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Kings of the Castle
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Kings of the Castle

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  317 ratings  ·  59 reviews
George didn't want to waste the night moonbathing. He wanted to build a sandcastle that would turn any monster green-eyed with envy. But when George meets the strangest creature he has ever seen, the night takes an unexpected turn. ...more
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published May 5th 2016 by Templar Publishing (first published May 1st 2016)
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Average rating 3.44  · 
Rating details
 ·  317 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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May 16, 2017 rated it liked it
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Kings of the Castle is a cute children's story about friendship. George heads out at night with his dog Boris to build a sand castle and meets a strange creature he has issues communicating with. Will George find a friend in this new found creature?

The story is simple and the illustrations had a Shaun Tan feel, which we loved. I think the story needs a little more substance, but we still
Kaethe Douglas
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Kings of the Castle - Victoria Turnbull  An homage to Where The Wild Things Are with less rumpus. A good choice for a quiet book about staying up all night. Very attractive, especially the centerfold.
Library copy
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Sweet, but utterly forgettable tale about making friends at the seashore. The concept that even monsters need friends, too, is nice. And the colored pencil illustrations are very expressive and muted to convey an evening at the beach.

But I wasn't engaged by the story and even the surprise result with the fold-out pages isn't enough to make me want to read this one again. The cover page is reminiscent of Where the Wild Things Are; perhaps it is an homage to that book. Good, but not great.
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
This book is all about friendship, meeting new people and being in a new environment. The lack of communication between characters reminds me of themes within Beegu by Alexis Deacon
A.K. Klemm
Jun 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful illustrations, adorable characters, and a delightful message to kids about communication and making new friends.
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: story-time
Okay, but how did could they READ the same words when they didn't even speak or understand the same language? ...more
May 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: super-cute
A little bit Shaun Tan, a little bit Alexis Deacon with a splash of Where the Wild Things Are.

Beautiful cover and a most adorable short pants wearing sea monster.
Emily Sellicks
Oct 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Reminded me of Beegu. Good for children who will be welcoming a child with EAL into their class, to show how it isn't important that people cant always communicate through words but there are other ways to express your ideas. ...more
Leilah Skelton
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved Victoria Turnbull's first book, and this second offering is another truly magical experience. Where The Sea Tiger set a scene beneath the sea, Kings of the Castle explores another mysterious, hidden world – those unseen hours between the dusk and the dawn on a beach beneath a blanket of stars.

George is a bold and determined little monster, and Boris is his enthusiastic pup. Nepo is a most unusual, fan-tailed, flipper-footed sea-dragon creature, and is both shy and kind. When it appears
Baby Bookworm
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: our-reviews

This review was originally written for The Baby Bookworm. Visit us for new picture books reviews daily!

Hello, friends! Today, we’re reviewing Kings Of The Castle by Victoria Turnbull, a lovely story of friendship breaking through barriers.

When night falls, young monster George is excited. He won’t waste a moment of the moonlight; tonight, his goal is to build the biggest sand castle ever. Unfortunately, his excitable dog Boris keeps impeding his progress. He is about to give up when a very stran
Bonnie Lambourn
Apr 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
Victoria Turnbull has an amazing way of simply showing magical tales of friendship. Here she cleverly creates images with obvious nod of homage to Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, yet more like a Little Bear story with monsters and magic swirled in.
Distinctly Turnbull's own story, where Monsters are the norm. The little monster main character is keen to built a wonderful sandcastle, but his little dog in trying to help keeps destroying it.

When the monster meets an odd sea monster he has ne
Merrilyn Tucker
Feb 10, 2019 rated it liked it
Victoria Turnbull's illustrations are always magical. I love her use of color and the fanciful way she creates her creatures. In this story, a monster and a dog don't want to waste their night moonbathing on the beach; they want an adventure. So, off they go to build a sandcastle and that is when they discover a sea monster who wants to be friends. The problem is that all three don't speak the same language. They have the same goal, though: to build a sandcastle. They build a gigantic one with t ...more
Grace Woodruff
I thoroughly enjoyed this picture book and the themes it raised. The main theme I thought was present was inclusions - since, even though George and Nepo could not communicate with each other they still found a way to become friends and build an extraordinary sandcastle together.
KS1 - to show that people are from different places and don't speak the same language or communicate the same as you but that doesn't mean you can't connect in other ways and find common ground through things such as bu
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
George and Boris head out in the night to build a sandcastle but Boris doesn't want to help. They see a strange create come from the sea and at first George is interested but after realising they don't speak the same language he walks off. Boris connects the two characters and they realise that there are other ways of communicating and they can still have fun.
A nice story about inclusion and friendship for young children. The text is quite simple and the illustrations support the story very well
Melissa Mcavoy
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
4 1/2 stars. Spectacularly beautiful and charming illustrations and a winning story of sand castle ambition, a strange new acquaintance and something lasting that is worth having. I think children will find this very satisfying. There are obvious references to Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are and I wonder why the author illustrator didn't mention that in a note. ...more
Oct 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-book
I loved this book! Simple text and GORGEOUS illustrations (how did Turnbull make it look like the stars were shining??) made for a delightful story of friendship and imagination. We could all take a cue from George, Boris, and Nepo to look past what makes us different, to find the similarities within.
May 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
George and Nepo's friendship has my heart forever. I love this beautiful story of friendship, different types of communication, cooperation, and fun, with a very sweet ode to Where The Wild Things Are for older readers who may have grown up reading Sendak! ...more
May 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars -- I loved the ethereal quality of the book, with its gently surreal illustrations just slightly blurred. This reminds me of a dream you might have if you fell asleep reading WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE.
Miss Sarah
A cute story about two animals building a sandcastle in the dark of night. When an unidentified creature appears from the sea will he be friend or foe and how will the friends react. Love the friendship themes. simple enough for toddlers.
Hααlεч ♥ Fιѕнεя
This book was interestingly illustrated. The story was a bit hard to follow.
However, the moral of the story is that even if you don't understand someone at first, it's good to give them a chance because they can turn into lasting friends.
The Brothers
A (land) monster sets out along the shore to make himself a fantastic sand castle. What should he come upon but a (sea) monster. They have a tough time communicating at first, but eventually develop a lovely friendship while building a sand castle together.

Illustrations are ok.
May 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-book
Beautiful book about monsters at the beach with a huge gatefold.
May 05, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-75-stars
3.75 stars I wasn't too sure about this book at first and then I ended up really enjoying it! The art work is not my taste in general but I really liked it! Cute story as well! ...more
Robin Raines-Bond
May 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute story about making a new friend.
May 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
The illustrations bumped this up a star for me.
Cute animals find a way to communicate even though they don't speak the same language. ...more
Jennifer Effinger-Damron
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 3-6yo, friends, 4-9
Visually stimulating!
Kristina Jean Lareau
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Delightful colored pencil illustrations bring the monsters and their adventure to life. An imaginitive friendship story.
A fanciful tale of misunderstanding and friendship and teamwork.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who really like making sandcastles
This was forgettable and cute enough. The story was pretty meh (the characters weren't well-developed), but the illustrations were ethereal and fun. ...more
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Victoria Turnbull is a critically acclaimed creator of picture books. After winning the 2013 Association of Illustrators New Talent Award, Children's Book category, her first book 'The Sea Tiger' was nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal and shortlisted for the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. She has since written and illustrated 'Kings of the Castle' and 'Pandora', and illustrated 'Is It Real ...more

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