Gideon wants to build a sand castle all by himself—until he doesn’t.
Gideon plans to build a spectacular sand castle and doesn’t want his little sister, Audrey, to help. Hurt, she goes off with their parents and Gideon gets to work, but his attempts are thwarted when volleyball players, a kite, and the incoming tide, among other things, wreck his solo works in progress. Finally, he finds a secluded part of the beach and builds the castle of his dreams. A multiracial crowd of beachgoers gathers to praise his creation, and Gideon is proud until he looks and sees Audrey with their parents. The castle they’ve built doesn’t “have straight towers, level walls, or smooth sides,” as Gideon’s does, “but it did look like fun.” Swallowing his pride, Gideon joins them to work on their castle, and generous little Audrey welcomes him despite his earlier rejection. The illustrations have a style that reveals Booth’s animation roots, but shifts in perspective and varying degrees of background detail make use of the picture-book form. Gideon and Audrey are both children of color, with brown skin and brown hair. Their mother appears white with light skin, blue eyes, and straight, dark-blond hair, while their father has brown skin and dark hair like Gideon’s.
A sunny ending for a mild sibling-rivalry story. (Picture book. 3-6)