Written by Céline Claire, with illustrations by Qin Leng, Shelter is the story of an animal community as the families within it prepare for a coming winter storm. Published by Kids Can Press, the narrative follows the close-knit families as they gather food and bunker down to ride out the harsh weather in their homes.

As the storm begins to worsen, the families are each approached by two strangers at their door asking for help; a plea they all turn away except for the young fox. The story concludes with the strangers helping the fox family after their den collapses under the weight of the snow.

Soon the ground is blanketed in soft white snow. Big Brother and Little Brother look at each other and smile. They will be just fine.

Shelter is a story about community, acceptance, and generosity. Claire shows the reader how different family groups work together, despite their varied animal heritage and counters that togetherness by introducing outsiders to the neighbourhood who reject them. The narrative does an excellent job of explaining complex subjects to young children.

The illustrations in Shelter are exceptional as Leng uses her unique style to add charm and warmth to the pages. The windswept art lends itself perfectly to the forest setting, offering readers a glimpse into the wild, yet calming atmosphere surrounding them.

Reading a story like Shelter to children is an excellent way to open up conversations about accepting others, helping people in need, and selfless giving. This book is a beautiful story to share with young readers, cuddled up close on a warm winter’s night.

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