This inter-racial family share idyllic days together while the two little girls make a shelter in the woods. ‘We sang as we worked and we worked as we sang…It’s the perfect, perfect shelter.’ But then something goes wrong. The older child isn’t well, and no one knows why. At the same time, the shelter is damaged by wind. When the younger girl, who tells the story, is finally told that her sister is seriously ill and must have an operation, she is very worried indeed. And the shelter needs fixing too. Visiting the hospital is hard: ‘Why can’t she come home? Why MY sister?’ And then a storm destroys the shelter – unimportant because it is her sister that is important now. When sister is some better, the younger one tells her all about the destruction of their shelter, and they decide to build a new one right then and there, in the hospital out of sheets and blankets: ‘It’s the perfect, perfect shelter’, they sing, and then they make plans to go back and re-build their shelter in the woods ‘to ride out the toughest storms’. But, they also know that today is a perfect day for all the family to be together. The disintegration of the shelter and the possible disintegration of a happy family are in obvious parallel, and the fact that the shelter can be re-built anywhere becomes the hope that the family, in whatever context, will be re-built as well. The text is lyrical, and the pictures expressive and full of family love. The illness may be cancer, but this isn’t mentioned, and whatever it is, the implications are that only time will tell the outcome. Moving and delicate, with just the right amount of information, this story should supply hope along with truth.
https://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/the-perfect-shelter.jpg 500 439 bookskeeps http://booksforkeeps.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/12/bfklogo.png bookskeeps2020-07-01 14:31:002021-02-25 14:33:20The Perfect Shelter
Illustrator: Åsa Gilland