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The Perfect Shelter

A powerfully told story from Clare Helen Welsh and Asa Gilland that explores the emotions we feel when someone we love is battling a serious illness.

At first, nobody knew. It seemed as if today would be like yesterday forever, the perfect day to build a shelter in the woods. Then, my sister changed – she was more tired than before. More quiet. When we learn that she is sick, really sick, it feels as though a storm has engulfed our whole family. But, we will ride out this storm. And though today may be different from yesterday, today is the perfect day to build a shelter, together.

A heartwarming book that sensitively tackles the tough subject of illness with authentic and empathetic tenderness. Much like Michael Rosen’s Sad Book , A Shelter for Sadness or The Building Boy , The Perfect Shelter offers children a way to understand and articulate complex, often overwhelming, emotions.

Our Review Panel says...

This was a moving story dealing with the serious illness of a sibling. While the little girl felt a whole array of feelings that could be associated with this experience, the shelter became a symbol that needed repairing for everything to be OK while the weather tried to tear it down. The combination of the weather, the shelter and the little girl’s feelings merge brilliantly in this book, all reflecting the turbulent time that the characters were experiencing. The bright, colourful pictures perfectly illustrated the happy times of den building and the love and hope felt between the characters, while the images of the darker weather showed the fear and sadness of the family situation. I thought it was great that the characters were not named; they could reflect any child going through this experience…

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