Exploring Representations of Characters with Disabilities in Library Books

Charis Lauren Price, Michaelene M. Ostrosky, Chryso Mouzourou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Early literacy experiences are critical for young children’s development. More specifically, quality literacy experiences are beneficial to children’s understanding of their world. Ensuring that early childhood literature appropriately reflects the diversity of children’s life experiences can support their sense of belonging within an early childhood environment. Considering that the number of children with diverse abilities who attend general education classrooms is increasing, it is imperative that these classrooms provide welcoming and supportive environments for all children. One way to support inclusive environments for children with disabilities is to ensure that classroom books include characters with and without disabilities. As many early childhood teachers and family members regularly use community libraries to find books to read to young children, exploring how characters with disabilities are represented in library books is important. Results of a study focusing on children’s library books revealed that characters with diverse abilities were represented in ways that promote their inclusion, however some books displayed poor insight into the individual lives of characters with varying abilities. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)563-572
Number of pages10
JournalEarly Childhood Education Journal
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Disabilities
  • Early childhood
  • Library
  • Literacy
  • Reading

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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