Published by Candlewick Press in 2004
Suitable for ages 3 upwards
Theme/Topic Confidence for young artists. Supportive family. Power of words, both negative and positive.
Opening ‘Ramon loves to draw. Anytime. Anything. Anywhere.
Brief Synopsis Ramon draws with a carefree, passionate heart–until his older brother makes fun of one of his drawings, saying it looks nothing like the vase Ramon was sketching. Gutted, Ramon loses his muse, and begins crumpling up his future artistic endeavors. But one day he discovers there is someone who truly enjoys his work–his little sister declares that even if Ramon’s drawing doesn’t look like a perfect vase, it looks “vase-ish” and this opens the floodgates of artistic freedom for Ramon once more, spilling over into all his “-ish” drawings and poetry-ish writings. A great message for any young artist, of any medium.
Links to Resources I would kick off the year with this book and a discussion of daring to have an ish go at everything. It could be read it in conjunction with Peter Reynold’s Dot, which has a similar theme. From Peter’s website there is a page to spark creative ideas. And a great lesson plan around the book here.
Why I like this Book Not everyone does everything exactly the way another person would. That’s exactly what this book allows children to learn. It is all in the eye of the beholder and each of us are all a bit “ish”. It allows children to understand that they can be different, or differentish and to pursue that uniqueness. This book could be used the first day of class to set the expectation that you don’t expect all your students to think, learn or feel the same way about everything. This book will allow them to reflect on their different qualities and how it makes them unique and to just have a go at activities, even if they feel a little inadequate. Also it shows that for every person that brings you down, there’s someone to pick you right back up, and I think that’s a wonderful lesson for children to grasp. Their work, no matter how it looks, is valued, and they should be reminded of that often. I am a little art-phobic myself, but even I feel like I could create something ish after reading this!