Saturday, April 26, 2008

Once Upon A Sand Castle

When writing Juvenile Fiction, one has to be able to tap into the creativity, imagination, and attention of young readers. In Once Upon a Sandcastle, author Hildegard Caringi takes readers on a journey of the mind and spirit.

Savannah and her best friend Holly are two young girls full of curiosity, energy, and adventure. While visiting their Aunt in Malibu, the girls come across a young boy in a wheelchair on a beach. Jacob is a shy and introverted boy with a troubled family past. Jacob meets a man by the name of David and the two develop an instant bond. David teaches Jacob a song that will allow him to enter a magical sand castle. Jacob, Savannah, and Holly sing the song and enter the enchanted world. When Jacob arrives at this mystifying place, he discovers that he is no longer with the two girls. The three find themselves facing mysterious dark creatures, an angry Queen, and a multitude of lively and colorful characters.

With Jacob, Holly, and Savannah confronting many obstacles and ominous characters, Once Upon a Sand Castle is an action-packed fantasy adventure full of surprising twists and turns. The story is rich in color, creative characters, and fundamental themes that include: courage, compassion, overcoming physical and emotional challenges, as well as acquiring and developing friendships. Settings were vividly described to allow one to expand the imagination. The story is enhanced by the wonderful illustrations provided by renowned Argentina artist, Fernando Molinari. The book will inspire readers to draw on their imagination and encourage creative thought. There is a helpful list of questions at the end of the book that will motivate parents and children to discuss the various plots and themes.

Because the central character is Jacob, it may have been more appropriate to organize the book with the opening and closing focusing on Jacob. The dialogue was consistent with only a few instances of words that may be a bit beyond how young people talk.

Once Upon a Sand Castle is a very entertaining story filled with imaginative adventures and spell-binding characters. It is highly recommended to young people as well as adults.

Write Field Services

Hardcover: 396 pages
Publisher: Mill City Press, Inc. (January 15, 2008)
ISBN-10: 1934248894
ISBN-13: 978-1934248898
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