Children’s Books about Disabilities
According to Statista, about 13.4 % of the American population reported having a disability in 2020. That’s a huge number. One can meet people with disabilities everywhere. And society must be ready to accept them and treat them equally, no matter what it is.
The most common problem for all people with disabilities is bullying, especially among kids. They experience social difficulties when integrating into a new classroom environment, become victims of ridicule, and cannot feel like a part of the whole world.
It’s crucial to help such children feel needed and important. The problem of integrating such people into society isn’t theirs. It’s the other people who should treat them with respect.
One common way to teach kids to be respectful to other children is to give them appropriate literature. Also, books about disabilities help those who are experiencing the same problems. By reading stories similar to their own, little boys and girls feel more motivated and confident. Book characters teach them not to give up and to have a positive outlook, no matter what.
Here’s my review of books about disabilities for children. I strongly recommend sharing it with your little one.
Meeting Mimi by Francie Dolan
This is a touching story about a young girl who is new at school. She is going to meet new friends and is very nervous about it. Still, Mimi has a nice experience socializing with people. From this story, kids learn that it’s not so scary to be different from others. Furthermore, it makes you special and interesting to other people.
In the example of Mimi`s new classmates, kids will learn how comforting the acquaintance with new people can be. This book touches upon such topics as:
- acceptance, etc.
The book is a nice choice for preschoolers and elementary school children. The vocabulary here is simple and age-appropriate, which makes it even more loved among kids.
Like Me by Laura Wifler
This picture book shows the life of two siblings, one of which is a disability. They do many things together, so young readers can see how the lives of two people from one family may differ. Still, they`ll find out that there`s nothing wrong with disabilities. The story tells a truthful but optimistic story that can change the life of some children for the better.
The book is useful for all families that have encountered such difficulties. Also, it’s a nice pic for other kids just to develop mindfulness in them and show the world from a completely different perspective. Nice illustrations won`t leave your kids indifferent.
Ricky, the Rock That Couldn’t Roll by Mr. Jay
This fascinating story celebrates friendship and mutual assistance. The author has created an amazing metaphor, instilling rocks with human features. In their examples, kids will see how it’s difficult not to be able to enjoy the little things others do every day.
Being flat, one little rock cannot roll. But his friends are ready to give him a hand. Together they come up with a plan for how to help him feel the same way. Readers will see what miracles a true friendship may create.
The book will appeal to the smallest kids due to its vibrant illustrations and rhythmic verse. But you can offer it to older kids as well.
Buy it if you want to teach your kid such virtues as:
- perseverance, etc.
It’s OK to be Different by Sharon Purtill
This book is a whole encyclopedia of diversity. It touches upon the most possible ways people may differ from one another:
- different needs to walk, etc.
It teaches young readers to tolerate and respect people who differ from them because you also seem different from them. Thus, we should respect each other and accept our differences.
The book contains catching illustrations and is written in simple language, so you can choose it for different ages. It has no limits thanks to the topic’s relevance.
Different–A Great Thing to Be! by Heather Avis
The book will appeal to many kids thanks to the breathtaking illustrations. Children for sure will consider them more than once. And as long as it looks appealing, kids will read it too. And the story is worth it.
Macy is a little bit different from other people. But her bravery, kindness, and grace make it well, finding her own satisfaction with life.
The author believes that kids already know about the differences that are in our world. Yet, they need more explanation and, most important, the tools on dealing with it. And this book can help them with it. You can buy it for kids aged 3-8.
Why Me, Mama? by Katherine Lockwood
In this book, kids can learn about the most common differences that surround us every day, including
- developmental delay;
- speech, hearing, and vision difficulties;
- facial weakness, etc.
The author finds a nice way to tell about it by creating a fabulous park in which each animal has its own differences. Mama Owl and her baby pay a visit to the park where their friends live.
Together they experience the differences while the baby owl learns more about inclusion. The book lays the foundation for understanding the very phenomenon and accepting it. By the way, it’s nice that all of it is described as something ordinary and non-specific. In fact, that should be perceived the same way in everyday life. Perhaps this book will help young kids not to wonder about or reject people with disabilities.
I’m So Glad You Were Born by Ainsley Earhardt
The whole book is a celebration of life! It’s one of the most optimistic and hopeful ones you can get your kids. But no less attention deserves colorful illustrations by Kim Barnes that make even adults fascinated by them. So, your kid will enjoy it for sure.
The leitmotiv communicates that life is a blessing no matter who you are. If you are, it’s already a reason to be happy and delighted.
This book teaches little kids some basics of life philosophy that we may lack in adult life. It has many more advantages such as
- sweet and humorous rhythm;
- a nice gift for different occasions;
- appeals to different ages.
You Are Enough by Margaret O’Hair and Sofia Sanchez
This is a unique story by Sofia Sanchez – an 11-years old girl with Down Syndrome. She has created an inspiring story about being special. But her peculiarities do no harm to her. Vice versa, it enriches girls with dozens of traits.
The book teaches kids to be proud of who they are and not to devalue their own personal traits. It will appeal to kids aged 4-9 years old.
You Are Enough contains eye-catching illustrations that can make your little one sit still for a long time looking at it. The book also provides
- extra information about Down Syndrome;
- general tips on how to be more kind and emphatic.
All the Way to the Top by Annette Bay Pimentel
This is a fascinating true-to-life story about activist Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins. She is a wheelchair user, who did a great job to adjust the country’s laws to the needs of disabled people. When Congress was considering the law concerning making public places more accessible to people with disabilities, she moved to Congress to persuade them. Inasmuch as she was a wheelchair user she crawled to Congress because her wheelchair couldn’t make it upstairs. That made a great impression on the congressmen.
Her exciting story was adapted for young readers so that everyone can get to know her story. This book will be interesting for 4-8-year-olds. And, of course, colorful illustrations make it even more special.
When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb
A nice book about friendship tells kids that it can be confusing sometimes to meet people who differ from us. Yet, they can be a kind of good person and making friends with them is a nice chance to meet interesting people. The same happens to Charley when he first sees Emma. Yet, he realizes that she’s a nice girl.
Choose this option for 3-6 year-olds.
Nowadays tendencies promote the increase of books about disabilities for kids. And that’s wonderful. However, the representation of disabilities across different categories is still limited. Most books are more focused on the general treatment of disabled kids. But it’d be better if each representative had the same wide choice of books as his peers.
But there’s good news too. All the books we’ve discussed sent a clear message that we have to respect diversity and work on ourselves to be ready to accept it. They persuade kids with disabilities to believe in themselves and never give up. I’m sure your child will be glad to read such a book. They have a great impact on their consciousness, promoting a sense of self-confidence and a positive attitude toward life.
In conclusion, books about disabilities are a must-have if you are a parent of such a kid. But if not, it`ll never be superfluous to make them acquainted with the topic. It always promotes kindness and empathy.
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