Each of Mary's photographs provide the opportunity for readers to discover the joy of getting to really know the children in our stories. Each book is written to honor a child with special needs or disability. Building on the photographs, she highlights the gifts of each child through the design of their book. Mary takes the time to understand each child's interests and energy and then she uses colors and shapes to honor them throughout their book.


MyaGrace loves purple so Mary designed her book to highlight that love. Ethan's energy increases throughout his story so the color in his pages gradually intensifies as the reader follows how he gains an awareness of his abilities and strengths.  Marco and Isiah are outdoor boys and their book with green and blue coming together share this passion and the outside world. Dylan and Joe are represented by different colors in their book.  Dylan shows growth and his love of plants with his green background. Joe has his energy and passion highlighted with his orange background. Kaitlyn and her sisters are honored through the gentle natural rainbow of colors on their pages. Reese loves Halloween so he had to have orange but Mary added the gray to show his strength that comes through in his story.

Mary's Blog Posts:

A Different Lens: Finding Diversity Through Photography. 

By Mary Birdsell

Read Mary Birdsell's post on the Children's Book Council "Diversity" page  

See Mary's Book Recommendation on The National Children's Book Literacy Alliance website.   

Mary Birdsell

Photography