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11 Indian books at The Nestery that Explore Neurodiversity and Disability Sensitively

11 Indian books at The Nestery that Explore Neurodiversity and Disability Sensitively

Authors, illustrators and publishers in India are embracing diversity like never before, and even better, treating the topic, with sensitivity, which is great news!


Here are a few books by Indian publishers listed at The Nestery, which explore neuro diversity, disabilities and disorders sensitively.


1. A Walk with Thambi – Take a sensory stroll with a dog and his little master as they head out for a walk around the town. Small clues and visual details are strewn cleverly amidst the pages to gently let the readers know that the child is visually impaired.

Author - Lavanya Karthik

Illustrator - Proiti Roy

Publisher - Tulika Publishers

Buy A Walk with Thambi here at The Nestery -


2. Ready? Yes! Play! – Anu, a child who is visually impaired, wants to play cricket with her friends and her father helps her! In this unusual book, we take a look at the rules of the game in a modified version – blind cricket!

Author – Arundhati Nath

Illustrator – Priyankar Gupta

Publisher - Pratham Books

Buy Ready? Yes! Play! As part of The Nestery’s curated Pratham combo here -


3. Thukpa for All - As Tsering makes his way home one evening, he invites everyone he sees for some thukpa, made by his Abi. But when the power gets cut, Tsering rises to the occasion, showing that, for Tsering, his visual impairment does not define him as an individual and that he is no different from any other child. Thukpa for All gently touches upon small pointers that let us know that the protagonist, Tsering is blind. But, refreshingly, that is not the focus of this story.

Author – Ram and Sheila Preuitt

Illustrator – Shilpa Ranade

Publisher – Karadi Tales

Buy Thukpa for All at The Nestery here -


4. Kanna Panna - Enter the world of inclusion and diversity with “Kanna Panna where protagonist Kanna who is visually impaired, and also possibly neuro-atypical, goes on a vacation with his mother’s sister’s family and discovers his strengths.

But here, Kanna, the individual, is the hero, and not his visual impairment or neuro diversity. And THAT is the real way these stories must be told.

AuthorZai Whitaker

IllustratorNiloufer Wadia 

PublisherTulika Publishers

Kanna Panna is coming soon at The Nestery.


5. I Didn’t Understand - "I Didn't Understand" is narrated from the perspective of Manna.

Manna has Downs Syndrome, and Mini, the author, chooses to write in Manna's voice, to take us through the guileless thought process of a child who is neuro diverse in this very moving story.

AuthorMini Shrinivasan

IllustratorShubham Lakhera

PublisherTulika Publishers

Buy “I Didn’t Understand” at The Nestery here -


6. Wings to Fly – Wings to Fly is the inspiring true life story of Malathi Holla, the para athlete from Bangalore, India.

Malathi says of her struggle this - “When I was small, I wanted to be first among my friends who used to run to the backyard to pick the fallen mangoes. I wanted to fly like a bird fearlessly from one place to another. But as I grew up I realized that you need legs to run and wings to fly. I was hurt, but I didn’t give up. I knew, one day, I would run…Thus I took up sports and decided to do something different in life. Yes, we are different and so even our lives should be a shining example of that difference".⠀
This book and the protagonist are great examples that differences or disabilities are not impediments to success.

Author – Sowmya Rajendran

Illustrator – Arun Rajendran

PublisherTulika Publishers

Wings to Fly is coming soon at The Nestery.


7. The Jungle story telling festival - The Jungle Story Telling Festival is on, one of the biggest events in the jungle. All the animals are raring to go on the stage and tell their stories, as is Ostroo, the ostrich. And Ostroo really does have a very very beautiful story up his sleeve.

But Ostroo is upset. Everyone makes fun of him because he stutters and stammers.

But help comes from the most unexpected of places, and Ostroo realises, that where there is a story, there is a way!

Reminiscent of Giraffes Can't Dance, and with many stories within a story, The Jungle Storytelling Festival is sure to inspire your little ones to break the barriers they have set up in their minds.

Author – Janaki Sabesh

Illustrator – Debosmita Mazumdar

PublisherTulika Publishers

Buy The Jungle Story Telling Festival at The Nestery here – ht/tps://


8. Little Vinayak – Little Vinayak has a huge problem. His trunk is too long and he keeps stumbling with every step he takes!

He just wants to be normal like everybody else.

But his uncle Tembo has the most unusual solution to his problem!

This book, with its adorable protagonist, Little Vinayak shows children that each of us are special in our own ways, and we just need to own it!

Author – Shoba Viswanath

Illustrator – Shilpa Ranade

Publisher – Karadi Tales

Buy Little Vinayak at The Nestery here -


9. Why are you afraid to hold my hand - Narrated from a POV of a child afflicted with cerebral palsy, this book talks about people's attitudes towards people who are differently abled.

Sample this - When someone says , "Here, Let me do it for you. Isn't it our duty?", the girl narrates:

“Don't smother me

Give me space

to live my life

at my own pace

I know you care

I know you love me

So just be my friend

Don't pity me!”

This book needs a place on your book shelves as a reminder for BOTH kids and adults to understand how diversity and inclusion must play out in any society for a better world.⠀

Author – Sheila Dhir

Illustrator – Sheila Dhir

Publisher – Tulika Publishers      

Buy Why are You Afraid to Hold My Hand at The Nestery here -


10. A Helping Hand – Narrated through letters, A Helping Hand is about fitting in and finding acceptance. It discusses the slow acceptance that creeps into a friendship between a child and her friend who has a prosthetic hand.

The protagonist progresses from being able to talk only about the “fake” hand, to slow acceptance and discussion of other topics like regular friends. Suddenly, the missing hand doesn’t matter, and what matters is only the close friendship between the two children.

Author – Payal Dhar

Illustrator – Vartika Sharma

Publisher – Pratham Books

Buy A Helping Hand as part of The Nestery curated Pratham combo here -


11. Catch That Cat! – Dip Dip, the spirited little girl in a wheelchair is at the centre of Catch That Cat! Watch her chase Kaapi, her friend’s cat as she zooms and zips on her wheelchair in this lovely book with exuberant illustrations!

Author – Tharini Viswanath

Illustrator – Nancy Raj

Publisher – Tulika Publishers

Buy Catch That Cat here at The Nestery -

Know of any more similar books? Comment below!

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