Karen Autio

Children’s Author | Editor | Presenter


I CAN, TOO! – Reviews

“Karen Autio has created a vibrant and colorful book that showcases a young girl named Kayla who uses a variety of mobility aids to enjoy the same activities as her classmates. Whether it is walking the dog or skiing or horseback riding or a hike in the woods, Kayla can too. This book would make a fantastic learning tool for toddlers, preschoolers and kindergarten students as it uses direct language and each page is filled with joyful and colorful illustrations. Caregivers and educators will love the incredible comprehensive guide to mobility aids in the back.” ―Reading With Red + the Magpie (@readingwithredandthemagpie)

readingwithredandthemagpie review 1

“This is a book about a child with disabilities that affect her mobility and showcases the ways she does things and the equipment she uses. The adaptive equipment is shown in illustrations, but is not mentioned in the story. There is back matter which names and gives more information about each piece of adaptive equipment. There are too many picture books that show children using wheelchairs in unrealistic locations (e.g. a regular wheelchair on the beach), so it was great to see how much care was taken with the illustrations for this book. … I look forward to sharing this book with primary students at my school, and I know many will be excited to see equipment that they use, or that their schoolmates use included in a book.” ―Tara Truscott (@trusreads)

“This book! So many great things about it. Truly inclusive and showcases disability in real situations and without the ‘overcoming challenges/being strong’ approach. The main character is a happy girl that enjoys playing, being active and exploring with her friends. She participates in everything her friends and classmates do. In a gentle way, the young reader learns how people with disabilities move in different ways and how they might need adaptive equipment. … Kindness, empathy, friendship, equity, inclusion and fairness. All values present in the story. A plus is the fact that characters are diverse, like our classrooms and communities. Everything I love seeing in a book as a mom and teacher is there. I can’t wait to share this with my students … and I will definitely add to our read aloud for my reading clubs.” ―Luiza Ramalho Junqueira (@bookbugca)

Lorislittlelibrary bedtime reading

“Meeting new friends with unique and special abilities is what most children will experience when they enter kindergarten. ‘I Can, Too!’ is a great story that promotes fairness, equity, and diversity in a gentle way. It’s refreshing to read a story where the main character (who may be perceived as different by others) is just like everyone else, she just happens to need a wheelchair which is no big deal because she participates in all the class activities just like everyone else. Why not allow the students to just see their friend for who she is? Fun & adventurous, not as the girl who needs a wheelchair right? We don’t point out the kids who don’t need a wheelchair now do we? This is such a positive shift in kids’ lit & I’m all here for it! Y’all know I love to promote Canadian authors & illustrators so I’m happy to note that @karenautio & @laura_jane_watson are Canadian. Kudos to both for creating this lovely story that my kiddos really liked during tonight’s bedtime story. My little guy specifically asked if we could donate this book to his class in September as one of his classmates just happens to use a wheelchair too & he thought he’d like to see a kid like him in a book!” ―Lori (@lorislittlelibrary)

Excerpts of Goodreads reviews:
"A beautiful, well-told story about the different ways kids of different abilities are able to navigate the world, participate in activities and share special moments together. Includes back matter on adaptive equipment and inclusive design." —Andrew Katz, author of the picture book A Starlit Trip to the Library

"There is so much to love about this book! Written with such an inviting tone, young readers will feel encouraged to notice differences, acknowledge similarities, and celebrate the inclusion of a friendship group that just keeps growing! … I Can, Too! is a great story that celebrates friendship and inclusion and is bang-on for preschool to primary grade children." —Lana Button, author of the picture book Tayra’s Not Talking

"An accepting, inclusive book that celebrates the ways we stay active and move about our world! … An excellent addition to any primary school classroom!" —Karen Krossing, author of the picture book One Tiny Bubble

"This book is very important for children to read because it shows how everyone has their own abilities." —Sadé Smith, author of the picture book Granny’s Kitchen Granny’s Kitchen

"This little book carries a BIG message … The beauty of the story is not focusing on the wheelchair … but on how Kayla participates in everything that Piper does. … The dictionary of adaptive equipment is a wonderful addition to the understanding that all things are possible!" —Jennifer Maruno, author of the picture book While You Sleep

Read full reviews on Goodreads.