Nutmeg gets a letter
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.
In this book Nutmeg’s birth mother usually sends him a letter for his birthday. This year, the letter is late and he is sad and worried. Through discussion with his friends, who have a range of different family situations, and his adoptive family, Nutmeg is helped to understand the effects that contact can have and the strong emotions it can arouse. This book will be helpful for children from a wide age range to explore contact and different family situations.
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 been adopted, and who are, or who may be, having contact. 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 contact and the emotions it can arouse. 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.
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.
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It focuses on contact in adoption and by introducing several other woodland creatures, each with different contact arrangements, the author is able to look at a number of different issues, not just ‘letterbox’ contact as suggested by the title. The illustrations are appealing and the text is child-friendly. I think that the book will be a good tool for parents. Included with the story is a useful paper for adults entitled ‘Contact issues and arrangements’. Altogether, I found the publication interesting, readable and appealing. It will be helpful to adults and children alike.
Alison Hatton, Adoption magazine, Adoption UK