Finding inclusive books

I Am the Music Man

Most children's books today suitably reflect our multicultural society. However, not so many reflect other forms of diversity, for example the fact that one in five school-age children has special educational needs.

This is especially true of books for very young children. This list aims to help you to find early years books showing positive images of disability, as well as titles that may prove useful in discussing disability and diversity.

  • See What I Can Do!

    Author: Jon Roberts Illustrator: Hannah Rounding

    Interest level: 4-8

    Reading age: 6+

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  • See What I Can Do!

    Author: Jon Roberts Illustrator: Hannah Rounding

    Interest level: 4-8

    Reading age: 6+

    See What I Can Do! introduces a range of characters (based on real-life children) who each share an insight about disability …

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  • Amazing

    Author: Steve Antony

    Interest level: 3-5

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  • Amazing

    Author: Steve Antony

    Interest level: 3-5

    Reading age:

    A delightful story about a little boy and his amazing pet dragon. It's a rare and perfect example of completely incidental in…

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  • You Can!

    Author: Alexandra Strick and Steve Antony

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  • You Can!

    Author: Alexandra Strick and Steve Antony

    Interest level:

    Reading age:

    Based on real children's own voices and messages (including young disabled people), You Can! is a fabulously inclusive p…

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  • Loud!

    Author: Rose Robbins

    Interest level: 4-8

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  • Loud!

    Author: Rose Robbins

    Interest level: 4-8

    Reading age:

    Abigail is always fidgeting and giggling at school until Miss Butler discovers her love of singing and songwriting. …

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  • Me and My Sister

    Author: Rose Robbins

    Interest level: 4-6

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Me and My Sister

    Author: Rose Robbins

    Interest level: 4-6

    Reading age: 5+

    A delightful insight into sibling life is delivered through appealing animal characters in this simple and effective picture book,…

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  • Can Bears Ski?

    Author: Raymond Antrobus Illustrator: Polly Dunbar

    Interest level: 3-6

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  • Can Bears Ski?

    Author: Raymond Antrobus Illustrator: Polly Dunbar

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age:

    Why do people keep asking Little Bear "Can bears ski?" A lovely and authentic picture book about hearing loss, inspired by the aut…

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  • What Happened To You?

    Author: James Catchpole Illustrator: Karen George

    Interest level: 4-8

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  • What Happened To You?

    Author: James Catchpole Illustrator: Karen George

    Interest level: 4-8

    Reading age:

    Joe just wants to play pirates, but the other children notice that he only has one leg and start asking him a barrage of questions…

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  • Elmer's Friends

    Author: David McKee

    Interest level: 0+

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Elmer's Friends

    Author: David McKee

    Interest level: 0+

    Reading age: 5+

    A colourful board book in which the ever-popular Elmer the Elephant praises each of his friends for their different strengths

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  • The Giant Turnip

    Author: Henriette Barkow Illustrator: Richard Johnson

    Interest level: 2+

    Reading age: 6+

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  • The Giant Turnip

    Author: Henriette Barkow Illustrator: Richard Johnson

    Interest level: 2+

    Reading age: 6+

    The children in Miss Honeywood's class decide to grow vegetables in their school garden. What a shock they get when they discover …

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  • Seal Surfer

    Author: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 5-8

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Seal Surfer

    Author: Michael Foreman

    Interest level: 5-8

    Reading age: 6+

    A welcome re-publication of Foreman's timeless and evocative account of a boy's relationship with life and death.

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  • Brian Has Dyslexia

    Author: Woody Fox Illustrator: Jenny Leigh

    Interest level: 5+

    Reading age: 4+

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  • Brian Has Dyslexia

    Author: Woody Fox Illustrator: Jenny Leigh

    Interest level: 5+

    Reading age: 4+

    Not knowing his left from his right, and his bad headaches are also adding to his problems. Then, with some help from Dr Spot and …

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  • My Brother Sammy

    Author: Becky Armitage and David Armitage

    Interest level: 5+

    Reading age: 6+

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  • My Brother Sammy

    Author: Becky Armitage and David Armitage

    Interest level: 5+

    Reading age: 6+

    If only his brother was “normal”. Mum says that Sammy is “special” but the narrator doesn’t want a s…

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  • Peek-a-Boo!

    Author: Annie Kubler

    Interest level: 0+

    Reading age: 4+

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  • Peek-a-Boo!

    Author: Annie Kubler

    Interest level: 0+

    Reading age: 4+

    The exuberant characters include children on supported mats, a child with a leg splint and a parent with a hearing aid.

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  • The Animal Boogie

    Author: Stella Blackstone Illustrator: Debbie Harter

    Reading age: 4+

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  • The Animal Boogie

    Author: Stella Blackstone Illustrator: Debbie Harter

    Interest level:

    Reading age: 4+

    Boogie along with the jungle inhabitants who flap, shake, flap and slide their way through this colourful book

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  • I Am the Music Man

    Author: Debra Potter

    Interest level: 0+

    Reading age: 5+

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  • I Am the Music Man

    Author: Debra Potter

    Interest level: 0+

    Reading age: 5+

    A large book featuring holes through which you can peek to spot which of the thoroughly inclusive band of musicians is playing eac…

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  • The Ding-Dong Bag

    Author: Polly Peters Illustrator: Jess Stockham

    Interest level: 3+

    Reading age: 5+

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  • The Ding-Dong Bag

    Author: Polly Peters Illustrator: Jess Stockham

    Interest level: 3+

    Reading age: 5+

    The fast-moving and rhythmic text make this great book perfect for reading aloud, and a subtle arm splint on one of the boys is ty…

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  • Susan Laughs

    Author: Jeanne Willis Illustrator: Tony Ross

    Interest level: 3+

    Reading age: 4+

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  • Susan Laughs

    Author: Jeanne Willis Illustrator: Tony Ross

    Interest level: 3+

    Reading age: 4+

    Susan can do so many things - she can laugh, sing, fly, dance, swim and much more. The final page of this wonderful book reveals t…

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  • Winnie the Witch

    Author: Valerie Thomas Illustrator: Korky Paul

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  • Winnie the Witch

    Author: Valerie Thomas Illustrator: Korky Paul

    Interest level:

    Reading age:

    This is the first of many stories about Winnie and her cat, Wilber. Winnie is a well-loved character, and the excellent illustrati…

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  • Pat-a-Cake!

    Author: Annie Kubler

    Interest level: 0+

    Reading age: 4+

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  • Pat-a-Cake!

    Author: Annie Kubler

    Interest level: 0+

    Reading age: 4+

    Part of a series introducing well loved games and rhymes.

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  • The Okay Book

    Author: Todd Parr

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  • The Okay Book

    Author: Todd Parr

    Interest level:

    Reading age:

    With reinforced binding and bright primary colours, this fun little book encourages children to recognise that everything is okay,…

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  • Just Because

    Author: Rebecca Elliott

    Interest level: 3+

    Reading age: 6+

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  • Just Because

    Author: Rebecca Elliott

    Interest level: 3+

    Reading age: 6+

    This uplifting book focuses on a sibling relationship, as a little boy affectionately describes his older sister

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  • Max the Champion

    Author: Sean Stockdale and Alexandra Strick Illustrator: Ros Asquith

    Interest level: 4+

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Max the Champion

    Author: Sean Stockdale and Alexandra Strick Illustrator: Ros Asquith

    Interest level: 4+

    Reading age: 5+

    This inclusive book is about a boy who loves sport, his friends, and school - and has a vivid imagination

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  • Specs for Rex

    Author: Yasmeen Ismail

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age: 5+

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  • Specs for Rex

    Author: Yasmeen Ismail

    Interest level: 3-6

    Reading age: 5+

    A perfectly judged niche story that has general appeal due to a clean text and cute character; Specs for Rex is a visual treat tha…

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