Disability Awareness – For Children

It is important to teach children about all types of people, with different backgrounds and abilities. Our list of useful resources help you to teach your children about differences, how to talk about them and how we can learn to embrace them! Our list of recommended reading for children covers a range of disabilities and differences, from down syndrome, autism, birth defects and vitiligo.


  1. Amazing! By Steve Antony (book). This book features a boy and his unusual pet – a little dragon. Even though they are different from each other, they go on exciting adventures together, having an amazing time! The main character is in a wheelchair, but  this isn’t the main subject of the story (which we love!), it is entirely incidental. The child’s disability doesn’t define the story. Age: 3+. Available here.
  2. Why Are You Looking at Me? I Just Have Down Syndrome, by Lisa Tompkins. (book), Inspired by her daughter who has Down syndrome, Lisa Tompkins’ story features a child who wants to be your friend. She may look different than most children, but has many of the same likes and dislikes. You’ll likely find out you have a lot in common. Available here.
  3. What happened to you? by James Catchpole (book). This picture book addresses how a disabled child may want to be spoken to. The main character, Joe, loves playing pirates, while dodging sharks and crocodiles. He would quite like to have other kids to play with, but they are only interested in what happened to his leg. Joe makes friends with Sonia, who soon realises that Joe does not appreciate being asked about his leg all the time, and more importantly, realises that she doesn’t need to know about the leg – just about the games she can play with Joe, and how to be his friend. Available here.
  4. The Girl Who Thought in Pictures: The Story of Dr. Temple Grandin, by Julia Finley Mosca (book). When young Temple was diagnosed with autism, no-one expected her to talk, let alone become one of the most powerful voices in modern science. Yet she did just that. Her unique mind allowed her to connect with animals in a special way, helping her to invest groundbreaking improvements for farms around the globe. Available here.
  5. Different Is Awesome, by Ryan Haack (book). Ryan Haack, who was born with one hand and set out to bring more inclusion to the children’s book world. A little boy brings his older brother, born with one hand, for show-and-tell. The students ask him all sorts of questions about how he does things with one hand and realize that he can do anything they can do, he just does it differently. Along the way, they notice that we’re all different in one way or another, leading to the realization that not only are differences a similarity we all share, but, they are what make us unique – AND AWESOME! Available here.
  6. What’s Cool About Braille Code School? by Gracie Benedith-Cane (book). Gracie’s son, Wani, is legally blind. This book explains what it’s like to navigate the world with vision impairments and teaches about the importance of Braille. Available here.
  7. Giraffes Can’t Dance, by Giles Andreae (book). Gerald the giraffe faces other animals’ relentless teasing about his lanky body when he tries to do the one thing he loves: dance. He soon learns, though, that his confidence and just the right music mean he can dance without a care in the world. Available here.
  8. The Push: A Story of Friendship, by Patrick Gray and Justin Skeesuck (book). This book is based on the friendship between the author and illustrator of this book. John is an expert at a lot of different things: he can give you any statistic about his favourite baseball team, he can make people laugh until milk squirts out their noses, and he can solve any math problem in his head. But when John was born, his arms and legs didn’t work, so John spends his life in his wheelchair. John and his best friend, Marcus, go on lots of adventures together, with Marcus pushing the wheelchair and John providing the entertainment. They learn that they are both stronger together than they are on their own. Available here.
  9. Lucy’s Umbrella, by Sara Madden (book). Lucy’s Umbrella follows its main character, Lucy, who has vitiligo, as she admires the patterns she notices in her surroundings. Available here.
  10. The Princess and the Fog, by Melinda Edwards MBE and Dr Linda Bayliss Lloyd Jones (book). The Princess and the Fog puts a spin on the usual fairy tale by introducing children to the topic of depression and offering hope to anyone affected by it. Available here
  11. Moses Goes to a Concert, by Isaac Millman (book). Moses Goes to a Concert is part of a series that follows Moses and his classmates who are deaf. In this particular book, which features American Sign Language, he and his friends learn their teacher has a fun surprise in store. Available here.
  12. Uniquely Me, by Trace Wilson (book). Follow one brave little boy as he embarks on a wild adventure and learns to understand, accept, and love the differences that make him unique. Trace Wilson has written this book to show all about how life is as someone born without a right hand motivated. Available here.
  13. The Long and the Short of It: A Tale About Hair, by Lydia Criss Mays (book). This colourfully illustrated story follows Isabel and Emma, two girls with hair worries- one wants her hair to be longer, and the other has lost her hair due to cancer treatment, and would love to have it back. This book raises awareness for childhood cancer and discusses a topic not seen in many kids’ books: hair loss. Available here.

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