The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences. The book must portray some aspect of living with a disability or that of a friend or family member, whether the disability is physical, mental or emotional.
The Pirate of Kindergarten by George Ella Lyon and illustrated by Lynne Avril is about a young girl who has an eye condition where she must wear an eye patch. I thought this book was very enjoyable and contained many themes that are common with children who have a disability. In the book Ginny sees two of everything. This was a little problematic for her because it made her interact with the world differently. She was laughed at, made fun of, and couldn’t participate to her full potential. But not only did the book express many of the negative actions children with disabilities experience, but it showed that many times having a disability can make you more creative and that seeing the world differently can be a good thing. I think it also showed how adults who are interacting with children can understand how they can help or hinder a child that is dealing with a disability. Through the illustrations we are allowed to see what Ginny sees and it wasn’t always negative. It seemed that any negative experiences Ginny had came from other characters and not from her disability.