How To Code A Sandcastle (Josh Funk)

Hello, friends! Our book today is How To Code A Sandcastle, written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Sara Palacios, a wonderful introduction to computer language as part of Girls Who Code’s book series.

Pearl is excited: today is the last day of summer, and her last opportunity to build the sandcastle of her dreams. She’s tried before, but various frisbee-, surfboard-, and dog-related incidents have impeded her work. But today, she’s brought her trusty robot Pascal to help her. Pearl expects that Pascal will be a very helpful addition, but she has to give him instructions in “code” – specific programming language that machines understand. Using methods such as detailed instructions for finding a site, using a looped sequence for gathering sand, and an IF-THEN-ELSE for finding decorations, Pearl and Pascal are able to create a lovely sandcastle. But when they are gathering the finishing touches, high tide sneaks up and washes away their work! Pearl is momentarily dispirited, but she quickly has a flash of inspiration: building a moat will protect the castle! So using her recycled code from the first castle and a new command for moat-building, Pearl and Pascal set their sights on not just one castle, but a whole sand kingdom.

LOVED this! What a clever and fun way to introduce the language of computer science to little readers. The way the basic concepts are translated into child-friendly examples is inspired, with an appendix that goes into the commands with more detail. The illustrations are fun, bright, and fit the tone and subject matter perfectly. And I especially loved that, as a book that encourages ALL kids to explore computer science, Pearl is not only a girl but a POC as well. The length is great, JJ loved it, and this one was just wonderful! Baby Bookworm approved!

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