Nutmeg gets adopted cover

Nutmeg gets adopted


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This popular children’s book tells the story of Nutmeg, a little squirrel, and his younger sister and brother. The siblings go to live with foster carers, and are then adopted, after their birth mother realises that she cannot keep them safe.

One of the most traumatic things to happen to a child is to lose or be separated from his or her primary parent – usually their mother. Nutmeg gets adopted will encourage children from a wide age range, in a similar situation, to explore their own stories and understand some of the very painful memories they will have of their early life.

It is vital that people working with looked after and adopted children are aware of their histories and moves. Talking about characters in stories can help children to think and talk safely about their own sad, angry and frightened feelings.

Who is this book for?

This book is ideal for young children who are waiting for an adoptive family, or were recently placed in one. It will help them to make sense of their experiences and to realise that what went wrong in their birth family was not their fault.

The book is intended to be read to or with children by their own social worker, their current carers or their adoptive parents.

What you will find in this book

The book offers a practical way to help children explore and understand some of the very painful memories they will have of their early life. It can be used simply as a story, but also as a workbook and a tool for therapy, suitable for use with children of different ages.

Practice guidelines (which can be removed from the book) offer suggestions and triggers for further discussion which can be developed to suit the needs of each child.

Beth Badger thought very hard. She looked carefully at Mummy Holly. “You love your little squirrels,” she said, “but you can’t look after them. Do you want me to find a warm nest for them with two squirrels who will look after them and love them and keep them safe?”'


Judith Foxon is an adoption worker and has many years’ experience in recruiting and preparing families for children of all ages and of direct work with children. As an adoptive parent and foster carer herself, she is committed to developing better ways of helping families to communicate with and support their children.


Sarah Rawlings' illustrations were inspired by originals first drawn by Jessica, a young friend of the author’s. Jessica, who is adopted, helped bring the project to life with her charming and colourful illustrations. She shared her original illustrations and the ideas behind them with Sarah.






Very impressed with these books. Bought them as a present for my foster child as an adoption gift so his new mummy and daddy can read them to him when he gets a little older. Well written and very suitable for young children. I read them first to make sure they were okay and enjoyed the story.

Sylvia Heaven, five stars,

We read this with our two when they arrived (age 3 and 5) and it is lovely. They recognised the animals in their lives which helped with their understanding. We gave it to the foster carers as we no longer needed it and they have used it with all the kids who have new families.

New Mum, five stars,