“Ramon loved to draw. Anytime. Anywhere.” So begins Peter H. Reynolds’ wonderful tale about creativity and the artistic process. When his older brother makes a careless remark about Ramon’s depiction of a vase, drawing becomes a frustrating struggle and loses its joy and freedom. Ramon becomes preoccupied with trying to get his drawings “right” and ends up crumpling up his efforts in despair. Little does he know that his little sister has become his biggest fan, collecting his discarded papers and hanging them in her room. Soon enough, Ramon discovers her gallery and learns that she likes the way his drawings look “vase-ISH.” Freed from exactitude, Ramon’s love for drawing is reinvigorated.
The follow-up to Reynolds’ The Dot, Ish encourages readers to see the world through their own unique perspectives. The beautiful and quirky watercolor and ink drawings complement the message of the book well. This story would be a wonderful addition to any classroom or personal collection, inspiring the creativity of readers both young and old.