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 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.


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12 responses to “The Tide by Clare Helen Welsh & Ashling Lindsay”


  1. sarahmo3w avatar
    sarahmo3w

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


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is, the topic of dementia is dealt with in a very sensitive way.


  2. shelllouiseblog avatar

    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.


    1. Catherine avatar

      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.


  3. Chantelle Hazelden (@MamaMummyMum) avatar

    This seems like quite an emotional book for such a simple looking story. My nana suffers with dementia and alzheimer’s so I find this book quite touching #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

      Sorry to hear about your nana Chantelle, maybe this book can help your younger children understand her condition.


  4. mumjd avatar

    It is a difficult concept for children to grasp. So this is a wonderful idea for a book #readwithme


    1. Catherine avatar

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


  5. Kim Carberry avatar

    What a beautiful looking book about such an important subject too. x


    1. Catherine avatar

      It’s gorgeous, Ashling Lindsay’s illustrations are stunningly beautiful!


  6. Jayne @ Sticky Mud and Belly Laughs avatar

    What a beautiful book. So many families are dealing with dementia and to be able to educate little ones so that they can understand is totally amazing. x #MMBC


    1. Catherine avatar

      It is beautiful and educating children about dementia is done really sensitively.

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