This collection of picture books provide an introduction to the lives of individuals with different kinds of disabilities. Each book uses an assets-based approach to disability which celebrates the resilience and innovation that characterizes the disabled community (communities often have terms they prefer to use to describe themselves – it is best to ask individuals how they prefer to be identified.)

 

Just Ask!: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You by Sonia Sotomayor
Based on Justice Sotomayor’s experiences living with Type I Diabetes, and children in her life who have physical disabilities and/or identify as neurodiverse. The book covers a huge range of conditions and includes discussion questions asking children to reflect on their own lives. A gorgeously illustrated, thoughtfully written book.

 

 

Catch that Cat! by Tharini Viswanath
Wheel-chair bound Dip Dip is on her way to school when she finds out her friend has lost her cat, Kaapi. Determined to find the cat, Dip Dip zips around her Indian village until she finds the mischievous escapee. A hilarious, high paced adventure featuring a fun, feisty, protagonist.

 

Mighty Mila by Katie Petruzziello
Mila might be little, but she is sure that she can do everything big kids can do. She tackles task after task using her imagination, physical strength, and cochlear implants that help her hear. A funny and affectionate story about a little girl who wants to be a big girl – and just happens to be hard of hearing.

 

cover of the book with a drawing of a white boy with three pair of sunglasses onThe Magic of the Man with the Sunglasses by Deb Arsenault
Based on a true story, Carson shares his love of sunglasses and how they help him connect with others without words. 

 

 

 

Thukpa For All by Praba Ram and Sheela Preuitt
In a village in northern India, Tsering – who is visually impaired – invites his neighbors to come over for his grandmother’s noodle soup. When the power goes out, and no one can see, everyone is afraid that the soup won’t get done – until Tsering comes to the rescue! A beautifully written, multisensory book with a visually impaired hero.

 

Sam’s Super Seats by Keah Brown
Sam, who has cerebral palsy, is thrilled to go back-to-school shopping. When she has to sit down, she can’t find a seat good enough – until she comes up with a fantastic idea that will change the whole year ahead. This hilarious, delightful book celebrates the creativity and joy of people living with disabilities.

 

We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch and Anne McGuire
A colorfully illustrated book about all the ways different types of bodies move through the world, showing how a group of mixed-ability group of kids creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community. A wonderful introduction to both disability and activism. Includes a kid-friendly glossary.

 

We Want to go to School! The Fight for Disability Rights by Maryann Cocca-Leffler and Janine Leffler
Before the 1970s, kids with disabilities were not allowed to go to school. But in 1971, a group of disabled children went to court to win the right to go to school. The case Mills v. Board of Education of the District of Columbia mandated that schools to make accommodations for kids with disabilities. An essential piece of history for kids of all ability levels.