Wednesday, 26 June 2019

"The Tide" by Clare Helen Welsh and Ashling Lindsay (Little Tiger)

We're horribly late to the party with this one but after tracking down our lost copy (post office had somehow managed to lose it down the back of the sofa) we're glad to be all caught up with one of the most powerful and impressive books about dementia that we've ever had the good fortune to read as part of this blog.

"The Tide" by Clare Helen Welsh and Ashling Lindsay taps into this tricky and difficult to describe subject with aplomb.

It beautifully describes the fantastic relationship between a grandpa and his grand-daughter. They love spending time together, particularly at the beach.

The little girl always feels safe with grandpa as he holds her hand, splashing through the tide or when they make sandcastles. But the little girl senses that there's something wrong. Sometimes Grandpa forgets things - even her name.

The little girl's mummy explains that poor Grandpa's memory isn't what it once was, sometimes things get jumbled up - and just like the ebb and flow of the tide, Grandpa's memories come and go - and sometimes they're distant and quiet, and sometimes they're near and full of life.

Where the book wins out is in the delicate way it describes not just what it's like to live with Alzheimers, but simple things that families - and in particular children or grandchildren - can do to make life a little easier for those who suffer from this horrendous disease.

As a family who have had first hand experience of Alzheimers ourselves (several times, in fact), and the effect it has on everyone, we really thought this was one of the most sensitive and thought-provoking children's books dealing with the subject, through a truly touching and beautifully observed story about cross-generational relationships between grandparents and their grandkids.

Sum this book up in a sentence: Quite rightly being celebrated as one of the best children's books ever written on the subject of Alzheimers, with the most amazing illustrations helping to reinforce the touching and sensitively handled story.

"The Tide" by Clare Helen Welsh and Ashling Lindsay is out now, published by Little Tiger Press (kindly supplied for review)