Are you looking for good children’s books with special need characters? The below diverse range of selected books can help. Starting with guiding children on how to approach someone with a disability for the first time, to a mystery-solving hero in a wheelchair, this booklist has all covered. There is even an adorable book about Peppa Pig and her friend Mandy the mouse, who uses a wheelchair. The below books are suitable for children of all ages, starting with Toddler.
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Children’s books with characters in wheelchairs
Check here for the best recommended children’s books with characters in wheelchairs.
Peppa’s New Friend
This book is from the popular Peppa pig series. Peppa has a new friend – Mandy Mouse. Mandy mouse is disabled and uses a wheelchair to move around. The story narrates how Peppa helps Mandy in the things Mandy finds difficult, like adjusting her wheelchair for the hilly neighborhood.
This adorable book also has a bunch of stickers. (Ages 3-5 years)
When Charley Met Emma
Charlie goes to the playground, and there he meets Emma, his first interaction with a child in a wheelchair. Though initially unsure about how to react, they start talking. Pretty soon, Charlie becomes comfortable with Emma.
The book tells how everyone is different in unique ways and how it is ok. The story approaches disability from a kid’s point of view, who is just learning about it. A must-read storybook to teach kids how to approach a special person with understanding and respect. (Ages 3-7 years)
Hello Goodbye Dog
It is a heartwarming story about a little girl in a wheelchair and her dog. The dog Moose always wants to be with his master Zara. So, when Zara leaves for school, he also rushes to be with her. But dogs are not allowed in the school.
Finally, they figure out a way, and Moose ends up being a therapy dog at school. The illustrations are beautiful, and the language is simple. (Ages 4-8 years)
Max and the Magic wish
This story is inspired by the author’s personal life. Five-year-old Max is born with cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. He lives with his loving family. During one summer, he meets a fortune-teller and makes a wish to become as able as others.
When Max starts primary school, he finds it hard to make friends initially. But slowly, one by one, he makes few friends. Finally, the realization dawns on Max that he is as able as others.
The bold illustrations complement the story well. It is a highly recommended book for kids to look past disability and achieve great things.
Nia Skye’s Friend on Wheels
This sweet story is about a small child Nia Skye and her wheelchair-bound friend Ariyah. The book teaches the various reasons for which people use a wheelchair. The author stresses how children in a wheelchair are just like any other regular child enjoying normal childish things.
The story highlights on the importance of having a purpose and how a common purpose can bind people together. A book to spark discussion on disability. (Ages 5-8 years)
I’m Basically a Unicorn
This book celebrates the uniqueness in everyone and encourages kids to look at positivity. With compassion, it explains the difference and challenges many children face.
The glossary in the back is quite helpful to understand the uniqueness in all. It is a beautiful read-aloud book for kids age 4 to 8 years to understand and appreciate the beauty in diversity. (Ages 4-10 years)
In the Land of Giants
Kids who have never been exposed to others with special needs, don’t really understand how to interact with them. This book addresses this fear of meeting someone different for the first time and justifies it as a natural reaction. As does the main protagonist Matt in this book.
When Matt saw people with different abilities for the first time, his initial reaction was to run away. However, when he finally made a friend, Matt realized that there is nothing to fear. Being different is just as normal. A helpful book for primary school children. (Ages 7-9 years)
The Dreams of Little Miss Aeva
This story is about a small child Aeva, who has big dreams for herself. Without limiting her ambitions due to physical disability, Aeva knows she can achieve anything she sets her mind to.
Lovingly encouraged by her mother, Aeva dreams on. It is a delightful book about hope, support, and love.
Super Max and the Mystery of Thornwood’s Revenge
This book narrates the story of a strong role-model hero in a wheelchair. Max is a strong-willed 12-year-old girl whose favorite superheroes are females. When her grandfather’s Facebook page gets hacked, Max gets involved in it. Soon the story turns into a full-scale mystery along with a haunted mansion.
This book treats the wheelchair-bound-Max like any other regular kid solving a mystery. It is a refreshing book treating disability as normal. (Ages 8-12 years)
Watch this Award-winning short animation film on disability.
Disability is a sensitive topic. There is much learning involved on how to treat a child who is in a wheelchair. Special needs children at many schools are marginalized, and they usually do not have any outside friends. The need is to educate our kids early so that they learn to make friends with special kids. And treat them like any other regular friend.
Check out our other books on the topics of disability and diversity here.