“The Sandcastle Kids: A Mayan Adventure” picture book, written by Sonya Kimble-Ellis and illustrated by Matthew Hebert, contains an unusual combination of fantasy, history and life lessons. The storyline of the book revolves around four kids named Rosa, Kamal, Richard and Daisy, who find themselves transported to an ancient Mayan village in Central Peten (now known as Guatemala) thanks to the help of a magical sandcastle.
Once there, the group of kids meet a Mayan native named Chamula, who teaches them more about his culture, including an introduction to Mayan hieroglyphics, local wildlife and all the different aspects of daily life in the village. Luckily, this information is related in an interesting manner, one that doesn’t slow down or ruin the story being told.
This story was an enjoyable read, not only because I personally like history, but because the story is told through the eyes of children, and likeable children at that. Rosa, Kamal, Richard and Daisy take what could become a boring history lesson and turn it into something that kids can relate to, something exciting and new.
I would definitely recommend this book for any history or fantasy lovers, but think it would also be a good pick for any child who simply likes a good story. I will say that this book has quite a bit of text, so it is probably better suited for middle or older elementary age children, perhaps age 7-12 or so.
To find out more about this book, the author or how to order a copy for yourself, please visit The Sandcastle Kids website.