Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Sophie’s Castle

Sophie’s Castle

Heather Levine, John Keith Drummond
For ages 4 to 6
Sterling Publishing, 2005   ISBN: 978-0760766927

Sophie is building a wonderful sand castle complete with towers and a bridge. Everything is perfect until the inevitable happens - the tide comes in. No matter what Sophie does her castle is doomed and as she watches her work of art is washed away.

Sophie is so upset that she wonders if there is any point in building sand castles if they are always going to be destroyed by the relentless waves of the incoming tide. Sophie asks herself "why should I even try?"

The next day Sophie is still upset and she is determined not to build another piece of sand art. At least she is until a little boy arrives on the beach and asks her to help him build a sand castle . Sophie begins to see that perhaps losing her castle to the tide was not such a bad thing and that one has to keep building ones castles in this life even if they are knocked down.

Written in gentle lilting rhyme, this metaphor for the trials of life, for the loss of something special which must be rebuilt when it falls, is powerful and can be enjoyed on several levels. Young children will see that Sophie does not give up creating something beautiful on the beach. Older readers will understand that we are going to lose many sandcastles in our lives and the important thing to remember is that one has to keep on trying even when the tide comes in.