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How to Code a Sandcastle (How to Code with Pearl & Pascal, #1)
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How to Code a Sandcastle (How to Code with Pearl & Pascal, #1)

4.27  ·  Rating details ·  372 Ratings  ·  108 Reviews
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,
Hardcover, 44 pages
Published May 15th 2018 by Viking / Penguin
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Shaye Miller
Oct 30, 2018 rated it really liked it
Pearl is on her last day of summer vacation and she’s yet to actually build a sand castle. So she brought along her robot, Pascal, in hopes of getting help. She starts by telling Pascal to build a sandcastle, but he just sits there — it’s a no-go! Why? Because her directions are too broad.

“…a coder takes one big problem and breaks it into several smaller ones. If I give Pascal enough instructions that he does know, we’ll build this castle in no time!”

Pearl begins breaking down each step, adding
Children are learning about technology concepts such as computer coding at younger and younger ages. So this fun summertime picture book that tells the story of young Pearl and her quest to build the best sandcastle ever is a terrific way to introduce this topic to both young readers and the grown-ups who care for them (many of whom are also unfamiliar with coding). According to the foreword written by Reshma Saujani (founder and CEO of Girls Who Code): "Girls Who Code is an organization that wa ...more
Niki (Daydream Reader)
My second-fourth grade students loved this book. A great introduction to coding. We read this book and then did some fun coding apps on the iPad.
Michele Knott
This is a book that will teach a wide audience. Between the curriculum ties (STEM, coding, how to book) and it being a picture book in the “girls who code” series (check out the chapter books), there are going to be a lot of readers for this book!
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I originally purchased this book because I have so far liked all books by Josh Funk. As a librarian who teaches coding to her students K-6 I have used the curriculum, and although for the most part it is fantastic, I was never very excited about the "unplugged" activities that were available for younger coders. How to Code a Sandcastle will be my go to book anchor from now on! It takes a familiar activity, be it because the reader has engaged in this activity or has been exposed to it b ...more
James Bailey
Apr 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book arrived at the perfect time! We have participated in the Hour of Code for a couple of years but just launched a K-5th coding curriculum at my elementary school. Josh’s book provides a fantastic introduction to coding.

Pearl has been spending the summer trying to build the perfect sandcastle. She finally decides to program her robot, Pascal, to build it. Pearl walks the reader through some basic coding commands. Pascal and Pearl have some hilarious encounters along the way. This book is
Jan 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A little Brown girl just wants to build a sandcastle at the beach. She realizes she can use code to teach her robot Pascal how to build an epic sandcastle! Funk's sense of humor is great, as usual, and I love how he makes coding simple and easy to understand for children. Palacios' illustrations are lovely and will make you yearn for a warm sunny day at the beach. Great first collab between GIRLS WHO CODE & Penguin. #GirlsinStem #SummerRead #PictureBooks #DiverseBooks
Babies to Bookworms
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love this book! I am a big fan of books that make STEM subjects interesting and relatable for kids. This book explains simple coding terms in reference to an activity that kids can recognize and relate to. The main character is a young girl named Pearl who breaks down her problem (how to build a sandcastle) into smaller problems. She then uses simple coding techniques and language to get her robot Pascal to build the sandcastle. I really like how she gives definitions for the coding vocabulary ...more
Mary Ann
Jul 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, humor, math, preschool
Love the problem solving outlook that Pearl has, experimenting and trying things again. This picture book introduces young kids to the concepts of coding while keeping the story flowing. I especially like how the illustrations help reinforce and explain concepts like looping. A great into to coding for young kids.
Neha Praveen
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I highly recommend this book for kids 4-8 and actually anyone who is starting to learn to code. This is a picture book with beautiful illustrations. I also did a book review which you can watch here -
Tracy Clausen
My first thought was, "Great, let's ruin the carefree joy of beach play with computer coding...*yawn*" - but this book is completely adorable! Perfectly explains basic coding concepts for the youngest readers. Highly recommended for use in the elementary classroom.
Casey Lyall
Oct 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is so cool! It's such a fun way of introducing the concept of coding to young readers (I learned things too!) A great read-aloud option that's sure to spark lots of conversation and interest.
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Coding is almost this century's writing. Without knowing to code you are illiterate. This is why nowadays books like "How to code a sandcastle" are the most popular and parents' choice. This book teaches basic coding terms, illustrates pretty, and makes a fun story from them for kids.
In the first page of the book, there is Reshma Saujani's, founder of Girls Who Code (Girls Who Code is a nonprofit organization which aims to support and increases the number of women in computer science.), forew
Julie Kirchner
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Coding is all the rage in our school district. Students do it during tech class, they take after school enrichment classes in coding, they code at home! This book will inspire budding coders to try their hand at this fun hobby. I love the illustrations and the back matter that explains the coding terms used in the book. I’m excited to see future books in this series.
Erin Buhr
Aug 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Fun and creative introduction to coding. I love how the author integrated the basics of coding into this cute story about building a sandcastle. I hope there will be more books in this series.
Caitlin Zonder
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Yet another amazing book by Josh Funk. It is such a clever way to teach the basics of coding. It would be a great read for anyone who wants to understand what coding is. I seriously think my mother needs to read this! Kids will enjoy this as both a story and a learning tool.
This is the first picture book I have seen about coding; hooray that it had a poc, girl as the MC! Cute illustrations.
Baby Bookworm
Aug 03, 2018 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! Our book today is How To Code A Sandcastle, written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Sara Palacios, a wonderful introduction to computer language as part of Girls Who Code’s book series.

Pearl is excited: today is the last day of summer, and her last opportunity to build the sandcastle of her dreams. She’s tried before, but various frisbee-, surfboard-, and dog-related incidents h
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just heard this book! It was read to me by the amazing Josh Funk in a Skype call he did with my students. It is packed with so much great information about coding, but in the form of a story. Younger students will appreciate the artwork and the humour, and older kids will understand some of the coding references. If you are thinking of introducing coding to your class, this book is great! Its also just a funny book to read with your kids when it comes out.
Jo Oehrlein
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Intro to computing concepts like loops, if-then, and code once/use many times, all in a cool storyline about building a sandcastle at the beach.

I like the way Pearl finds problems with the instructions she gives her robot, Pascal. The iterative way she "writes" the code is very realistic.
Mikey Golczynski
Jul 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Eh...I'm all about coding for all children, but geez kid. It's just a sandcastle. They aren't hard to build.
Nov 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have mixed feelings about the "trend" to get a lot of STEM literature into circulation. While including STEM related topics in literature is not a bad idea, the execution is where the flaws can sometimes lie, and creating STEM literature just to create STEM literature is not the way to go, it's a matter of creating stong STEM literature and I feel like this book fit that bill. It took a normal story about a girl trying to build a sandcastle, gave her a robot, and had her work with the robot to ...more
Laura Mossa
May 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Special thanks to Josh Funk for sharing a F & G of How to Code a Sandcastle to my #bookexcursion group. All opinions are my own.

On the last day of summer vacation, Pearl decides it’s her final opportunity to build a sand castle. Because Frisbees, surf boards, and dogs keep ruining her creations, Pearl devises a new plan involving her robot Pascal. In order for Pascal to assist her, Pearl must tell him how to build a sandcastle in code. She explains how coders must take one big problem and br
I know a little about coding and now I know some more and in a clever and fun way, per Josh Funk's book. I'm late to read it, but know that this would be a wonderful way to begin teaching beginning students, perhaps no matter the age, how to code,! Everyone knows the steps for building a sandcastle. Now Josh Funk takes those steps and with a clever girl and her robot helper working in the midst of other kids, dogs and parents on the shore, shows how to code, this time, command a r ...more
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: elementary
Thanks to the @kidlitexchange network for the review copy of this book - all opinions are my own.
This is definitely a teaching book that I will be ordering and using as my intro for my summer school coding class! The bright illustrations made me feel like I was in summer on this overcast day.

Pearl does a great job of teaching her robot, Pascal, the exact steps he needs to do to build a proper sandcastle. Pearl thinks out loud, which is exactly what students need to hear when trying to understan
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the Kid Lit Exchange for the review copy. All opinions are my own.

On the last day of summer, Pearl and her robot Pascal haven't successfully built a sandcastle. So they decide to code one. The book uses this simple task to explain how coding works, including how coding can be useful when something goes wrong. Not to worry--if you've saved all your work, you can try, try again.

I'm about at the same level as my kids in my understanding of coding, so we all learned something from the boo
This is an interesting foray into the very basic concepts of coding for the pre-K and early elementary ages. The core concepts addressed and defined include code, sequence, loop, and if-then-else (conditional statement). The narrative is structured around the task of a young girl building a sandcastle at the beach. I like the idea here, and I'll be interested to see how this is received by kids. The story itself did not do much for me. The text became a bit confusing as I navigated between betwe ...more
Sandy Brehl
This is a delightful early introduction to coding. The central characters are a robot and a young girl of color. The story would entertain in itself, without any further exploration of coding and how it works. Any kid with a clue is going to see it as a first step to taking control of the world, and I hope that happens! The back spread provides simple explanations of terms used in the beach story: code, sequence, loop, and if-then-else.
In an age in which extensive programming can be achieved wi
Pam Miller
May 28, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: great-characters
Although this Picture Book promotes the fact that more girls are coding, it's also a fun story about a girl who plans, doesn't give up when things go wrong, wisely brings Robot to help, and figures out a way to take the steps that lead her to reach her goal (building a sandcastle before her last day of vacation ends).

Wisely, the author made this story funny and about a subject interesting to kids. Kids learn coding terms while reading and seeing the effects of sequences and loops.

Book was in a s
Nov 16, 2018 rated it it was ok
Pretty good at conveying the basic notions of instructions in sequence and looping. Suffers from trying to do too much in one picture book.

It's too bad that they hired a man to write this book about a Black girl for the "Girls Who Code" series. It would have been a much more valuable book for young girls if they were being introduced to coding by a woman instead of a popular white guy writer. The boys-club nature of tech fields is still such a huge problem that we need to encourage everyone to d
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Josh Funk writes silly stories and somehow tricks people into publishing them as books - such as the Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast series (including The Case of the Stinky Stench and the upcoming Mission Defrostable), How to Code a Sandcastle (in conjunction with Girls Who Code), It's Not Jack and the Beanstalk, Albie Newton, Pirasaurs!, Dear Dragon, and the forthcoming Lost in the Library: ...more