This month’s book review is about “Erin & Roderick Discover Families” written by Fliss Goldsmith and illustrated by Ian R. Ward. It’s a wonderful children’s picture book showing children that families come in all different shapes and sizes. You can find out here why Fliss felt compelled to write the book and her plans for future books.
I was kindly gifted a copy of the book so I could write the review.
The story is set at a picnic in the park. Erin and Roderick are there with their mum and dad. As all kids do, they start to ask questions, particularly about some of the people they’re meeting. They’re curious about why their friends don’t look like each other even though they’re brother and sister. Or why they don’t look like their parents. This leads to lots more questions. What makes a family? Does everyone have to look like each other? Can there be two daddies or two mummies?
Eldest and I have read the book a few times now. Each time it’s sparked a conversation about families. She knows she’s adopted, although we don’t use that term yet. When we read about Yoshi and Zena, she asked some questions about looking like your brother or sisters. She asked why her sister looks like her but Yoshi and Zena don’t look like each other.
As we carried on with the story, she asked quite a few questions about having two mummies or two daddies. We talked about all the different types of parents their could be. She’s seven and is starting to ask a lot more about her history, and about families in general.
Talking to children about subjects like diversity and inclusion from an early age, means that they grow up accepting and understanding everyone is different. I think this book covers those topics in a lovely, everyday way which is easy for children to understand. And the beautiful illustrations help to make the story relatable for children too.
Reading it is a good starting point to talk about all the different ways families are made up. And that love makes a family, not the way they came to be together. It’s an excellent tool to help children start discussions and learn that the world is made up of many different cultures, religions and family dynamics, without any stereotypes.
We really enjoyed reading it and I’m sure we’ll be reading it a lot with youngest too when she’s old enough.
You can buy “Erin & Roderick Discover Families” from the author’s website.