It’s paperback publication day for The Perfect Shelter by Clare Helen Welsh and Åsa Gilland. I heard SO many good things about this book and they were all true! This beautiful book about childhood cancer and the bond between sisters pulls at the heart strings.
The story is told in first person through the eyes of a little girl who is building a shelter with her sister. It is the perfect day. We loved the beautiful illustration of the multi-ethnic family making a den.
But then the little girls starts to realise something isn’t quite right, and she’s told that her sister is sick. The weather turns, a river of rain fall, a metaphor for how the little girl is feeling. But that’s not enough to destroy the sister’s den.
As her sister’s treatments intensify, so does the little girl’s anxiety. A storm rages and the shelter they built together falls down. Åsa’s illustrations are captivating and pull you into the story.
But her brave big sister has an idea, of how they can build the perfect shelter together. I love the use of the weather and shelter to express the little girl’s feelings. It makes this challenging topic accessible to young children.
The Perfect Shelter has an honesty and authenticity that makes it incredibly powerful to both child and adult readers. Clare and Åsa have perfectly balanced tear-jerking moments with joyful, heart-warming den-building. This would be a brilliant book to share with a child who is living with a loved one who is unwell. You can read an interview by Clare about this inspiration behind this book via Ivy’s Library and also learn about her childhood adventures den building in this lovely guest post via The Picture Book Box.
Published by Little Tiger Press, 13 May 2021
I am very grateful to the publisher for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book. This voluntary review contains my honest opinion.