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by Ellie Peterson ; illustrated by Ellie Peterson

Pub Date: May 14th, 2024
ISBN: 9781250845689
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Sand castles don’t last long, but true friendship does.

Every day is a beach day for Cora and Shelly, two besties who live on the shore. After school, they suit up and head to the beach to build elaborate sand castles. Their constructions require “the right tools…loads of patience, and a good sense of humor.” Oh, and readiness to rebuild. But friendships, like sands, shift. One day, Shelly excitedly announces that she’s moving to the city to live with her mom. To Cora, it sounds like Shelly won’t miss anything—not even Cora. Over the next few days, Cora declines Shelly’s invitations to meet. Cora confides in supportive Mama, who explains that friendships resemble sand castles: “With the right tools—and some rebuilding—who’s to say they can’t last forever? The pals reassert their powerful bond and, even when they’re eventually separated, discover they have “the right tools” (stationery), “loads of patience” as they wait for the mail, and a “good sense of humor.” The best tool? They’re willing to rebuild. Kids should understand the sand castle–friendship metaphor in this sweet story. They’ll root for these pals and feel heartened at their ability to forge a lasting bond. The colorful digital illustrations are lively, and readers will admire the sand castles. Dark-haired Cora appears to be East Asian, while blond Shelley presents white.

Building friendships takes time and effort, but it’s fun and worth it. So is this book.

(Picture book. 4-7)