by Peter H. Reynolds

IshRamon loves to draw, and does so whenever he gets the opportunity. However one day his older brother takes a look at one of his pictures and laughs at him. Ramon had been trying to draw a vase of flowers but his brother can’t tell what it is so he scrumples up the paper and throws it away. He tries many more times but can’t seem to get it right so, with his brother’s laughter still ringing in his ears, he decides to give up drawing forever.

His little sister Marisol wants to see what he has been drawing but, presuming that she just wants to laugh to, Ramon gets defensive and shouts at her. She runs away with a drawing in her hand and when he chases her he is surprised to see that she has his vase drawings all over her bedroom walls. She loves the images and this makes him see them in a different light. It is a vase-ISH, and this is what Marisol likes.

Slowly the concept of Ish starts to take hold of him and he realises that things don’t have to be perfect in order to be right. Ish is good enough. Ish is interesting. Ish is unique. When he starts to draw again he draws Ish-ly and it opens up a whole new world.

This is a fantastic book for a child who struggles with perfectionism. The message that things don’t have to be ‘just right’ comes through really strongly and it shows that being happy is more important than being perfect and fitting the mould. It’s far better to be creative and do things your own way.

I love the way the illustrations reflect the messaging in the book. The images are spot on but look closely and you see scribbles, wonky lines and colour which bleeds over the edges.

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