Wednesday, May 30, 2018

How to Code a Sandcastle by Josh Funk and Sara Palacios

How to Code a Sandcastle 
A Girls Who Code book. 
by Josh Funk and Sara Palacios
Published May 15, 2018
Viking (Penguin Young Readers)
Fiction Picture Book
Hardcover
44 pages
Review copy provided by publisher

Goodreads Summary
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, and other basic coding concepts to tell Pascal exactly what to do. But building a sandcastle isn’t as easy as it sounds when surfboards, mischievous dogs, and coding mishaps get in the way! Just when it looks like the sandcastle might never work, Pearl uses her coding skills to save the day and create something even better: a gorgeous sandcastle kingdom!


My Thoughts
How to Code a Sandcastle takes a real problem and uses coding to try to solve it. The book shows how coding is just breaking things down to very small step and solving problems along the way. 
For someone, like me, to whom coding is a completely foreign language, it is a nice beginning to understanding some of the steps involved. When one attempt doesn't work out, Pearl doesn't give up, she just modifies the code for Pascal to try again. Thankfully there are more detailed coding definitions and descriptions in the back matter of the book to explain sequences, loops, etc. 
With summer coming, How to Code a Sandcastle would make a great intro to coding with a summer theme. 
I would recommend it most for grades 1-4. 

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