A Shelter for Sadness ISBN: 9781787417212
Published by Templar Books, 2021
In this sophisticated and very beautiful picture book, we meet a young boy who is seriously sad – about what, we are not told - but he is so very sad that he feels he must build a shelter for this being that has come to live with him. The shelter must have quite definite particulars: it must have space to do anything Sadness wants, make noise or sit quietly, run about or lie down, make itself big or very small. It also must have windows, either to look out from or to pull curtains over when darkness is needed. The shelter must be strong and warm against winter storms, but it also must have a garden for flowers and birds and autumn leaves. Sadness has a right to all this and anything it needs because only if we give it time and space within our shelter and visit it when necessary, will we get to the point where the visits will become less and the young lad and his sadness can walk out of the shelter together hand in hand. ‘I have built a good shelter for my Sadness and it is safe inside, and nobody will hurt it.’ There is so much here for all ages, so much wisdom, so much beauty in the illustrations, so many truths. It was inspired by the writing of Etty Hillesum, a Jewish victim of the Holocaust, who had her own Sadness to deal with and discovered within herself the answer to coping with it. Outstanding in every way.