Children’s Books on Disabilities: Andy and the Albino Horse Series by Mary Jean Kelso

Children’s Books on Disabilities: Andy and the Albino Horse Series by Mary Jean Kelso

This guest post is from Mary Jean Kelso, author of the children’s books on disabilities. She introduces us to her series of books, Andy and the Albino Horse.  Andy and The Albino Horse is the first book in this powerful children’s picture book series that starts when Andy, a young wheelchair dependent boy, meets a very special equine therapy horse named “Spirit.” Andy and Spirit develop a special bond that eventually leads them on many adventures. They become heroes to each other.

Children with special needs will enjoy the  main character who doesn’t let his handicap stop him. In addition, even the people he meets don’t focus on his wheelchair. They see Andy for Andy. This seems to be a wonderful series for reading circles in classrooms and libraries to help youngsters understand and accept others who are not exactly like them. Suggested age 5-12.

What Inspired Andy and the Albino Horse Series?

Mary Jean Kelso writes that the idea came to her in 2007.  She was travelling with her illustrator, K.C. Snider, from a book signing for the launch of their first children’s picture book through Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. and their first book project together was The Christmas Angel .  This book had recently been released. Mary Jean says the idea came to her this way, “At the event, I saw the painting K.C. had done of a horse with crooked ears. On the drive home that night I kept thinking about horses with disabilities and knew I had to write something along that line.

I tried to think of some other flaw a horse might have that would make it be rejected by the herd. One morning the minute I woke up the word “albino” popped into my head.

Writing is a logical process for me. One sentence leads to another and another. I had no idea I was going to write about a therapy horse and a boy with disabilities but the two seemed to come together naturally since they both had physical problems and both were targets to be bullied–the boy by a classmate and the horse by the other horses.

The first book turned into a series all written by Mary Jean Kelso and illustrated by K.C. Snider.

On the author’s web site I found the following article:

Interaction with the Kids and their Reaction to Andy and the Albino Horse

Fernley Elementary School asked author, Mary Jean Kelso, to participate in their celebration of Book Week. Mary Jean read Andy and the Albino Horse to approximately 200 very attentive second grade students. The reaction of the students was one of awe and amazement. They were enthralled with the story and enjoyed that some of the illustrations K.C. Snider painted represented the area they live in. The story and the pictures brought the Nevada wild mustang and Andy to life in a way they appreciated and hopefully will help them relate in a positive way to individuals and animals with handicaps.

Congratulations to Mary Jean Kelso and the illustrator K.C.Snider for their many awards!

  • MARY JEAN KELSO, author of the ANDY & THE ALBINO HORSE series & The Christmas Angel stories, is the recipient of the 2009 1st Place BEST SPOT NEWS AWARD from The Nevada Press Association
  • The 2009 3rd place BEST SPOT NEWS AWARD from the National Press Association!
  • In 2011 The Adventures of Andy and Spirit their book for tweens was nominated for a Global Ebook Award

K.C. Snider, illustrator of children's books on disabilities the Albino Horse SeriesAbout the Illustrator

K.C. Snider, an honors graduate from The Eugene School for Art, is a prominent Oregon artist. Her love of the western life and of wildlife has been developed since her youth, with her natural talent for drawing and color exhibited since she was ten years old. In 2007, K.C. illustrated two children’s books, The Christmas Angel, with author Mary Jean Kelso and The Magic Violin, with Mayra Calvani. Both books were published by Guardian Angel Publishing and are also available as an e-Book. Now she is an established and sought-after illustrator for Guardian Angel Publishing with a total of nine children’s books published, four more pending publication and 12 more waiting to be illustrated. K.C. works with authors all over the world, including Australia and Belgium.

Visit K.C. Snider’s web site and blog.

Mary Jean Kelso Introduces Andy and the Albino Horse Series

Book One– Andy and the Albino Horse

Andy is a special needs boy who is confined to a wheelchair. He is bullied at school because he is “different.”

When his mother takes him for equine therapy he meets a horse that was a wild mustang. She has also been bullied by the herd before being trained for her new life.

They become heroes to each other and go on to have a new adventure in each book of the series.

To hear the song that goes along with the story go to:

Book two — Andy & Spirit Go to the Fair

In the second book in the series Andy and Spirit participate in a 4-H Horse Competition at the fair. During the presentation Andy sees the bully in the audience and is forced to face his actions.

Book three – Andy & Spirit in the Big Rescue

Andy and Spirit help save a boy who has been bullying him. Does the bully change his ways?

Andy & Spirit Meet the Rodeo Queen, children's book on disabilitiesBook four — Andy & Spirit Meet the Rodeo Queen

Andy meets the rodeo queen who teaches him how to use a lasso. He is in the stands when his new friend is endangered.

Book five – Andy & Spirit in Search & Rescue (coming soon)

Andy and Spirit help search for a dog that has been left in the country to fend for itself.  When the dog returns to where it was dumped, Andy and his friends continue to try to rescue the animal.

Each Andy book has teachers and/or homeschoolers aides in the back that are relevant to the main subject in the book.

The Adventures of Andy and Spirit tween's book on disabilitiesThere is also a Tween book available for older readers, The Adventures of Andy and Spirit, which features the first four stories without the colored illustrations.

This book  is also available in print at B&,, & and other online bookstores. Our full color books are 8.5×8.5 inch paperback, chapbooks are 6×9 in trade paperback, and hardcovers are 8×10 inch.

The Andy and the Albino Horse series will continue with several more in process: Andy & Spirit Go on a Day Count and Andy & Spirit Ride a Train are two upcoming editions.

Visit our site to see videos, interact with “Spirit” and read more about the Andy series. The Andy books can be ordered there with a direct link to Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. by clicking on the picture of Andy and the Albino Horse at the top.



Andy & Spirit in Search & Rescue by Mary Jean Kelso children's book on disabilities

Andy & Spirit Go to the Fair children's book on disabilities

Andy & Spirit in the Big Rescue children's book on disabilities and bullying


Mary Jean Kelso, author of the children’s books on disabilities, Andy and the Albino Horse Series.About the Author

Mary Jean Kelso attended Lane Community College and studied English, Journalism and Creative Writing. She is a freelance photo-journalist and author with books published for children, young adults and adults. Mary Jean received The Nevada Press Association Award and The National Press Association Award.  She worked as an Editor and as a Customer Services Representative for a Raytheon Company. She comes from Eugene, Oregon and lives now in Fernley, Nevada.

To follow Mary Jean Kelso, there are two Facebook pages: Mary Jean Kelso and Mary Jean Kelso, Author. Also, I hope the readers will enjoy the free on-line magazine published by Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc., and the fun blog that K.C. and Mary Jean have for the Andy series.

Follow Mary Jean Kelso:


Buy Mary Jean Kelso’s Books:

This post was written by Lorna
Lorna d’Entremont: Co-owner of SentioLife Solutions, Ltd. the company behind KidCompanions Chewelry (2007) and SentioCHEWS (2013), mother of three, grandma of 5 and wife. She is a retired teacher and special needs advocate. Throughout she has taught all levels from grade 2 to grade 9. Lorna loved teaching and enjoyed seeing the students progress in the school system. During her 30 year career she took a few years off to raise her three children.
  • Barbara Bockman

    Thanks for a terrific overview of the series. It was interesting to see how Mary Jean was inspired to write these stories by a picture by K.C. They are great collaborators.

  • Nancy Stewart

    This is a wonderful post! So full of good strong information. Congratulations to Mary Jean and K.C. Snider!

  • Susan H.

    Thanks Mary Jean and K.C., for sharing your books, stories and trailer. Your books are filled with humanity, entertainment and sharing. You are both most talented artists that lend a great deal to others. God Bess you both.and the success of your works. Thanks you Lorna for a great post!

  • Penelope Anne Cole

    Thanks, Mary Jean and K.C. for this beautiful series: Andy and Spirit. I love stories dealing with overcoming disabilities and obstacles. We all have disabilities and limitations — we need friends to see us for who we are inside.

  • I love Andy and Spirit both for Mary Jean’s writing and K.C.’s illustrations.

  • Margot Finke

    Mary Jean Kelso’s series of books are wonderful. They encourages children with disabilities – in this case in wheelchairs. And KC Snider makes illos and story into a perfect marriage. The best part is that they are terrific reads for any child – disabled or not. They help other kids to empathize with those not so fortunate, and that is a very GOOD thing. Three cheers for Andy and all his adventures. May he have many more!!

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