Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk

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Title: How to Code a Sandcastle

Author: Josh Funk

Illustrator: Sara Palacios

Published: May 15, 2018

Theme: Coding and STEAM

Character Origin: Human and Robot

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 44

Ages: 4-8 | Book Level: 2.7 | Lexile Measure: AD530L   

Synopsis: All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend Pascal have one last chance, and this time, they’re going to use code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding concepts like sequences and loops, Pearl and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever!

With renowned computer science nonprofit Girls Who Code, Josh Funk and Sara Palacios use humor, relatable situations, and bright artwork to introduce kids to the fun of coding.

My thoughts…

There are so many things to love about this book. Where should I start? I have a soft spot for girls in STEAM. There aren’t enough and we need to change that. I totally LOVE that Pearl is a girl of color and uses coding to solve her problem. I also LOVE the diversity among the characters. Funk does a phenomenal job detailing some basic coding instructions. The language is easy to understand and is applied in a logical manner. The coding guide at the end is a great resource and reinforces what you learned in the book.

Palacios’ illustrations and Funk’s text were a beautiful collaboration. The imagery was bright and engaging. I like how the problems are highlighted at the top of the page and solved by giving Pascal simple coding instructions to execute. This was such a refreshing book to read as there aren’t many STEAM books (highlighting girls) in the picture book genre but this trend seems to be changing. Hopefully, young girls will read this and know that they have the skills to be just like Pearl.

This story demonstrates that girls can do some really cool stuff. Girls can code, construct, and design. Their creativity is endless. You should definitely add this to your bookshelf. Stellar job once again by Josh Funk!

My rating…