Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary
Author: Clare Helen Welsh
Illustrator: Ashling Lindsay
Publisher: Tiger Tales
A young girl reminisces on the day she went to the beach with her Grandpa and watched the tide come in. Grandpa forgets a lot of things, and it can be embarrassing or even scary. What if Grandpa forgets her? But as her mother gently reminds her, Grandpa’s memories are like the tide they watched together at the beach: sometimes they’re “near and full of life,” and other times they’re “distant and quiet.” That’s why they reminisce together, so both the girl and Grandpa can be reminded of the wonderful memories they share. No matter what happens to her Grandpa’s memory, the young girl knows that she loves him and that he will always love her.
Using colorfully illustrated pages and few words, The Tide describes what many children may face in their lifetime: a relative or close friend with dementia, who makes embarrassing mistakes or forgets important memories. By telling the story from the perspective of a young girl, children reading this book can feel as though they are not alone in being frustrated by or afraid of the fading memories of their older friends and family members. Instead, they are reminded that no matter what happens, they will always love their grandparents and friends and be loved by them. This idea is tied together by the overarching simile of a tide rolling in, used both in describing a happy event for the young girl and her Grandpa and as an example of the memories people experience as they age. This beautiful comparison helps children to understand the phenomenon in a simple and clear way.