A palliative care counsellor developed a workbook for use by children aged 5 to 14 years visiting a loved one in a hospice. This article reports the findings of a small qualitative pilot study exploring how children used the workbook, their views on it and the views of their families and hospice staff. The seven children in the study all enjoyed having the workbook. It provided opportunities for them to interact and build relationships with the staff and to become more involved in their visits to the hospice. Nurses and staff thought the workbook had the potential to help nurses and parents respond to questions or to stimulate discussion. Children used the workbook in different ways, highlighting the need for a flexible approach. It is essential when using such a tool that individual and family needs are respected. The study also raised issues regarding the need for training and emotional support for staff.