Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Ish

Ish

Peter H. Reynolds
Picture Book  Series
For ages 5 and up
Candlewick Press, 2004   ISBN: 978-0763623449

Ramon loves to draw and he draws the world around him whenever he can. Then one day his love of drawing is spoilt when his older brother Leon makes fun of Ramon’s art. Ramon begins to think that his drawings and paintings are not good enough because they don’t look like their subject. He tries and tries to perfect his art but always ends up crumpling up the sheets of paper he uses and throwing them away. In the end he decides “I’m done.” He is ready to give up.

Luckily Ramon’s little sister Marisol arrives on the scene. She likes Ramon’s pictures and she shows him that she has kept all the pictures that he crumpled up and threw away. He explains that the objects that he has drawn in his pictures do not look realistic. Marisol does not mind for Ramon’s vase of flowers looks “vase-ISH” and that is good enough for her.

Ramon begins to realize that all his pictures are something-ish. Better still he comes to accept that creating art that is ish is just fine and soon he is happy as can be letting his creative impulses have free reign and not worrying if his pictures look like the real thing or not.

Anyone who has striven hard for perfection thinking that their music, art, or writing is not good enough will find Ramon’s story enlightening and comforting. They will be reminded that beauty comes in all forms and that one does not have to conform to what other people think is beautiful or acceptable. All one has to do is to create, and enjoy oneself doing it.

With minimal illustrations and the simplest of texts this book’s message is able to come through loud and clear. Ramon is a character many people will be able to identify with and his meaningful adventure will have an impact on readers of all ages.

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