10 Brilliant Picture Books With Disabled Characters

These are 10 of the best books featuring disabled characters that I’ve read to my kids. They cover a range of characters and impairments. Molly (age 6) loves or has loved all of these and my older sons did too when they were younger. Some are written or illustrated by disabled people, but not all.

Most are available to buy on my bookshop.org page here

And there is a video with me talking about the books here.

1. What Happened to You? by James Catchpole & Karen George (buy here)
This is about a boy who has one leg and people, particularly other kids, keep asking him about what happened to his leg. It’s written by James Catchpole who is a disabled author.

2. Mama Zooms by Jane Cowen-Fletcher (buy here)
Molly, my daughter absolutely loves this. The mother in the book goes on lots of imaginary adventures in her wheelchair. Really fun.

3. Can Bears Ski? by Raymond Antrobus & Polly Dunbar (buy here)
This is about a bear who realises he is deaf, written by Raymond Antrobus who is a poet, writer and is deaf himself. Has brilliant illustrations by Polly Dunbar.

4. When Charley Met Emma by Amy Webb & Merrilee Liddiard (buy here)
When Charley met Emma is about a girl who uses a wheelchair and has limb differences. The author has a daughter similar to the character in the book. A lot about kids how talk to Emma about her differences.

5. The Girl Who Thought In Pictures by Julia Finley Mosca & Daniel Rieley (buy here)
This has more words than some of the others and is a bit longer. It’s about Temple Grandin who is autistic and is an incredible inventor. It’s about how autism makes her who she is and successful at what she does.

6. Hiya Moriah by Victoria Nelson & Boddz (buy here)
Molly also loves this one. It has a fun rhyming text, but also quite a bit of detail about the equipment that Moriah uses. My kids have really liked being able to see equipment like feeding tubes in a book.

7. I Am Not A Label by Cerrie Burnell & Lauren Baldo (buy here)
This has profiles of lots of different activists and successful people throughout history. It has more text that some of the others in this list – I’ve read it more to the boys than I have to Molly.

8. The Abilities In Me – Tube Feeding by Gemma Keir & Adam Walker-Parker (buy here)
There are lots of different books in this series. This one has rhyming text about about feeding tubes.

9. We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch, Anne McGuire, Eduardo Trejos (buy here)
This is written by disabled writers and has themes of disability justice with beautiful illustrations – lots of people, different kinds of mobility aids, different kinds of impairments.

10. Susan Laughs by Jeanne Willis, Tony Ross (buy here)
This one is a bit simpler and Molly’s probably a bit old for it now, but she really liked it when she was younger. It’s not specified whether Susan has a diagnosis, but implies she finds some things difficult and others joyful.