Nutmeg gets a little help cover

Nutmeg gets a little help


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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.

Nutmeg is now settled with his adoptive family but has questions which confuse and worry him. He needs to know why his birth parents couldn’t look after him and keep him safe. He gets a little help from Beth Badger, who uses various strategies to help Nutmeg understand and accept his past. The story explores and explains adoption support and direct work, including life story work, and how these can be helpful, and will be of use for children from a wide age range.

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 adoption support and/or direct work. 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 adoption support, direct work and life story work. 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.






‘Nutmeg Gets a Little Help’ is a very useful book for children who need to express their feelings about their birth family and their new adoptive family. Throughout the book Nutmeg explores feelings of sadness, anger and guilt. The story is warmly presented and illustrated for young children, and I feel it would be helpful for children who need to understand why they could not stay with their birth parents, and may have a negative sense of themselves. The easy to understand format should help troubled children to see it can be okay to express concerns and fears but still be safe.

Sue King, Adoption magazine, Adoption UK

The book and guidelines together provide a very useful tool for all those involved in the care of a child who has gone through the adoption process. Life story work is clearly explained so everyone involved can understand what it is hoped will be achieved. It is a very appealing book which will be extremely helpful for both children and their carers.

Karen Johns, nurse/health visitor, Community Practitioner magazine