Supporting Children After a Crime – Book Review and Giveaway

by thenibecamemum

I have posted previously about the importance of reading from a young age so it won’t be a surprise to you that we love a good book in our household! However, Who’s Been in Our Tree is not just another story, it is a toolkit for supporting children after a crime, particularly burglary!

Who’s Been in Our Tree was written by Diana Batchelor, an experienced practitioner and researcher in the field of criminal justice, with advice from a Clinical Psychologist. After a request from a child, who had been a victim of burglary, she set about writing a book to give children and parents practical advice in the aftermath of experiencing a crime.

Who's been in our tree Book blurb

Story Summary

The book introduces us to four characters: Fox, Hedgehog, Badger and Squirrel. After returning home one day, they realise their tree has been burgled. We follow the characters going through the motions of discovering their things have gone, and the reaction and aftermath of the crime.

The Book

My first reaction to the book was just how accessible the story is. The language is simple and easy for younger children to read. It also doesn’t divert from the point of the story with unnecessary detail which is exactly what children need. Instead, it offers children a story which has factual and useful information. For example, it talks about the birds (the police) visiting which would reassure children that this was common practice after a crime.

What I really like about the book is how each of the characters have a different reaction to the crime. This shows children that people react to crime in lots of different ways – anger, fear, etc. It then shows each character’s ‘plan’ which is a really nice way to introduce coping strategies.

Supporting children after a crime

Another important thing the book does is set expectations. Sometimes children (and adults!) expect things to change overnight. The book explains how it took several days for characters’ ‘strange feelings’ to go away. It helps to reassure children that this is perfectly normal and they need to give it time. It’s a great talking point for parents!

However, the thing I absolutely love about this book is how diverse it is. Although the book was created for supporting children after a crime, the strategies introduced in the book can be applied to so many different situations. It can help children cope with emotions in other areas of their life and offers the children a strategy to do so.


As each character reacts differently to the crime, there are plenty of activities for children to complete.

One of these activities is the ‘My Favourite Things’ bag. The ‘My Favourite Things’ bag is first introduced in the story as something that has been stolen with all of their memories and feelings in. The characters soon realise that the bag can’t be stolen (I love this metaphor!). At the end of the book, the reader is given an opportunity to create their own bag. They can put their own feelings, memories and other important things into it which is a fantastic way to get children to open up.

Another activity worth mentioning is the Flippety Floppety Rabbit technique. The idea is that you tense your muscles and then relax them like a ‘Flippety Floppety Rabbit’. For those of you who are regulars to the blog, you will know that I suffer from night terrors. I swear by this relaxation exercise and I love that the book has simplified it into child friendly language. This is a perfect example of how the strategies can be used in other situations.

Support child after a crime

There are also pages dedicated to the children making their own plan (like the characters did) which gives the children ownership of their situation. The children are asked questions to allow them to plan step by step. I think that in a situation such as experiencing crime, it’s important to give control back to children so they can do through their plan.

coping with children after burglary

Adult Guidance

The final pages of the book are dedicated to the parent. As parents, we don’t always know what to say in situations or sometimes, we completely miss that there is anything wrong. These pages help parents to identify any changes in their child’s behaviour and help them to become more understanding to their child’s feelings.

Help children after crime

Final Thoughts

If you hadn’t already guessed, I really love this book!

As an educator, I can see the benefits this book will have and how the activities can help in other situations I encounter when emotions run high. That’s why the book now takes pride of place on my bookshelf in the classroom!

From a parent’s point of view, the book is ideal for supporting children after a crime and helping them come to terms with it. It’s child friendly, offers practical and realistic activities and best of all, it’s a lovely story. I highly recommend it!

To purchase the book online here or read more about it at

**Disclaimer: I received the book free for an honest review. All opinions and words are my own.

I’ve been offered a second book to give away to one of my readers. All you have to do is complete the Rafflecopter below. All entry methods are optional but remember, the more you complete, the better chance you have of winning!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Terms & Conditions
Prize = 1 x Who’s Been in Our Tree paperback book
UK only.
Ends: 11:59pm 30th September
All entries will be checked and any not completed fully will be disqualified.
A winners will be chosen and announced on this page.
If the winner does not respond within 7 days then a new winner will be selected.
Then I Became Mum is not responsible for the delivery of the prize.
The prize will be supplied by the author.
By entering the giveaway you are consenting to your email being passed to the sponsor for the purpose of organising delivery of your prize only.

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