How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk ; illustrated by Sara Palacios, 2018
(Ages 4 and up)
There is a reason this book is all the rage right now! It does an excellent job of explaining the core concepts of coding in a child friendly manner. Not only that…it’s an entertaining story!
Pearl is determined to build a sand castle during her last day of summer vacation. She brings along her trusty robot, Pascal, to help with the task. She immediately realizes she can’t just order Pascal to build a sandcastle because he doesn’t know how. She has to break the job into smaller steps. Through lots of trial and error resulting in some comical situations, the little girl is ultimately successful and all the wiser for it.
The coding terms are clearly explained and reinforced with the engaging illustrations. They are also listed in the glossary in the back of the book for further discussion. Furthermore, Pearl is a likable character and it is difficult not to admire her determination, imagination, and perseverance in the face of adversity.
This is one that should be on every child’s summer reading list. Coding is so much more than just working with computers. Understanding the basic concepts of coding also helps children build skills in problem solving and critical thinking. This amusing and educational book is a real winner!