Peter H. Reynolds is an author/illustrator and director of his own production company, which creates innovative, animated, award-winning materials for the educational market-place. Peter lives in Massachusetts, USA.
As simple yet stimulating as Reynolds's The Dot, this tale centers on another youngster questioning his artistic ability. Spot illustrations portray Ramon as a cheerful boy who loves to draw "anytime" (he draws in bed), "anything" (he paints pictures of trash cans) and "anywhere" (readers will giggle at the sight of him perched on the toilet, drawing pad on his lap). But his self-confidence plummets when Ramon's older brother laughs at his attempts to draw a vase of flowers ("What is that?"). After months and crumpled attempts at trying to make his pictures look "right," the frustrated child puts his pencil down, announcing, "I'm done." His younger sister runs off with one of the discarded drawings and when he chases her to her bedroom, he discovers (in a moment reminiscent of The Dot) she has created a "crumpled gallery" of his work. Pointing to his attempted rendering of the flower vase, the girl calls it "one of my favorites." When Ramon complains, "That was supposed to be a vase of flowers," she supportively responds, "Well, it looks vase-ish!" Ramon then feels "light and energized. Thinking ish-ly allowed his ideas to flow freely." Reynolds's minimalist pen-and-ink illustrations feature subtle washes of watercolor and ample splashes of emotion and humor. A tidy lesson in the importance of thinking-or drawing-outside the box and believing in one's own abilities despite others' reactions. Ages 5-up. (Sept.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
A sophisticated book for aspiring artists and deluded perfectionists of all ages." The Observer; "An intelligent tale of self-expressionism and an absolute feast for the eyes." Baby & You"
K-Gr 5-Ramon loves to draw: "Anytime," like the middle of the night; "Anywhere" including on the toilet; and "Anything"-even smelly trash cans. When his older brother laughs at his efforts, he becomes self-conscious and frustrated. Months later he is still haunted by Leon's cruel jeers, ready to give up. Then his little sister Marisol snatches one of his crumpled pictures and runs off to her room. The angry artist chases her but is speechless when he enters her sanctuary-a gallery of his discarded artwork. As she admires her latest acquisition, Ramon confides that it "was supposed to be a vase of flowers, but it doesn't look like one." She ponders the work and maintains that it is "vase-ISH." This new perspective leaves him "light and energized;" his ideas "flow freely" and he draws everything he sees and feels. "His ish art [even] inspired ish writing." And, in the end, he lives "ishfully ever after." This animated version of Peter H. Reynolds's book (Candlewick, 2004) is sure to inspire and empower young artists of all abilities to make their own "ish" drawings and poems. The simple cartoon illustrations, rendered in watercolor, ink, and tea, effectively capture the characters' feelings with humor and sensitivity. Bursts of color and light and cool jazz music reflect Ramon's mood throughout the story. Viewers can also watch the film with subtitles, though the white letters, outlined in pink are somewhat difficult to read. Libraries will want to purchase this delightful offering to support the art curriculum.-Barbara Auerbach, New York City Public Schools Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.