How to Code a Sandcastle (A Girls Who Code Book) by Josh Funk, illustrated by Sara Palacios

Published by Viking Books for Young Readers

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Summary:  The narrator has been trying to build a sandcastle all summer, but for one reason or another, hasn’t been successful.  On the last day of vacation, she brings her robot Pascal to the beach with her to help build the castle. She explains to the reader what she is doing as she codes Pascal to find a good spot, create a big pile of sand, gather decorations, and shape and embellish the castle.  She makes mistakes as she goes, but figures out what she’s done wrong and corrects them. When the tide comes in and washes her sandcastle away, she can uses the program she’s created to have Pascal build another one, this time with a moat around it. At the end, she and Pascal are ready to create an entire kingdom of sandcastles.  Includes an explanation of code, sequences, loops, and if-then-else statements. 44 pages; grades K-3.

Pros:  A fun introduction to coding terms for the picture book crowd.  The foreword, by Reshma Saujani, founder of Girls Who Code, explains the importance of introducing coding concepts to young children.  The illustrations and different fonts add to the educational value.

Cons:  It would have been helpful to see the entire program for the sandcastle written out somewhere.

If you would like to buy this book on Amazon, click here.


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