The best way to normalize disability for children is to talk about it. Kids need to see themselves represented to feel like they belong.
These are the best books about disability for kids ages 2-8.
Meet Maya Cat
This adorable picture book starring Instagram’s @meetmayacat teaches children of all ages to accept those who are different by showing that we are all more alike than different. Learn all the things Maya likes to do, and who knows: you might like them, too!
Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor uses her own childhood experience with diabetes show that just like a garden, where different flowers and plants make it beautiful, different types of people make our world a more wonderful place.
We’re Amazing 1,2,3!
In this Sesame Street book, Elmo introduces Abby to his autistic friend Julia. At first, Abby doesn’t understand why Julia doesn’t say hello to her, but then Elmo explains that Julia is autistic and does things a little differently. Soon, Abby finds she has a lot in common with Julia, even though some things about them are different.
Six Dots: A Story of Young Louis Braille
When Louis Braille lost his sight at the age of five, he was determined to learn how to read. But even at his school for the blind in Paris, there were no books for him. Louis didn’t give up on his dream, and instead created his own alphabet that could be read by touch. This story, which highlights sound, smell, and touch, is sure to inspire little readers.
Different: A great thing to be
Macy is a girl who’s a lot like you and me, but she's also quite different, which is a great thing to be. Read her story about celebrating our differences.
We Move Together
A bold and colorful exploration of all the ways that people navigate through the spaces around them and a celebration of the relationships we build along the way. We Move Together follows a mixed-ability group of kids as they creatively negotiate everyday barriers and find joy and connection in disability culture and community.
What Happened to You?
Joe is deep into a game of pirates at the playground when other children begin asking him questions about why he has one leg. Joe deftly keeps the focus on play, teaching his playmates about empathy and privacy.
This Beach Is Too Loud!
In this book, a sensitive boy gets overwhelmed by all the sights, sounds, and sensations at the beach. Luckily, this kiddo’s dad has a trick up his sleeve to help his son face these unexpected obstacles.
My Three Best Friends and Me, Zulay
Zulay is a blind first grader. She’s already learned to read and write Braille, climb trees, swim, and has a fun crew of friends. She’s learning to use a cane, and she works determinedly to run a race on Field Day.
A Kids Book About Disabilities
From an author with Spinal Muscular Atrophy, this book sends a clear message: “Having a disability is one of the many ways to be normal."
Mighty Miss Maya
A book about a fierce little girl who doesn’t let anything stand in her way. Maya and her dog, Abby, go on fantastic adventures, seeing new sights, and learning new skills. Sometimes, Maya faces big challenges and feels very stuck. Luckily, she knows just how mighty she is.
Don’t Call Me Special
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.
It’s Okay to Be Different
This book inspires kids to celebrate their individuality through acceptance of others and self-confidence–and it’s never to early to develop a healthy self-esteem.
The Black Book of Colors
This book helps kids understand blindness with Braille letters to accompany the illustrations.
Gary's Gigantic Dream
An upbeat, rhythmic tale of a young giraffe who gets evaluated for his very first wheelchair. Upon receiving his chair, Gary discovers newfound independence, zest for life, and a gigantic dream of his own.
Moriah is a little girl living with CHARGE syndrome. She continues to show just how important it is to just say ‘hiya’ when you meet someone new. Filled with humor and inspiration, the book also serves as a tool to help educate young minds on some equipment a child with special needs might require, using a picture glossary in the back.
Yes, I Can!
Come along as Carolyn navigates her daily life as a first-grader. See what she can do at home, in class and even on a field trip. She’s able to do just about all the same things that any typical child can do. Sometimes she may need to do things a bit differently but that’s okay!
The Boy with Big, Big Feelings
Relatable for any child, but especially for children experiencing anxiety and extreme emotions, or who have been diagnosed with autism, this book is about a boy who tries to cope by stuffing down his feelings. But his feelings are something to be celebrated.
My Brother Otto
Meet Otto and Piper, sweet crow siblings who enjoy the simple things that all siblings enjoy. Otto is on the Autism spectrum but they show that love, kindness and understanding go a long way.
Mimi is new at school, and everyone is excited to get to know her! She has a mobility aid. Join Mimi’s classmates as they learn about her.
When Charley Met Emma
When Charley goes to the playground and sees Emma, a girl with limb differences who gets around in a wheelchair, he doesn't know how to react at first. But after he and Emma start talking, he learns that different isn't bad, sad, or strange. Different is just different, and different is great!
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