Help A Hamster: A Gentle Introduction To Adoption
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Author: Hilary Robinson
Illustrator: Mandy Stanley
Publisher: Strauss House Productions
How this book might help: Encourages children to think about adoption, blended families and attachment through the parallel stories of the little boy Alfie, whose mother gave him up for adoption, and the baby hamster, Alfonzo, who is rejected by his mother and litter-mates.
When Henry the hamster arrives back at school after the holidays having given birth to four babies, all the members of Copper Tree Class are excited, but one baby hamster is neglected by his mother and unhappy. Alfie, who was adopted at three years old, names the hamster Alfonzo and takes a particular interest in his welfare. The class set about finding homes for the baby hamsters, but they can’t find a home for Alfonzo, until Alfie’s Mum decides he can come and live with them. Soft pencil and watercolour illustrations create a gentle and comforting atmosphere in which children can explore ideas of love, family and belonging.
Reviewed by: Sarah Mohammed-Coleman