Ramon loves to draw. Or. At least he did. Until his brother came and laughed at his artwork! Ramon was angry, then embarrassed, then frustrated… until he quit. But while his brother was laughing, his little sister was watching and collecting. She saved all his frustrated-drawings, and it was her eye and encouragement that helped Ramon embrace his art, helped him stop trying to get his drawings to look “just right” (perfectionist writer’s block, anyone??), and allowed himself to make drawings that looked “ish”. Flower-ish, vase-ish, fish-ish. And he drew and drew!

We love Peter H. Reynold’s swift & concise line work and his simple, selective watercolor work! His drawings say so much with only a few lines– layering in action & emotion even in black and white. Over his drawings, Reynolds uses touches of bright colors in watercolor to draw emphasis and express emotion. His small swatches of color have a big effect, and it’s the kind of thing that starts to make us see our own lives a little differently.

One of the things we love about Peter H. Reynolds’ books, is that he includes people of color without having to make the whole story about color & culture. He just assumes them! These names– Ramon, Leon, & Marisol– their curly, kinky hair— we love it! And we want more of this for our kids! We want them to see kids they relate with without having to be put on the spot and called out as “different”, but rather to be able to see themselves in stories without putting someone else’s labels on themselves. They can just make, and live, and draw- just like Ramon! We pick up as many of Reynold’s books as we can, but this one is one of our top favorites. (Want to see more? We also love The Dot & Rose’s Garden!) 

Ish
Written and illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

Pick it up at your local independent bookstore,
like Starline Books in Chattanooga,

or find it here at Amazon!

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