Plano Reads: All-Abilities – Children’s Books

In this new series of book lists, we’re celebrating characters of all abilities. Check back in the next week for lists of Junior Fiction, Non-Fiction and World Language as well as Young Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction.

The list below includes links to the library catalog or eLibrary for easy requests or downloading. Most books are from the perspective of a person with a disability; if you are looking for more informational books you can search for titles in the library catalog. The lists we’re publishing cover a variety of disabilities and are a sample of what is available from Plano Public Library. Head to the catalog to search for any specific titles or topics not featured here.


My Ocean is Blue by Darren Lebeauf Print
‘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. 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 bright, richly colored cut-paper collage illustrations by Ashley Barron add a captivating visual texture and depth to the story.

A Walk in the Words by Hudson Talboot Print
When Hudson Talbott was a little boy, he loved drawing, and it came naturally to him. But reading? No way! One at a time, words weren’t a problem, but long sentences were a struggle. As his friends moved on to thicker books, he kept his slow reading a secret. But that got harder every year. He felt alone, lost, and afraid in a world of too many words. Fortunately, his love of stories wouldn’t let him give up. He started giving himself permission to read at his own pace, using the words he knew as stepping-stones to help draw him into a story. And he found he wasn’t so alone–in fact, lots of brilliant people were slow readers, too. Learning to accept the fact that everyone does things in their own unique way, and that was okay, freed him up and ultimately helped Hudson thrive and become the fabulous storyteller he is today.

I Talk Like a River by Jordan Scott Print
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.

Best Day Ever by Marilyn Singer Print
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.

Lucas at the Paralympics by Igor Ploh Print
Lucas and Eddie, two physically disabled friends, visit the Paralympics and cheer on blind and physically challenged athletes as they compete in running, swimming, sitting volleyball, para archery, wheelchair fencing, wheelchair basketball, and more. Readers learn about some of the rules that expedite play and that even the playing field. For example, blind runners wear blindfolds so none of the competitors (some totally blind and some with limited sight) have an unfair advantage. Also, all of the blind competitors are tethered to guides.

Can Bears Ski? by Raymond Antrobus Print
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.

Woodpecker Girl by Chingyen Liu Print
A little girl was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that rendered her wheelchair-bound. One day, her art teacher affixed a paintbrush to her forehead with a headband. From then on, the little girl was able to express herself and freely explore the world through her paintings.

Thukpa for All by Ram Praba Print
Tsering can’t wait to taste his grandmother’s delicious noodle soup. He invites a string of friends and neighbours home. But as preparations get underway, there is a power cut and the house is plunged into darkness. Will Abi be able to put together the much-anticipated thukpa? Told from a blind child’s perspective, this tale by Praba Ram and Sheela Preuitt is accompanied by Shilpa Ranade’s stunning illustrations.

Days with Dad by Nari Hong Print
Her dad can’t walk. But she doesn’t care about what he can’t do, what she loves is what they do together! Based on experiences from author Nari Hong’s own childhood,Days With Dad is a heartwarming story of love and appreciation between a young girl and her dad, who uses a wheelchair. Narrated by the daughter, the story follows an ongoing conversation between the two about the father’s regret over what he is unable to do with his daughter because of his reliance on a wheelchair. But his daughter makes it clear that there’s nothing to feel badly about. Whether they’re sitting on the beach building a sandcastle or drinking hot cocoa and watching the rain, what she loves are the things they can do together. 

Hello GoodBye Dog by Maria Gianferrari Print
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. Unfortunately, dogs aren’t allowed at school and Moose has to go back home. 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.

A Sky-Blue Bench by Bahram Rahman On Order
It’s Afghani schoolgirl Aria’s first day back at school since her accident. She’s excited, but she’s also worried about sitting on the hard floor all day with her new prosthetic “helper-leg.” Just as Aria feared, sitting on the floor is so uncomfortable that she can’t think about learning at all. She knows that before the war changed many things in Afghanistan, schools like hers had benches for students to sit at. If she had a bench, her leg would not hurt so much. The answer is obvious: she will gather materials, talk to Kaka Najar, the carpenter in the old city, and learn to build a bench for herself.

A Friend for Henry by Mika Song Print
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.


#MoreThanBooks Resources and Services

In addition to the variety of reading material available from Plano Public Library, you can check out the newest series of programs starting summer 2022: SNAP – Supporting Neurodivergent Access to Programming. SNAP programs can be for all ages, preschoolers, grades K-2 as well as teens and adults. Head to our online calendar and search “SNAP” for upcoming session details.

Along with these library programs, Plano Parks and Recreation Adapted Recreation programs offer recreational opportunities for individuals with special needs from 12 months to over 60 years of age. Programs are offered year-round and provide a variety of activities such as; fitness, crafts and fine arts, education, outings and a variety of other programs that meet the needs of children/teens and adults with disabilities. Jack Carter Park is also an all-abilities park: “Located at 2601 Maumelle Drive near Schimelpfenig Middle School, the new playground within the park serves children with disabilities and includes experiences that involve movement and climbing as well as a mix of tactile, visual and auditory features.”

Stop by Schimelpfenig Library to see an art exhibit through April 30, 2022. View artwork created by participants in the Lunch With Friends class for adults. The class is offered by the City of Plano’s Adapted Recreation program, serving individuals with special needs age 12 months to 60. Visit during library open hours to enjoy this vibrant display of creativity.

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