How To Code a Sandcastle

12 Jul

How to Code a Sandcastle.jpgSynopsis: “From the computer science nonprofit Girls Who Code comes this lively and funny story introducing kids to computer coding concepts.

Pearl and her trusty rust-proof robot, Pascal, need to build a sandcastle before summer vacation is over, and they’re going to do it using code. Pearl breaks the big we-need-a-sandcastle problem into smaller steps, then uses conditionals, loops, and other basic coding concepts to tell Pascal exactly what to do. But building a sandcastle isn’t as easy as it sounds when surfboards, mischievous dogs, and coding mishaps get in the way! Just when it looks like the sandcastle might never work, Pearl uses her coding skills to save the day and create something even better: a gorgeous sandcastle kingdom!” (Taken from Goodreads)

Review: Where do I begin? Combine the basics of computer coding with a rust-proof robot named Pascal and a girl who has big plans to build the perfect sandcastle and you’ve got How To Code a Sandcastle. I loved this book cover-to-cover – with a diverse main character (and a girl) talking about coding, plus the most basic explanation of how coding works, this is the perfect STEM title for summer. I really enjoyed how each step was broken down and how Pearl not only explained coding to the reader, but also to her robot. You can easily pair this fun read aloud with some basic coding apps on a tablet and let your little one learn how to not only play computer games, but create them as well! Josh Funk is the perfect person to write this awesome book, not only does he write AMAZING picture books, but he’s also a software engineer during the day which means he’s qualified to write a book about a topic that can be difficult to teach and he does it in an easy-to-understand way that makes computer science accessible to young kids. And before I babble on much longer, I’m off to go build a sandcastle with my two-year-old nephew, I might need Pascal’s help!

Twitter Booktalk (280ish characters or less): Join Pearl as she strives to build the perfect sandcastle with the help of her rust-proof robot, Pascal. Learn along with Pascal as Pearl uses computer code to instruct the robot exactly how to build a sandcastle and problem solve along the way!

Title: How to Code a Sandcastle
Author: Josh Funk
Illustrator: Sara Palacios
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Page Number: 44 pgs.


2 Responses to “How To Code a Sandcastle”

  1. Kristin July 16, 2018 at 3:54 pm #

    Sooo do you have any recs for coding websites appropriate for a 7-year-old? I’m thinking of finding this book for my daughter but as soon as she reads it she’s going to ask to be able to code (they did a bit in school last year and she loved it) – and I am NOT computer savvy.

    • literacious July 16, 2018 at 4:49 pm #

      That’s awesome! Check out ( a nonprofit that a lot of schools partner with), Girls Who Code (, and Blockly Games ( But if you can download free apps on a tablet – definitely check out Daisy the Dinosaur (perfect for a 7-year-old) and Hopscotch. There are also some cool activities that she can do without a computer that teaches coding, just search online for “coding without technology”. Have fun!

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