Richard Downs
Beyond the Medal
Here is a piece for Patrick JB Flynn at Rethinking Schools for a story about Caldecott Medal winning books for children containing ableist and discriminating stereotypes against people with physical,mental, or emotional disabilities. Unlike books intended for older audiences, picture books rely on visual art to convey meaning. Children can read these picture books on their own and don't need to have the meaning mediated by an adult.

I  finished the sketches and went to send them to Patrick and right then, we had a power outage due to strong winds. It was a beautiful sunny but windy day so I went outside and worked in the yard. I thought about the assignment and the isolation that a child must feel with any disability in such a big world and I came up with this idea. I threw away my old ideas and sent him this.

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