Cindy, you make some good points in your message. I'll try and address them
as best I know how.
Second only to the Newbury, the Caldecott books are said to be the best kid books each year. Unfortunately, as you mentioned, these
books are recognized for their illustration, and they are not always easily enjoyed by blind kids. What's worse, often these books aren't even attempted to be put into accessible format for blind kids. They are seen as not being important to kids who can't see the pictures. You know, why would the blind kid care what something looked like?
The flaw in the above thinking is that often blind kids DO care how things look. The other flaw is that, in not having access to Caldecott books, kids are missing out on some really incredible stories. Some Caldecotts have good content as well as pictures. Not only that, but by missing out on these stories,
our blind kids aren't familiar with the stories that their sighted classmates may be reading. This is an important thing for blind kids not just educationally, but socially as well.
Not every Caldecott book need have picture descriptions. This may sound bizarre, but it's true. Some stories are just really really good, even without the added benefit of the pictures. Case and point, last year's Caldecott winner. The Man Who Walked Between the Towers. A beautiful beautiful story! My Children's Literature professor read it to our class the week after the award was announced. She showed the pictures to the class, but did not verbally
describe them. I loved that story anyway. It was just that good. Perhaps I missed out on something, but I sure didn't enjoy that book any less. I tried to scan that book for Bookshare, but didn't have any luck. It has just too many pictures per page which don't seem to scan well. However I wasn't using the newest version of K1000 back then, so maybe I'd have better luck now.
So, that's my basic thinking behind Caldecott book access. Others may have different ideas. I've thought about this a lot because my goal is to work teaching blind children one day.
Hope this made some sense.
The Caldecott Medal is awarded " the artist who had created the most distinguished picture book of the year." In some cases, I discovered as I did some research to be sure I was correct, a book is nominated for both the Caldecott and the Newbery, and then the committees decide inder whch category to place it.
Since it is the illustrations and not the story for which the book wins the award, and illustrations can only be described and not, as far as I know, actually included in books in the bookshare collection, is it really worthwhile to make a special effort to have them in the collection?
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