Help a Hamster-Book Review


Hilary Robinson’s new picture book came out in August and I an very proud to endorse the title  and recommend this series as a whole. All the titles in the Copper Tree class series approach a sensitive and topical issue from a child’s point of view. The first book in the series The Copper Tree tells the story of the class teacher’s death, the children’s emotions and how they choose to remember her by creating a very special tree.  It is an incredibly sensitive and moving  book and you can read my full review here.

The next title in the series Christmas Surprise takes the very different topic of understanding between generations.  The story is set around a visit to a care home where the children learn about what the residents did when they were younger and also perform a Christmas play. The book emphasizes the relationship between the young and old. Full review here.


And so to the  latest title Help a Hamster. The book  is a gentle introduction to the issue of adoption.
Henry the class hamster is pregnant and the class with Alfie leading set about finding a new home for the baby hamsters. Alfie’s own story of his adoption is gently woven into the narrative as Alfie mentions his life book,  his adopted parents and birth mother. This builds  a sensitive parallel with story of Alfonso the baby hamster.


The beautiful illustrations by Mandy Staunton brings the story together perfectly, giving it a extra layer.
I watch in anticipation as Hilary and Mandy take each issue that young children may come across and create picture books which deal so sensitively and intelligently with each one. The books do not talk down to children nor do they use difficult language. Instead they contain bright coloured pictures and child friendly language. As always I look forward to Hilary and Mandy’s next title.

As it is National Adoption Week I leave you with some useful resources on adoption and fostering as well as some other children’s books which cover the issue.

National Adoption Week – Children’s Zone. Includes a video about three different children’s experience of adoption within the same family.

Letterbox Library -Fostering and Adoption  – Some titles related to adoption and fostering from Letterbox Library.

Motherbridge of Love – This stunning book  from Barefoot is based on an anonymous poem between the an adopted child and her parents.  Please note this is an affiliate link but I recommend it because I am completely in love with the book and the art work.

BAAF  Bookshop (British Association for Adoption & Fostering ) a huge range of titles, publications and advice on all issues related to adoption and fostering. Also the main BAAF website 

These are just a few resources so if you know of any others please get in touch and I will add them to the list.