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Reviewed by Nicholus Schroeder for Readers' Favorite
Erin, Roderick, and the Diffability Bunch, written by Fliss Goldsmith and illustrated by Ian R. Ward, is the second book of the Erin & Roderick book series. It details the lives of a unique group of children who have some form of disability. Erin has a broken leg that will heal, but because it’s a sports day and she can’t participate, she feels disabled. So she watches from the sidelines as her friends compete in the obstacle race, basketball, and other various activities. Each of her friends has a disability, such as Ryan, who has Down Syndrome. Ryan grows at a slower rate and has trouble adjusting to sudden changes. When the whistle used to start his race is missing, it puts everyone on edge. Erin and her friends decide to help Ryan, and they come up with an ideal solution.
With friendship at the core of this storybook, Erin, Roderick, and the Diffability Bunch is a tale of overcoming weaknesses. The children do not treat each other differently, and the adults do not show prejudice. Mr. Patwari searching for the whistle to help Ryan perform his best is an admirable act of compassion. I loved how the illustrations by Ian R. Ward are detailed and bursting with color. The pictures portray the emotions of the characters beautifully. With its informative facts about the disabilities mentioned in the story, I appreciated the Let’s Talk About It section at the end of the book. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Erin and her friends in the heartwarming story Erin, Roderick, and the Diffability Bunch by Fliss Goldsmith.