Famous Illustrator’s New Book Celebrates Disability and Individuality
This famous artist’s new book is paving the way for a more inclusive society.
British illustrator Sir Quentin Blake‘s newest children’s book centers around five kids with disabilities, according to The Independent. “The Five Of Us,” released in September, is about children whose disabilities — one uses a wheelchair, another stutters — are apparent but not the point of the book.
“I have put some children with disabilities into my books on the margin,” he told the outlet. “And then two or three years ago, I thought: why can’t they be the main characters?”
Angie, Ollie, Simona, Mario and Eric are the main characters, and each of them has an unusual ability, according to Tate, book’s publisher. When disaster strikes during a daytime bus ride to the countryside, the five save the day through teamwork.
The idea came about after Blake was asked to do some drawing of children using mobility aids a few years ago for an exhibition, BBC News reported. The task made him aware of the under-representation of these kids.
“We can’t have a quota and we can’t have a token,” he told the BBC. “But one day I hope it just comes naturally, it’s not something I would have to think about.”
Blake, known for his work with author Roald Dahl, is sure to bring some much-needed attention to this issue.
“It is a sensitive area,” he told The Independent. “You want these characters to be represented because that’s what life is like.”
Watch Bake discuss his newest book in the video below: