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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Erin & Roderick Discover Families: Erin & Roderick Book Series, Book 1 is a children’s picture book written by Fliss Goldsmith and illustrated by Ian R. Ward. It was a sunny and beautiful day at the park. Erin and Roderick were there with their mom and dad. Another family would be arriving soon to join the group picnic. Dad was having a hard time waiting. He could smell the aroma of the mini pizzas Mom had packed in the basket. Their friends, Yoshi and Zena, and their parents would be there soon. Roderick went over to where his dad was sitting (near those pizzas, of course) and compared their skin tones. They both had the same color skin. But Yoshi and Zena’s skin tones and appearance were different from their parents. Dad began to explain how some families are adopted. Auntie Jen and Uncle Simon adopted their children. When Steven Simms, their friend who had two mums for parents, came with them to join the picnic, Roderick and Erin realized that families can be of all different shapes and sizes. So what makes a family a family? Erin and Roderick did some thinking for a while before Roderick came up with the perfect answer.
Fliss Goldsmith’s Erin & Roderick Discover Families celebrates the differences in modern families and highlights what they all have in common, and it does so in a well-organized and fun story about a picnic in the park on a lovely afternoon. I loved seeing how Mom and Dad fielded their kids’ questions and especially appreciated the non-judgmental way that the story dealt with families having two moms or dads. In the end, the story shows how families are all pretty much alike in the ways that really matter. Ian R. Ward’s illustrations bring that sunny day in the park to life and show the picnicking families at their best as they play, cuddle and enjoy being together. Erin & Roderick Discover Families is most highly recommended.