult for a young student learning to read. I do like how many of the letter sounds are highlighted throughout the story.
Ashley Hietpas
Apr 03, 2016 Ashley Hietpas rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrenslit
Cute story, but had to give it 5 stars because of the artwork alone. Probably the most gorgeous illustrations (also, the way they placed each illustration inside a beautiful sculpted metal frame their son made) I've come upon in years.
Jun 10, 2016 Garren rated it it was ok
An interesting project to say the least: Bosch for kids!? The pictures aren't Bosch paintings but they are inspired by the surrealist elements of Bosch and Bosch himself is a character. The main character, however, is a woman who is his domestic servant. Or wife. It was hard to tell. Sure seemed heavy on the sex roles, but if the protagonist were a man I would have read it as an eccentric noble vs. his long suffering manservant. That may be a more appropriate reading.

At any rate, the rhyming and
Hieronymus Bosch is a man with eclectic, not to mention eccentric, tastes. While they suit him just fine, his wife is the one who has to run an insane house full of monstrous magical creatures. Too this Hieronymus just says,"Pish Posh!"Can love conquer the weirdness, or should Mrs. Bosch forsake her husband and his odd ways?
The illustrations in this book are amazing. They are reminiscent of James C. Christiansen (and maybe a little N.C. Wyeth) in their complexity and rich color. The beautiful a
Natalie Zagara
Sep 21, 2011 Natalie Zagara rated it it was amazing
Nancy Willard weaves wonderous words and tells a story about a housewife who is tired of her job, as she takes care of a household that is hard to handle because of the craziness that manifests inside. She is tired of her daily routine and the crazy characters that live with her. She decides to leave her home to seek a boring life, one that will be less stressful on her. As she leaves her life, though, she realizes that although those things in her life seem crazy,they still need her. As she dre ...more
Feb 22, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it
In "Pish Posh said Hieronymus Bosch" there are strange creatures that aren't seen in other stories set in the fifteenth-century or any century for that matter, at least as far as I know. This story may contain odd creature but that does not change its fifteenth-century feel. Its story is told in rhyme as a poem similar to a nursery rhyme. Its images and story are based off a real fifteenth-century artist named Hieronymus Bosch. The illustrations are framed within a silver, bronze, and bass frame ...more
Sep 28, 2013 Kelsey rated it it was amazing
"Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch" is an imaginative story about Hieronymus Bosch, an artist from the late 1450s. The illustrations in the story were created by Lee Dillon in the style of those of the actual Hieronymus Bosch. The author's notes at the end of the book explain author Nancy Willard's fascination with the odd creatures from Bosch's original sketches. Illustrator Lee Dillon also studied Bosch's work. The resulting book, "Pish, Posh, Said Hieronymus Bosch" is a great example of styli ...more
Paul  Hankins
Leo and Diane Dillon, winners of numerous awards for their illustrations, most recently the beautifully rendered NEVER FORGOTTEN, are heavily influenced by the work of Hieronymous Bosch.

This one is not to be missed by fans of the Dillons or by fans of the picture book genre. Bosch, known the quirky and eccentric themes of his paintings is brought to life by the Dillons in illustrations, each with a gilded, ornate frame. The verse that accompanies the illustrations help this 1991 classic ring ou
Apr 16, 2016 Miriam rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture, art
This isn't really anything to do with the historical personage, just a rather silly poem inspired by his art. The Dillons' Boschean illustrations are totally worth a look, though! Appealing for both adult fans of the artist and children who like searching out details in illustrations. All or most of the panels appear to be viewable online.

Emily Huffman
Mar 13, 2014 Emily Huffman rated it it was ok
Beautiful illustrations, and wow! the bronzework! The book would probably be fun to read aloud but...I just thought it was too self-indulgent and had absolutely no engaging storyline.
Jun 19, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-with-my-kid
If you and your little reader like wordplay!, then you'll really enjoy this book. The pictures (sort of obviously) are also wacky and worth the price of admission.
Beautiful tribute to the presciently surreal work of Hieronymus Bosch. Toned down for an audience of children rather than the usual not for the easily disturbed.
Jan 22, 2015 Sylvia rated it really liked it
A very cute and fun story. I love the illustration, it's beautiful work, a beautiful book.

I got tongue twisted a few times, bit still love it none the less.
Sep 06, 2014 Lindz rated it really liked it
I really liked it, and the girls liked looking at all the creatures in the book. Really easy to keep reading aloud, "Piss Posh" which made me giggle.
Jennifer Heise
My nearly-seven-year old son and I enjoyed reading this very silly and beautifully illustrated book together. The illustrations are based on images in the work of the real Hieronymus Bosch, and the rhyming text is full of wordplay.

Fair warning: Bosch's housekeeper runs away because she can't stand the strange creatures messing with her work-- but the animals follow her, and she realizes she would miss them. Returning, she apparently also agrees to marry Bosch. So, read with discretion-- this co
Rose Anderson
Mar 10, 2016 Rose Anderson rated it really liked it
Delightful little book!
Michael Fitzgerald
Apr 18, 2015 Michael Fitzgerald rated it it was amazing
Eric Hernandez
Oct 04, 2012 Eric Hernandez rated it really liked it
Most kids looking at this book probably sit there for minutes trying to pronounce the book which then makes them want to read the book so that is a good eye catching title. When i read this book i thought to myself man i wish when i was a kid i would have known about this book or even liked to read back then. All of the cool creatures and flying furniture and what not in this book make this an interesting read that you just want to look at the pictures.
Jun 29, 2013 Betsy rated it it was amazing
The Dillons use frames very intentionally in their books--often to restrain the movement in the illustration. In this book, they are using a frame that was actually sculpted/designed by their son; what strikes me is that in this book, even the frame is "busy." There is a riot of activity, color, and strange creatures in each illustration--all in homage to Hieronymus Bosh himself who would have felt right at home. Willard's story is perfect.
Sep 18, 2014 Emyrose8 rated it liked it
3.5- Love the pictures. The poem is pretty good too.
Apr 13, 2013 Jim rated it it was amazing
Wow. You'd have to be insane to write a kid's book about Hieronymus Bosch. But I loved it. And so did my 5-year-old. Whimsical and witty, this rhyming book is fantastic. My little boy loved it and was fascinated by the pictures. Well, done!

Update: Just read this to the whole family and everyone loves it. We pored over the pictures.
R Matthew Simmons
May 20, 2013 R Matthew Simmons rated it it was amazing
Although this is technically a children's book, any art historian or adult can appreciate its value outside a young mind.
I was fortunate enough to have received this as a gift a few years back after first browsing through it well over a decade ago. I believe it is out of print, so good luck finding a copy - it will be well worth it.
May 21, 2013 Shelli rated it it was amazing
The quirky illustrations in this small picture book alone are with 5 stars! I only wish there had been a bit more information on Hieronymus Bosch in the afterword. Super fun read that children and adults alike will want to revisit again and again, something new to focus on each time you study the pictures. Eccentric goodness!
Spook Harrison
Feb 16, 2010 Spook Harrison rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Again, the imagination in the pictures and the story make this book one I needed to own personally. Children love to say 'pish posh!' as!
Combines an art style based on the work of Bosch with witty, nonsensical rhyming text.
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NANCY WILLARD is an award-winning children's author, poet, and essayist who received the Newbery Medal in 1982 for A Visit to William Blake's Inn. She has written dozens of volumes of children's fiction and poetry, including The Flying Bed, Sweep Dreams, and Cinderella's Dress. She is also the author of two novels for adults, Things Invisible to See and Sister Water, and twelve books of poetry, in ...more
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