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Get into the Spirit of Christmas! The children of Copper Tree class are getting ready for Christmas when an invitation arrives to visit the residents of the Pine Lodge care home. The children think of all the different things they like to do that might entertain the old people and have a very happy day out spent singing, storytelling, putting up home-made decorations and dressing up. It’s a lovely story, guaranteed to bring a smile to everyone’s face – cheeky Alfie Tate even finds a donkey to take! It also gently teaches children about the elderly, and shows them that the different generations have got much more in common than they might have thought. ~ Andrea Reece Author Hilary Robinson says “Christmas Surprise is a great way to encourage children to consider and have fun with the elderly people in their lives. Their grandparents or elderly neighbours and friends were all young once, and often have a wealth of knowledge and fascinating life stories to impart. In the spirit of Christmas this book does just that! The book is also a gentle reminder that as much pleasure can be gained from giving as well as receiving.”
This excellent picture book deals sensitively and truthfully with the subject of bereavement. When their teacher Miss Evans isn’t well and can’t come to school, her class maker her a get well card, even Alfie Tate who’s nearly always causing trouble. She comes to see their play and though she’s lost her hair and has to use a wheelchair, she smiles all the time. Not long after that, another teacher Mr Davis tells them that Miss Evans has died. It’s alright to feel sad, he says, or angry. The children make remember notes and transfer them onto copper leaves for a copper tree dedicated to Miss Evans. The leaves are bright and beautiful in the sunshine, just like she was. A gentle way of showing how memories remain to comfort and console. ~ Andrea Reece ‘The narrative positively and directly addresses the simple needs of young children exploring these feelings of grief and loss for possibly the first time. I loved this book and whole heartedly commend its use especially for those situations when books about ‘Feelings and colours’ are simply not enough. This book is not a panacea but it delivers a very useful tool for grief with children, simply, safely and without trauma. It is also a really good read’ - Revd Dr Paul Fitzpatrick BA MTh PGCE FHEA PhD, Lead Lecturer for Bereavement, Grief and Loss, Cardiff Metropolitan University
Written and illustrated with warmth, humour and sensitivity, this excellent book, part of the Copper Tree Class series, tackles the subject of family break-up. Hana is confused and upset because her parents are going to live separately, and all the children in class notice how sad she is. Their teacher Mr Davis finds a way to explain the situation to her – and to readers – in a way that shows clearly that it’s not her fault, and that life will get better. He uses sunflower seeds too to show that Hana will grow and be happy, and find her place in the world no matter what. It’s a clever, reassuring way of talking about a subject relevant to very many children. ~ Andrea Reece
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