Boundless: Picture Books about Disabilities

Boy and a Jaguar
Rabinowitz, Alan

2015 Schneider Family Book Award Winner
* "A candid and deeply resonant account of a hard-fought battle against societal stigma, and an embrace of one's true talent and calling." --Publisher's Weekly, starred review

Speaking for the animals he loves gives one boy's life hope, purpose, and truth in this gorgeous picture book autobiography.

Alan loves animals, but the great cat house at the Bronx Zoo makes him sad. Why are they all alone in empty cages? Are they being punished? More than anything, he wants to be their champion--their voice--but he stutters uncontrollably.

Except when he talks to animals...then he is fluent.

Follow the life of the man Time Magazinecalls, "the Indiana Jones of wildlife conservation" as he searches for his voice and fulfills a promise to speak for animals, and people, who cannot speak for themselves. This real-life story with tender illustrations by Catia Chien explores truths not defined by the spoken word.

Publishers Weekly Best Book
Ezra Jack Keats New Writer Honor
Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2015
Winner of the 2015 Sigurd F. Olson Nature Writing Award
2015 Green Earth Book Honor book

Item No. 9780547875071
$17.99
A Friend for Henry
Bailey, Jenn
2020 Schneider Family Honor Book

In Classroom Six, second left down the hall, Henry has been on the lookout for a friend. A friend who shares. A friend who listens. Maybe even a friend who likes things to stay the same and all in order, as Henry does. But on a day full of too close and too loud, when nothing seems to go right, will Henry ever find a friend--or will a friend find him? With insight and warmth, this heartfelt story from the perspective of a boy on the autism spectrum celebrates the everyday magic of friendship.

Item No. 9781452167916
$16.99
A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
Bryant, Jen
A Robert F. Sibert Honor Book

Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award


An ALA-ALSC Notable Children's Book

Winner of the NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

As a child in the late 1800s, Horace Pippin loved to draw: He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slid across the floor. He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him. He drew pictures for his sisters, his classmates, his co-workers. Even during W.W.I, Horace filled his notebooks with drawings from the trenches . . . until he was shot. Upon his return home, Horace couldn't lift his right arm, and couldn't make any art. Slowly, with lots of practice, he regained use of his arm, until once again, he was able to paint--and paint, and paint! Soon, people--including the famous painter N. C. Wyeth--started noticing Horace's art, and before long, his paintings were displayed in galleries and museums across the country.

Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up once again to share this inspiring story of a self-taught painter from humble beginnings who despite many obstacles, was ultimately able to do what he loved, and be recognized for who he was: an artist.

Item No. 9780375867125
$17.99
All the Way to the Top
Bay Pimentel, Annette

2021 Schneider Family Book Award Honor

2021 Schneider Family Book Award Young Children's Honor Book (American Library Association)

Experience the true story of lifelong activist Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins and her participation in the Capitol Crawl in this inspiring autobiographical picture book. This beautifully illustrated story includes a foreword from Jennifer and backmatter detailing her life and the history of the disability rights movement.

This is the story of a little girl who just wanted to go, even when others tried to stop her.

Jennifer Keelan was determined to make a change--even if she was just a kid. She never thought her wheelchair could slow her down, but the way the world around her was built made it hard to do even simple things. Like going to school, or eating lunch in the cafeteria.

Jennifer knew that everyone deserves a voice! Then the Americans with Disabilities Act, a law that would make public spaces much more accessible to people with disabilities, was proposed to Congress. And to make sure it passed, Jennifer went to the steps of the Capitol building in Washington DC to convince them.

And, without her wheelchair, she climbed.

ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP!

A Rise: A Feminist Book Project Nominee
A Junior Library Guild Selection

All the Way to the Top is perfect for:
  • Elementary school teachers looking for books to supplement disability rights curriculum and the history of the ADA (find a free Common-Core Aligned Educator Guide at www.sourcebooks.com)
  • Parents looking for social justice picture books, books on activism and for young activists, and inspiring books for girls
  • Parents, teachers, librarians, and guardians looking for beautifully illustrated, inspirational and educational books for young readers in their life
  • Item No. 9781492688976
    $17.99
    Benji, the Bad Day and Me
    Pla, Sally J

    Sammy is having the absolute rottenest, worst day ever. His little brother, Benji, knows exactly what that's like.

    Nothing seems to be going right for Sammy today. At school, he got in trouble for kicking a fence, then the cafeteria ran out of pizza for lunch. After he walks home in the pouring rain, he finds his autistic little brother Benji is having a bad day too. On days like this, Benji has a special play-box where he goes to feel cozy and safe. Sammy doesn't have a special place, and he's convinced no one cares how he feels or even notices him. But somebody is noticing, and may just have an idea on how to help Sammy feel better.

    In this tender story about siblings, author Sally J. Pla shares her experience of raising sons with different personality traits and needs. Benji, the Bad Day, and Me embraces the philosophy that we are all part of a wide spectrum of neurodiversity. And on those really bad, rotten days, you can always count on family to be there for you.

    Item No. 9781620143452
    $18.95
    Best Day Ever
    Singer, Marilyn
    A sweet dog-loves-kid/kid-loves-dog story, in which the kid uses a wheelchair, from an award-winning children's poet and talented debut illustrator.

    This playful puppy thinks she's having the best day ever! She's so happy to be out with her friend, she doesn't even realize that she's being a little naughty. But then he scolds her, and suddenly--Worst. Day. Ever. Will puppy be able to make amends and turn their day back around?

    Join an exuberant, boundary-pushing pup and her exasperated boy in this reassuring story about unconditional love and the challenges of trying to always be on your best behavior.

    Item No. 9781328987839
    $17.99
    Can Bears Ski?
    Antrobus, Raymond
    Is Little Bear ignoring his friends when they say hi, or is something else going on? A discovery opens new doors in a tale that will delight kids with deafness and all children learning to navigate their world.

    Little Bear feels the world around him. He feels his bed rumble when Dad Bear wakes him up in the morning. He feels the floor shake when his teacher stomps to get his attention. But something else is missing, like when his friends tell jokes that he isn't sure he understands, or when all around him Little Bear hears the question, "Can bears ski?" Then, one day, Dad Bear takes him to see an "aud-i-olo-gist," and Little Bear learns that he has been experiencing deafness and will start wearing hearing aids. Soon he figures out what that puzzling refrain is: "Can you hear me?" Little Bear's new world is LOUD and will take some getting used to, but with the love and support of Dad Bear, he will find his way. In this lyrical picture book, award-winning creators Raymond Antrobus and Polly Dunbar draw on their own experiences to tell Bear's story.

    Item No. 9781536212662
    $16.99
    DK Braille Counting
    DK

    Learn how to count to 10 with DK Braille: Counting.

    Explore tactile spreads in different textures to discover counting techniques with a book designed specifically for blind or visually impaired readers. DK Braille: Counting's pages combine braille, large print, and high contrast photography with clear and predictive layouts for curious young readers. The accompanying story in print and braille takes readers on a counting adventure in the park.

    DK Braille: Counting is a unique book that teaches counting in a special, revolutionary book.

    A flagship series of high-quality, custom books with braille and tactile images for blind and partially sighted children, or sighted children with blind parents. DK Braille books combine uncontracted Unified English Braille and large type with high-contrast colors, embossed images, and tactile cutout shapes for children to feel with their fingers. The combination of text alongside the braille enables sighted parents to share the reading experience with visually impaired children, and for sighted children to share with their visually impaired parents.

    Item No. 9781465436139
    $15.99
    Emmanuel's Dream
    Thompson, Laurie Ann
    Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah's inspiring true story--which was turned into a film, Emmanuel's Gift, narrated by Oprah Winfrey--is nothing short of remarkable.

    Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people--but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled.

    Thompson's lyrical prose and Qualls's bold collage illustrations offer a powerful celebration of triumphing over adversity.

    Includes an author's note with more information about Emmanuel's charity.

    Item No. 9780449817445
    $17.99
    Gary
    Rudge, Leila
    Gary, a grounded racing pigeon, dreams of exploring the world--until the day he falls into an adventure of his very own.

    Most of the time, Gary is just like the other racing pigeons, eating and sleeping and dreaming of adventure. There's just one thing that separates him from the ordinary pigeons: he can't fly. When his friends set off in their travel basket, Gary expects to stay at home, organizing his scrapbook of travel mementos and imagining far-off places. But when he accidentally falls into the travel basket and ends up a very long way from home, he discovers that flying might not be the only way to have adventures. Leila Rudge, in her gentle, colorful style, is sure to charm anyone who has ever felt like the odd one out with this satisfying story of perseverance and being comfortable in your own skin.

    Item No. 9780763689544
    $16.99
    Helen's Big World
    Rappaport, Doreen
    A heartwarming portrait of an unforgettable woman by the critically-acclaimed author of Abe's Honest Words and Martin's Big Words.

    This picturebook biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential luminaries. With her signature style of prose laced with stirring quotes, Doreen Rappaport brings to life Helen Keller's poignant narrative. Acclaimed illustrator Matt Tavares beautifully captures the dynamism and verve of Helen Keller's life and legacy, making Helen's Big World an unforgettable portrait of a woman whose vision for innovation and progress changed America--and the world--forever.

    Item No. 9780786808908
    $17.99
    Helen's Big World PB
    Rappaport, Doreen

    A heartwarming portrait of an unforgettable woman by the critically-acclaimed author of Abe's Honest Words and Martin's Big Words.

    This picturebook biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential luminaries. With her signature style of prose laced with stirring quotes, Doreen Rappaport brings to life Helen Keller's poignant narrative. Acclaimed illustrator Matt Tavares beautifully captures the dynamism and verve of Helen Keller's life and legacy, making Helen's Big World an unforgettable portrait of a woman whose vision for innovation and progress changed America--and the world--forever.

    Item No. 9781484749609
    $8.99
    Hello Goodbye Dog
    Gianferrari, Maria

    For Zara's dog, Moose, nothing is more important than being with his favorite girl. So when Zara has to go to school, WHOOSH, Moose escapes and rushes to her side.

    Hello, Moose!

    Unfortunately, dogs aren't allowed at school and Moose has to go back home.

    Goodbye, Moose.

    But Moose can't be held back for long. Through a series of escalating escapes, this loyal dog always finds her way back to Zara, and with a little bit of training and one great idea, the two friends find a way to be together all day long.

    Item No. 9781626721777
    $17.99
    How to Build a Hug: Temple Grandin
    Tourville, Jacqueline
    Amy Guglielmo, Jacqueline Tourville, and Giselle Potter come together to tell the inspiring story of autism advocate Dr. Temple Grandin and her brilliant invention: the hug machine.

    As a young girl, Temple Grandin loved folding paper kites, making obstacle courses, and building lean-tos. But she really didn't like hugs. Temple wanted to be held--but to her, hugs felt like being stuffed inside the scratchiest sock in the world; like a tidal wave of dentist drills, sandpaper, and awful cologne, coming at her all at once. Would she ever get to enjoy the comfort of a hug?

    Then one day, Temple had an idea. If she couldn't receive a hug, she would make one...she would build a hug machine!

    Item No. 9781534410978
    $18.99
    I Am Not a Label: 30 Disabled Artists
    Burnell, Cerrie
    * 2021 EUREKA! Nonfiction Children's Honor Book

    "An inclusive and upbeat collection ideal for classrooms and libraries." - School Library Journal

    In this stylishly illustrated biography anthology, meet 34 artists, thinkers, athletes, and activists with disabilities, from past and present. From Frida Kahlo to Stephen Hawking, find out how these iconic figures have overcome obstacles, owned their differences, and paved the way for others by making their bodies and minds work for them.

    These short biographies tell the stories of people who have faced unique challenges that have not stopped them from becoming trailblazers, innovators, advocates, and makers. Each person is a leading figure in their field, be it sports, science, math, art, breakdancing, or the world of pop.

    Challenge your preconceptions of disability and mental health with the eye-opening stories of these remarkable people:

    Ludwig van Beethoven, Gustav Kirchhoff, Henri Matisse, Eliza Suggs, Helen Keller,
    Frida Kahlo, John Nash, Stephen Hawking, Temple Grandin, Stevie Wonder, Nabil Shaban, Terry Fox,
    Peter Dinklage, Catalina Devandas, Wanda Diaz-Merced, Victor Pineda, Arunima Sinha, Abraham Lincoln,
    Demi Lovato, Matt Haig, Redouan Ait Chitt, Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, Farida Bedwei, Jonas Jacobsson,
    Trischa Zorn, Ade Adepitan, Stella Young, Lady Gaga, Naoki Higashida, Isabella Springmuhl Tejada, Aaron Philip,
    Michelle Akers, Lil Wayne, Dynamo

    Item No. 9780711247451
    $23.99
    I Talk Like a River
    Scott, Jordan
    Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award

    What if words got stuck in the back of your mouth whenever you tried to speak? What if they never came out the way you wanted them to?

    Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to get the words flowing.

    A New York Times Best Children's Book of the Year

    I wake up each morning with the sounds of words all around me.

    And I can't say them all . . .

    When a boy who stutters feels isolated, alone, and incapable of communicating in the way he'd like, it takes a kindly father and a walk by the river to help him find his voice. Compassionate parents everywhere will instantly recognize a father's ability to reconnect a child with the world around him.

    Poet Jordan Scott writes movingly in this powerful and ultimately uplifting book, based on his own experience, and masterfully illustrated by Greenaway Medalist Sydney Smith. A book for any child who feels lost, lonely, or unable to fit in.

    Finalist for the BC and Yukon Christie Harris Illustrated Children's Literature Prize
    An American Library Association Notable Children's Book
    ILA Primary Fiction Honoree

    Named a Best Book of the Year by The Wall Street Journal, People Magazine, NPR, Kirkus Reviews, Shelf Awareness, Bookpage, School Library Journal, Publishers Weekly, Publishers Lunch, and more!
    A Horn Book Fanfare Best Book of the Year
    A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection
    A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year
    A CBC Best Picture Book of the Year

    Item No. 9780823445592
    $18.99
    I Will Dance
    Flood, Nancy Bo
    This poetic and uplifting picture book illustrated by the #1 New York Times bestselling illustrator of We Are the Gardeners by Joanna Gaines follows a young girl born with cerebral palsy as she pursues her dream of becoming a dancer.

    Like many young girls, Eva longs to dance. But unlike many would-be dancers, Eva has cerebral palsy. She doesn't know what dance looks like for someone who uses a wheelchair.

    Then Eva learns of a place that has created a class for dancers of all abilities. Her first movements in the studio are tentative, but with the encouragement of her instructor and fellow students, Eva becomes more confident. Eva knows she's found a place where she belongs. At last her dream of dancing has come true.

    Item No. 9781534430617
    $17.99
    Itzhak: A Boy Who Loved the Violin
    Newman, Tracy

    2021 Schneider Family Book Award Honor

    This picture-book biography of violin virtuoso Itzhak Perlman will inspire young readers to follow the melody within themselves

    A 2021 Schneider Family Book Award Young Children Honor Book

    Before becoming one of the greatest violinists of all time, Itzhak Perlman was simply a boy who loved music. Raised by a poor immigrant family in a tiny Tel Aviv apartment, baby Itzhak was transformed by the sounds from his family's kitchen radio--graceful classical symphonies, lively klezmer tunes, and soulful cantorial chants. The rich melodies and vibrant rhythms spoke to him like magic, filling his mind with vivid rainbows of color. After begging his parents for an instrument, Itzhak threw his heart and soul into playing the violin. Despite enormous obstacles--including a near-fatal bout of polio that left him crippled for life--Itzhak persevered, honing his extraordinary gift. When he performed on the Ed Sullivan Show sat only 13, audiences around the world were mesmerized by the warmth, joy, and passion in every note. Gorgeously illustrated with extensive back matter, this picture-book biography recounts Itzhak's childhood journey--from a boy with a dream to an internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso.

    Item No. 9781419741104
    $18.99
    Just Ask: Be Different, Be Brave, Be You
    Sotomayor, Sonia
    Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and award-winning artist Rafael Lopez create a kind and caring book about the differences that make each of us unique.

    A #1 New York Times bestseller!

    Winner of the Schneider Family Book Award!


    Feeling different, especially as a kid, can be tough. But in the same way that different types of plants and flowers make a garden more beautiful and enjoyable, different types of people make our world more vibrant and wonderful.

    In Just Ask, United States Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor celebrates the different abilities kids (and people of all ages) have. Using her own experience as a child who was diagnosed with diabetes, Justice Sotomayor writes about children with all sorts of challenges--and looks at the special powers those kids have as well. As the kids work together to build a community garden, asking questions of each other along the way, this book encourages readers to do the same: When we come across someone who is different from us but we're not sure why, all we have to do is Just Ask.

    Praise for Just Ask

    * Addressing topics too often ignored, this picture book presents information in a direct and wonderfully child-friendly way. --Booklist, *STARRED REVIEW*

    An affirmative, delightfully diverse overview of disabilities. --Kirkus Reviews

    A hopeful and sunny exploration of the many things that make us unique [with] dynamic and vibrant illustrations [that] emphasize each character's unique abilities. . . . A thoughtful and empathetic story of inclusion. --SLJ

    Item No. 9780525514121
    $17.99
    Look Up!
    Jung, Jin-Ho
    A nearly wordless story about compassion, friendship, and perspective.

    High on a balcony, a girl watches the world-- passersby hurrying along, carrying umbrellas in the rain, riding bikes and walking dogs. She wishes that someone-- anyone!-- would look up and notice her. Finally, one day, a boy does. Realizing she can't see anything but the tops of people's heads, he lays flat on the pavement. . . and then another person does. . . . and another. The girl smiles, and color begins to brighten her gray world-- as does her newfound friendship.

    With spare, simple text and striking black-and-white illustrations depicting the girl's bird's-eye-view of the world, Look Up! is a striking, emotional story about the incredible impact of simple kindnesses and the unexpected joy of looking at the world a new way.

    A Bank Street Best Children's Book of the Year

    Item No. 9780823440139
    $7.99
    Looking Out for Sarah
    Lang, Glenna
    In this story of friendship, loyalty, and trust, readers spend a day in the life of Sarah and her guide dog, Perry. Perry helps Sarah go shopping, to the post office, and take the train to school. Sarah, a blind musician and teacher, entertains the children and tells them about the time she and Perry walked from Boston to New York to show the world what a blind person can accomplish with the help of a guide dog like Perry.


    Told from the perspective of Perry, readers will learn about the service of seeing-eye dogs and how anything can be accomplished through perseverance and friendship.

    Expressive, stylized paintings in bold colors and simple shapes convey the extraordinary relationship between Sarah and Perry.

    Item No. 9781570916076
    $7.95
    My Ocean is Blue
    Lebeuf, Darren
    A young girl's poetic exploration of the enchanting ocean she loves."This is my ocean," the young girl begins as she heads over the dunes with her mother. Then, as they pass the whole day at the seaside, she lyrically describes her ocean in simple, sensory detail. It's both "slimy" and "sandy," "sparkly" and "dull." It has wonderful sounds, as it "splashes and crashes and echoes and squawks." And it contains so many colors, from "rusted orange" to "runaway red," "faded white" to "polished green." Though "mostly it's blue." Nothing the girl experiences escapes her careful observation and appreciation. And at day's end, she can't wait for her next trip to the beach. Author Darren Lebeuf, an award-winning photographer, uses spare text and a rhythmic style to create an evocative read-aloud. The vivid adjectives, both concrete and abstract, will inspire children to try to capture in words what they notice not only at the ocean, but in any natural setting. The bright, richly colored cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron add a captivating visual texture and depth to the story. The portrayal of a girl with a physical disability enjoying and actively participating in a day at the beach encourages all children to do the same in their own lives, while also offering a character education lesson in adaptability. This book has strong curriculum ties to primary nature units and life science lessons on oceans and the seaside, and it offers a perfect focus for nature-based education and outdoor classrooms.
    Item No. 9781525301438
    $17.99
    Not So Different: What You Really Want to Ask
    Burcaw, Shane

    Not So Different offers a humorous, relatable, and refreshingly honest glimpse into Shane Burcaw's life. Shane tackles many of the mundane and quirky questions that he's often asked about living with a disability, and shows readers that he's just as approachable, friendly, and funny as anyone else.

    Shane Burcaw was born with a rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy, which hinders his muscles' growth. As a result, his body hasn't grown bigger and stronger as he's gotten older--it's gotten smaller and weaker instead. This hasn't stopped him from doing the things he enjoys (like eating pizza and playing sports and video games) with the people he loves, but it does mean that he routinely relies on his friends and family for help with everything from brushing his teeth to rolling over in bed.

    A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017

    Item No. 9781626727717
    $17.99
    Pirate of Kindergarten
    Lyon, George Ella
    Doubles are good for lots of things--double scoops of ice cream, double features at the movies. But double vision is NOT a good kind of double. In fact, it can make kindergarten kind of hard. Ginny sees double chairs at reading circle and double words in her books. She knows that only half of what she sees is real, but which half? The solution to her problem is wondrously simple: an eye patch! Ginny becomes the pirate of kindergarten.With the help of her pirate patch, Ginny can read, run, and even snip her scissors with double the speed! Vibrant illustrations from Lynne Avril capture the realities of what Ginny sees both before and after.
    Item No. 9781416950240
    $18.99
    Remember Balloons
    Oliveros, Jessie
    A 2019 Schneider Family Award Honor Book!

    What's Happening to Grandpa meets Up in this tender, sensitive picture book that gently explains the memory loss associated with aging and diseases such as Alzheimer's.

    James's Grandpa has the best balloons because he has the best memories. He has balloons showing Dad when he was young and Grandma when they were married. Grandpa has balloons about camping and Aunt Nelle's poor cow. Grandpa also has a silver balloon filled with the memory of a fishing trip he and James took together.

    But when Grandpa's balloons begin to float away, James is heartbroken. No matter how hard he runs, James can't catch them. One day, Grandpa lets go of the silver balloon--and he doesn't even notice!

    Grandpa no longer has balloons of his own. But James has many more than before. It's up to him to share those balloons, one by one.

    Item No. 9781481489157
    $18.99