The Tide by Clare Helen Welsh & Ashling Lindsay

The Tide is a beautifully illustrated story that uses the imagery of the tide going in and out to convey and explain Grandad’s dementia – sometimes the tide is in, sometimes it is out. Some days Grandad has clearer memories than others.

The Tide - Story Snug

The Story: A little girl explains that Grandad often forgets things and sometimes gets confused. As she plays with Grandad on the beach some of his actions are a little odd. The girl equates Grandad’s actions to some of her own experiences in which she forgets things and worries about what happens if Grandad forgets who she is.

The girl’s experience is a familiar one, playing on the beach with a parent and a grandparent. But some things aren’t quite as they should be – where have the sandwiches gone?

Mummy explains to the girl that Grandad loves her but sometimes gets confused. Despite Grandad’s periodic confusion the three of them have a wonderful day together then spend a cosy evening talking about what they have done.

Ashling Lindsay’s illustrations are absolutely beautiful, they fill each page with earthy pastel colours and little details and they portray a sense of close, comforting family relationships and trust. We love the picture of Grandad giving the little girl a piggyback and this beautiful image of them eating ice cream as the sun sets.

There are so many wonderful little details in the illustrations. We love the way that Ashling has captured the essence of a summer’s day at the beach – a picnic on the sand, paddling in rockpools, making sandcastles and splashing in the sea. But one of our favourite details is in the final spread – Grandad and the little girl are wearing matching bunny slippers 🙂

Sadly many of us have experience of family and friends with dementia and it is difficult to explain the condition to young children. Clare’s text has sensitively introduced and explained dementia against the backdrop of a familiar situation and in a way that a child can understand. It really is a beautiful book to introduce the concept of dementia to a child.

Age Range: 3 +

Author: Clare Helen Welsh / Illustrator: Ashling Lindsay

Thank you to Little Tiger Press for sending a review copy of this beautiful book.

12 thoughts on “The Tide by Clare Helen Welsh & Ashling Lindsay

    • Well written picture books can do a really great job of helping children to understand difficult situations and the emotions that accompany them.

  1. My father-in-law is in the early stages. I’m glad KayCee and Ella are old enough now to understand what’s going on. This sounds like a wonderful book for younger children.

    • So sorry to hear about your father-in-law. It’s hard for us at any age to understand dementia, especially hard to watch a loved one with the condition.

  2. This sounds absolutely lovely. What a wonderful way to explain to children what a grandparent may be going through.

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