FLORENCE — When Abigail Williams’ dad deployed, she was lost without her best friend. So, her grandparents sewed the 10-year-old a dinosaur costume, which goes with her everywhere.
“Her dad is in the Army,” said Williams’ grandmother, Patricia Beth Rodgers. “She needs a buddy while he’s gone.”
After seeing the effect the deployment had on her granddaughter, Rodgers wrote a children’s book, “Abigail & Rumpus (The Green Dinosaur).” In the book, Abigail and the dinosaur go on adventures together during her dad’s deployment.
The two share a special bond and the dinosaur has a deep voice only Abigail can hear. Like the book’s character, Rodgers said Abigail, who is hard of hearing, finds comfort in her dinosaur and having a buddy she can talk to.
Rodgers said she hopes the book helps other special-needs children the way the dinosaur helps Abigail.
“They’re kind of shut out from the world,” Rodgers said. “(Abigail) is kind of a loner, not because she wants to be, but because she doesn’t know what’s going on around her.”
Rodgers also hopes the book gives families ideas about other ways to help their children cope with the difficulties of deployments.
“I think the book does what I wanted it to do,” she said.