Disability is not well represented in children’s books. When it is, it is often singled out for particular attention which can leave the impression that it is unusual and that people are defined more by their impairments than other aspects of their lives. Placing disability within a broad context of difference – where all humans are seen as combinations of different characteristics, experiences and preferences – can help to challenge this.
- Children of the World by Tessa Strickland, Kate DePalma and David Dean.
- Happy in Our Skin by Fran Manushkin and Lauren Tobia.
- Happy to Be Me by Emma Dodd.
There are many children’s books that highlight and celebrate our differences – as well as the many things we have in common – and some are better than others. Here are three that include disability holistically and unselfconsciously. Using them will help to dispel notions that disability is unusual or rare and thereby help to promote inclusion. You can simply enjoy the many things going on in the pictures or discuss some of the differences they show.
You may wish to use these books alongside the ones on diverse families included in the NEU resource Every Child, Every Family.