My big brother Neel has wheels!
Neel’s wheelchair transforms itself to fight dragons and monsters and chase away scary creatures of the night.


  • Neel on Wheels is narrated from the perspective of a younger brother who adores his older brother and thinks he can fight dragons and monsters and chase away scary creatures of the night. After all, Neel – being in a wheelchair – has wheels!
  • The idea that a child in a wheelchair can be a superhero and not necessarily a ‘victim’ is marvellous, and very welcome. By ‘normalizing’ or even celebrating that which is usually derided or pitied, author Lavanya Karthik strikes the right note of inclusivity.
  • The story deals with several of a child’s fears – caused by an active imagination that sees dragons and tigers in lurking shadows and rustling leaves. For a child, these fears are real, and it is assuring to know that help is at hand – from another child!
  • There’s a wonderful rhythm and metre in the text, which is vital in a book meant for a young reader.
  • Habib Ali’s illustrations so effectively capture both the fearsome stillness of a dark night and the mind-boggling madness of a busy street, that one can’t but help going through the book again and again to feast one’s eyes on them.
  • This picture book is the winner in the Children First writing competition organized by Parag, an initiative of Tata Trusts, and Duckbill Books.


Neel on Wheels is a perfect mirror-and-window book – for some readers, it reflects their own experience; for others, it offers a view into someone else’s experience.


Author: Lavanya Karthik
Illustrator: Habib Ali
Language: English
Page Extent: 24 pages
Price: Rs 299.00
ISBN: 978-93-83331-87-1
Publisher: Duckbill, 2018
Subject Category: Fiction/Picture Book/Disability/Inclusion
Age-group: 6+

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