The Copper Tree


The children in Copper Tree class are asked to visit the residents of Pine Lodge Care Home. They think up ideas of what they could do, including singing, dressing up and decorating the lounge.

There are lots of interesting characters in this story, as well as sensitive ways in which to help children understand how we are all different and to not just see people as "old", but appreciate the richness and stories of their lives.

Juno Magazine

I was very pleased to receive Hilary Robinson’s latest book 'Christmas Surprise'.  Hilary’s previous book The Copper Tree which I reviewed earlier in the year approached bereavement in the most sensitive, child friendly way and is a real gift.

Christmas Surprise is no less sensitive and this time approaches the very different topic of respect and friendship across generations.  The delightful Copper Tree class return and this time they are preparing for Christmas and are invited to visit the elderly people at the local care home. The children are encouraged to come up with ideas to help and entertain the residents and their suggestions include singing, decorating the lounge and dressing up in nativity costumes. The children are introduced to the people who live there and told some of their stories such as Violet Starr who use to be a singer and Mr Potts who use to be a gardener.

In a gentle child friendly manner this book teaches children that the elderly use to be young like them. It encourages kindness and promotes understanding even in the very young. ...

This is a thoughtful story about a class of young children who are invited to a local care home to help the elderly residents get ready for Christmas. Vibrant and colourful pictures are in tune with the words and the children experience that there is much more to this celebration than money can buy.

This title is the second in ‘The Copper Tree Class’ series and shows the children planning for and making a visit to the local care home at Christmas. One of the children, Rupal, has parents who work in the home and when her mother suggests the visit, the children are excited at the possibility. Everyone has good ideas about what to do and Alfie Tate, the class character, even comes up with a real donkey to take along. We see interaction between the old and young in completely natural ways and the enjoyment of the occasion is mutual. My only caveat is that the supposed ‘retired’ working dogs (two huskies and a Labrador) that live in the care home appear to be puppies! Other than that, the pictures are a jolly amalgam of messy school life, chubby, cheerful children, bright colour, and happiness. This cheerful book will certainly encourage the understanding of the elderly by the very young.