BOOK BLOG: Clare Helen Welsh

The Tide: an incredibly poignant story that made me BAWL

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“A young girl loves her grandpa so much! When they spend the day at the beach, she holds his hand as they go for a walk, and they build sand castles together. But sometimes, its difficult, because Grandpa has become forgetful. Grandpa’s memories are like the tide, Mommy explains. Sometimes, they’re near and full of life. Other times, they’re distant and quiet.”

The Tide was sent to me recently by the publishers, and it’s one of those picture books that I think will stick with me for a long time

The Tide tells the story of a little girl whose grandad often forgets things and gets confused. As they go about their days, the things he does are odd and the little girl tries to understand what’s going on… she tries to make comparisons between her actions and those of her grandad (she talks about forgetting things herself). You see the little girl worry about what will happen if Grandad forgets about her too. The girl’s mum tries to explain to her that Grandad loves her, but is just forgetful. 

This book is one of those really gentle stories that comes out of left field and just kicks you in the face. It’s so beautifully illustrated by Ashling Lindsay and the pictures add so much to the story. There’s a wonderfully calm sense to this book. A calm, loving nature (just like that of Grandad and mam).

There’s so much to talk about in this story and I reckon this is a book that would be useful in every classroom/home, regardless of the age of the children. The concept of the tide and Grandad’s memory is a lovely one. This book could open up lots of talking points for children, or could be used to support children who are going through a similar situation to the little girl. It’s done so beautifully. 

I cried a LOT when I finished this book. Just incredible.

A massive thank you to the brilliant Little Tiger for sending me a copy of this book. It’s going onto my shelves in my classroom as soon as I’m allowed in my classroom! 

S x

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