Sir Quentin Blake’s new children's book a celebration of disability

'You want these characters to be represented because that’s what life is like,' says illustrator

Sir Quentin Blake hopes more writers and illustrators will follow his lead as he prepares to release a children’s book that celebrates youngsters with disabilities.

The Five of Us, which the artist famed for his work with Roald Dahl has written for children aged between five and seven, will be published in September. It tells the story of five friends, “each of whom has an unusual ability”, who save the day after disaster strikes on a day out in the countryside.

One is a wheelchair user, another has a stutter, while a third has impaired sight – although the book does not refer to their disabilities.

Sir Quentin came up with the idea after working on drawings for the disability charity Scope. “I have put some children with disabilities into my books on the margin,” he told The Independent. “And then two or three years ago, I thought: why can’t they be the main characters?”

He added: “It is a sensitive area; you don’t want a quota, but you want these characters to be represented because that’s what life is like.”

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