This summer, Pengiun Young Readers will release the first picture book collaboration with Girls Who Code, called How To Code A Sandcastle by Josh Funk and illustrated by Sara Palacios. Penned by a professional software engineer and illustrated by an award-winning illustrator, the picture book is a perfect building block for readers learning about computer coding for the first time.
What Is Girls Who Code?
In 2012, Reshma Saujani founded Girls Who Code, a national organization that aims to close the gender gap in tech. She set an exciting goal: to inspire one million girls to learn to code, empowering them to change the world for the better through what is arguably the most critical tool of modern times.
Last year, Penguin Young Readers partnered with Girls Who Code to help reach that goal with the launch of a multi-format, cross-imprint Girls Who Code publishing program. Providing both practical coding guidance and fictional stories, these books allow budding coders to see themselves reflected in literature and therefore, in the narratives that inform culture.
How to Code A Sandcastle
Coding has never been more accessible or more fun. All summer, Pearl has been trying to build the perfect sandcastle, but out-of-the-control Frisbees and mischievous puppies keep getting in the way! Pearl and her robot friend, Pascal, have one last chance and this time they’re going to code to get the job done. Using fundamental computer coding cocepts like sequences and loops, Pear and Pascal are able to break down their sandcastle problem into small, manageable steps. If they can create working code, this could turn out to be the best beach day ever!
About the Author
During the day, Josh Funk writes C++, Java Code, and Python scripts as a software engineer, which he’s been doing for the last 20 years. In his spare time he uses ABC’s, drinks Java coffee, and writes pictures book manuscripts such as Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast, The Case of the Stinky Stench, Deer Dragon, and more. Josh graduated Suma cum Laude from the UMass Amherst Commonwealth College with a degree in Computer Science. He is a board member of The Writers’ Loft in Sherborn, MA and the co-coordinator of the 2017 New England Regional SCBWI Conference.
About the Illustrator
Sara Palacios illustrated the Pura Belpre honor book Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match. She divides her time between San Francisco and Mexico City.
Even though his book holds A Girls Who Code label, you may think it’s only geared towards girl. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. When I sit down and let my seven-year old son read this book to me, he loved it! The illustrations are fantastic and the story line holds humor.
I thought it was great the way the story was broke up until Small Problem #1, #2, etc as they are working on building a sandcastle without all the distractions of dogs, frisbees and other activities that go on during a day at the beach.
I highly recommend, How to Code A Sandcastle for anyone little one that has shown an interest in coding.
How To Code A Sandcastle
By Josh Funk; illustrated by Sara Palacios
Viking Book for Young Readers