Written by Clare Helen Welsh, Illustrated by Åsa Gilland
Published by Little Tiger

This blog feature was created because of books like The Perfect Shelter. I adore picture books and celebrate them widely, but every so often a book comes along that is special, that burrows into your heart and let’s your spirit soar.

Whether it is the overriding message, the powerful illustrations or the perfect match of both, these books become my favourites. They are shared, celebrated and revered.

The Perfect Shelter is gloriously illustrated in soft tones, designed with stunning garden images and soft family moments. The love within the family is intense and perfect. It leaps off the pages. The relationship between the sisters is heartfelt and adoring.

With some repetitive text and the change in seasons, the sisters continue to work together to build “the perfect, perfect shelter”. When the older sister gets ill and spends time in hospital, the younger sister is bereft and like their den, destroyed.

With more seasonal changes, the lives of the family are changed and they adapt as they can. Instead of feeling sad and worried, the sisters realise the perfect den can be built anywhere as long as the sisters are together…even in hospital rooms.

My favourite line from the story is “Now we make plans to go back to the woods to ride out the toughest storms.” So much meaning conveyed within a simple statement. Their love and special time together, though difficult at the moment, will brave the toughest storms.

The sheer beauty of the words and illustrations makes this a powerful picture book.

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