Parents' Guide to

How to Code a Sandcastle

By Jan Carr, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 4+

Solid coding lessons fill fun tale of girl and her robot.

How to Code a Sandcastle Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

This sunny book delivers lots of fun along with its serious computer lesson: Coding's a day at the beach if you use it to build a sandcastle. How to Code a Sandcastle successfully introduces basic concepts by using coding language to demonstrate how to break a simple task into its component parts, which is a good life skill as well as a computer skill. Author Josh Funk includes plenty of humor. The main character's not daunted when a "flying saucer" (Frisbee) knocks over her castle, or when it gets an unintended moat (via dog pee). But the lessons aren't just breezy, they're solid, and the pages at the end explain the coding concepts of sequence, loop, and if-then-else more fully.

Illustrator Sara Palacios makes sure the crowd at this beach is racially diverse, with lots of African American beachgoers, and families that are racially mixed. Pearl, the narrator, is way cute in her heart sunglasses and springy pigtails, and Palacios cleverly works in illustrations of people absorbed in beach reading, with one newspaper sporting a propos headlines -- "Programmer fixes bug!" and "Memory leak disaster!" -- and a magazine with a photo of an African American subject. The lesson goes down as easily as a refreshing ice pop on a hot beach day, and it's just as welcome.

Book Details

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate