Children’s Books Take on Disabilities

As a parent of a disabled child, or a person with physical challenges, you might be amazed at the differences between kids and adults in terms of accepting disabilities. For the most part, children want to learn about disabilities, and they often are willing to focus on the individual’s abilities instead of their limitations. Kids love to learn and understand, and the following list of children’s books can help them embrace the diversity and challenges that come with disabilities.


Arnie and the New Kid
by Nancy Carlson
In this kids’ book, Top cat Arnie teases Philip because he is confined to a wheelchair. Yet when Arnie falls down the school steps and breaks a leg, twists a wrist, and sprains a tail, he begins to see life from a different perspective. Arnie and the New Kid is available for purchase on Amazon.specialbook

Don't Call Me Special: A First Look at Disability
by Pat Thomas
This delightful picture book explores questions and concerns about physical disabilities in a simple and reassuring way. Younger children can find out about individual disabilities, special equipment that is available to help the disabled, and how people of all ages can deal with disabilities and live happy and full lives.

Written by psychotherapist and counselor Pat Thomas, A First Look At books promote positive interaction among children, parents, and teachers, and encourage kids to ask questions and confront social and emotional questions that sometimes present problems. Books feature appealing full-color illustrations on every page plus a page of advice to parents and teachers.  Available on Amazon.

Imagine Me on a Sit-Ski!
by George Moran
sitskibookBilly, who uses a wheelchair, never imagined himself able to ski, so he's very excited when he discovers that he and his disabled classmates are going to have a chance to learn. He describes his experiences at Snow Valley, where disabled people are able to use adaptive equipment and are helped by specially trained instructors.

Some of Billy's classmates use such devices as crutches on skis; Billy uses a sit-ski. His detailed narrative describes how the equipment works as well as his adventures on the slopes. The accompanying watercolor illustrations are lively and colorful and will be helpful for introducing readers to specialized ski equipment.

Purchase on Amazon.

Mama Zooms!
by Jane Cowen-Fletcher
It's natural for a young boy to think his mother is omnipotent. Add to that the fact that she's wheelchair mobile and the pair have some wonderful adventures. On his mother's lap, the narrator imagines himself a jockey, a sea captain, a racing-car driver, a pilot, a train engineer, and an astronaut. Anchoring these exploits and tying them to reality is his father, who puts the child on his mother's lap in the morning and pushes her up the "very steepest hills."mamazoomsRather than being a fully fleshed-out story, the poetic text describes the action in the full-page drawings done in pastel and colored pencils. "Mama zooms me through a puddle and she's my ship at sea. Mama zooms me across a bridge and she's my airplane." The pictures feature an attractive woman, her costumed son, and her manually operated vehicle. Some are close-ups, while others show an entire scene. Children will tune in to the fantasy and enjoy the speed and energy captured in the artwork. The large type and simple sentence structure are appropriate for beginning readers. Best of all, this understated book presents a positive image of a physically challenged individual.

Get your copy here.

Have a book you’d like to suggest? Comment below!


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