Nutmeg gets cross cover

Nutmeg gets cross


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The popular Nutmeg children’s book series tells the story of a little squirrel, and his younger sister and brother. In the first book, Nutmeg gets adopted, the siblings had to leave their birth mother when she realises she cannot keep them safe, and are adopted.

As anyone involved knows, adoption has its highs and lows. In this story Nutmeg is angry that being adopted makes him “different”. He misses his birth family but is cross with them at the same time. He is being bullied at school and finds some changes confusing. This book will help children from a wide age range to recognise and understand their muddled emotions and learn to come to terms with how their situation can make them feel.

It is vital that people working with looked after and adopted children are aware of how they think and feel about their situation. 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 have recently been adopted, or who are finding their feelings difficult at any time. It will help them to make sense of their experiences and emotions.

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 the muddled feelings that adoption and a new family home can evoke. 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.

‘Poor Nutmeg! He felt so FRIGHTENED and then so CROSS that he ran upstairs and threw all his toys on the floor! Then he picked up his pet mouse and hugged him tightly! This morning his tummy had felt like hot squidgy water. Now it felt like a big cold stone. Poor Nutmeg!’


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.




Great book with amazing truth addressed directly with such sensitivity. I bought this book to help support a child with learning disability and medical issues to look at emotions and start life story work at a very low level.

Beverly Murphy, four stars,

A very good book for children who are adopted and experiencing feeling very angry but not really knowing why.

Eliza Lou, five stars,