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Six Books for a More Inclusive Bookshelf

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

I am often asked for good ways to start conversations about disability with young children. One of my favorite ways to spark conversations is through high quality children's books! Here are some books that can spark conversations about inclusion and give children a chance to see that disability is a normal part of the human experience. It's natural for young children to notice differences, and reading books about disability can help prepare you for later tricky comments or conversations in public. Our family loves the books on this list - we return to them time and time again!

We are Little Feminists "On The Go" by Brook Sitgraves Turner and Archaa Shrivastav - This board book is filled with photos of people using different mobility aids to move. It's fun to read and Olive, my two year old, LOVES looking at the pictures.

"What Happened to You"* by James Catchpole and illustrated by Karen George - We love this book so much. Joe just wants to play, but the kids on the playground just want to know what happened to his missing leg.

"All the Ways to be Smart" by Davina Bell and illustrated by Allison Colpoys - This book is not specifically about disability but a great conversation starter about about how different people are smart in different ways.

"This Beach is Loud"* and the rest of the Little Senses Book Series by Samantha Cotterill - This book captures the experience of sensory overload during a much anticipated trip to the beach - written FOR children who experience the world a little differently but perfect for all kids!

"Can Bears Ski?"* by Raymond Antrobus and illustrated by Polly Dunbar - Follow Little Bear as he experiences the world through vibrations - and his journey to a hearing loss diagnosis.

"When Charley Met Emma" by Amy Webb and illustrated by Merrilee - "Different isn't weird, bad, sad, or strange. Different is different and different is okay!"

Books with an * are written by authors who hold the same identity of the topic or characters being written about, and their stories are so valuable!

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