cover image The Sandcastle That Lola Built

The Sandcastle That Lola Built

Megan Maynor, illus. by Kate Berube. Knopf, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-5247-1615-8

This celebration of kid-driven collaboration from Maynor (the Ella and Penguin books) and Berube (My Little Half-Moon) starts with an uh-oh moment: while retrieving his Frisbee, a boy accidentally tramples on Lola’s sand castle. But instead of crying or accusing, Lola enlists: “You can use this bucket to fix it,” she says. “What should we add next?” Encounters with other kids begin in a similarly unpromising manner but also result in more helpers, and Maynor gives each one a fun moniker: along with Frisbee Dude, there’s Little Guy, a preschooler who uses his toy bulldozer to help build a moat, and Minnesota Girl, who adds shells from the collection she had planned to take back to the Midwest. The classic cumulative structure—a spin on “The House That Jack Built”—becomes a refrain after each new contributor joins (“These are the shells/ That lead to the moat/ That surrounds the wall/ That protects the castle”), and the collage and mixed-media illustrations make the shoreline landscape and the chill vibe of a beach vacation feel very close at hand. In an age of adult-organized play, this book offers a fun but pointed reminder that children are more than capable of organizing themselves. Ages 4–7. [em](May) [/em]