Reviews /

Valentine’s Guest House

Authored by Sam Sharland
Illustrated by Sam Sharland
Published by Child's Play International Ltd

Valentine’s Guest House: A bit like the sequel to The Tiger Who Came to Tea, this story imagines what would happen if a tiger came to stay!

Elsie and Mum run Valentine’s Guest House and everyone is welcome. Elsie proves to be helpful, kind and thoughtful for each guest, even the tiger who comes to stay and needs a bed. When the rest of the guests decide the tiger is not safe, he finds himself the only guest left.

Tiger decides to entice others to stay and after some waiting, new guests arrive, each with special wants and needs for their stay- from a sand bed to cold baths and extra head room. Elsie and her mum modify, alter and welcome all who want to stay- no one is refused and the adjustments made fit anyone who comes knocking.

What a wonderful story celebrating diversity and inclusivity! Each guest that arrives is given the VIP treatment by Elsie and Mum, both wearing big smiles and friendly expressions. What better welcome is there for a guest house than to feel wanted, appreciated and understood.

Early Years and KS1 classes reading this story can imagine what animals might come to stay, how their rooms might look and what special needs they might have for Elsie and Mum. Maybe they need a burrow, a hammock or a nest. Perhaps extra wide doors or taller ceilings. I know the children would create an eclectic array of guest rooms ready to welcome anyone in the world- both human and animal.

A simple story that will inspire kindness, understanding and empathy. The illustrations are whimsical and a touch magical, ensuring imaginations are sparked.