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Step inside a sumptuous sandcastle packed with amazing and amusing visual details for a beach day that’s fit for royalty.
A young girl loves building sandcastles. But not just any sandcastles. She builds one so big and grand and lovely that all the royals of the world come to visit. There are banquets and balls and tournaments, a greenhouse for cacti, a staircase for skateboarding, and ice cream around the clock. Everyone seems to be having fun, until they discover sand in the royal almond strudel . . . and the fig milk bath . . . and everywhere! With a keen eye for the absurd, author-illustrator Einat Tsarfati invites readers beyond the crocodile moat to explore the intricately detailed, increasingly wild festivities that echo the arc of a day at the beach, from euphoria to gritty discomfort. The diverse cast of regal guests, from a Rapunzel-esque princess in pj’s and unicorn slippers to a pair of knights playing badminton, is just as inspired. A visual treat of a tale, Sandcastle opens the doors to a world by the sea where wit and imagination reign.
About the Author
Einat Tsarfati is an illustrator who graduated with honors from the Visual Communication department at the Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem. She works as a freelance editorial illustrator and has written and illustrated her own books, including The Neighbors. Einat Tsarfati lives in Israel.
The fun of this treasure trove begins with its tactile cover: a sandpapery castle against the glossy blue-sky antics of the girl who built it… Tsarfati sneaks in sublimely ridiculous details: Look, there’s an igloo on the beach, wisely in partial shade. She even hides a tiny swimsuit-wearing mouse throughout, à la Richard Scarry’s gold bug.
—The New York Times Book Review
The artwork is delightfully whimsical, with medieval knights playing Twister and mummies and pirates and bikini-clad elephants sunbathing among typical beachgoers. It’s lusciously diverse and multicultural in its representation of royalty from across the world (and across time barriers). Best of all, the hidden peekaboos—a unicorn here, a mermaid there, bird-people on the side—make the pages worth revisiting over and over. Every page is an utter pleasure.
—Booklist (starred review)
Tsarfati’s illustrations are engrossing and detailed, and they could easily be used in a wordless picture book. The detail and vibrancy makes it hard to turn the pages, for there are surprises everywhere. Worth considering for purchase. Glimpses of familiar characters, from other books or movies are a special treat.
—School Library Journal
Saturated colors, particularly the deep yellow of the sandcastle and the blue of the ocean and sky, perfectly evoke a hot summer day, and the potential for re-readability and the many absurdities lurking in the ornate scenes make this an excellent choice to engage and occupy any youngster.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Delightfully fanciful, with copious funny details to pore over.