CM . . .
. Volume XIX Number 6 . . . . October 12, 2012.
Ish is a book that will greatly interest those with aptitudes in the arts, but the message of the story can be applied easily to other facets of life. In Ish, Ramon loves to draw, but, when his older brother laughs and asks, "WHAT is THAT?" about one of Ramon's drawings, Ramon gives up drawing. He seems to feel that he is unable to achieve success at his art. When Ramon's little sister scoops up a discarded drawing and adds it to the collection of Ramon's other art adorning her walls, Ramon learns to view his art through someone else's eyes and sees value in what he does. He then reclaims his happiness – through drawing.
I very much enjoyed this story (as did my four-year-old, who pulled out his own paints for a few days after reading Ish), and was drawn in by the watercolour, ink and tea illustrations. The gentle humour and emotion brought forth through the illustrations effectively reflect the essence of the text.
While this story focuses on an artist, the message of not letting others dissuade you from your dreams is universal. Remembering my own childhood dreams being crumpled through the careless words of another and knowing others who experienced similar events remind me to nurture and protect the dreams and aspirations of my own children; this is something highlighted in this story as well making it, in my mind, a very worthwhile story.
Karyn Miehl, a mother of two and a secondary school English teacher, lives in Kingsville, ON.
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