Fans of Magic Tree House will love Sandcastle Kids!
A castle filled with knights and archers!
James and Mary get more than they bargained for after building sandcastles at the beach in Sandy Shores, Maine.
The brother and sister stumble across a magical bottle that transports them to a fantastic land of myth and lore.
They ride horses, make new friends, and learn new skills. But will that be enough to help James and Mary against the legendary monster from the deep?
Find out in…
Sandcastle Kids #1
Knights & Monsters
Targeted Age Group:: 4-8
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
My kids love to hear stories every night so I decided to write some of them down. This book is the culmination of some of the bedtime stories I tell to my kids.
"I'm building a castle filled with knights," James said, adding a clump of soggy sand onto a mound. "It's going to have a moat, and towers, and all sorts of cool things."
James and Mary were playing down by the beach in Sandy Shores, Maine. Their mom watched them from a window at their vacation home. It was a beautiful day outside. The sun beat overhead, and the sky was bright blue.
"I want to help too," Mary said. She started digging a hole next to James' sandcastle. "This is where they’ll keep the ponies."
"No ponies," he said, frowning. "Horses."
"No," Mary said, narrowing her eyes. She scrunched up her cheeks as she spoke. "Ponies. I want it to have ponies."
"But Mary," James said, putting his hands on his hips. "Knights don't ride ponies. They ride big, armored horses."
"Hmph," Mary said.
"Fine," James said. "You can have ponies." He used a blue plastic shovel to pile more sand onto the castle. Then he began to shape the sand with the shovel, squaring its sides.
"This is going to make a great castle," James continued. "Even if it has ponies. What are you doing now, Mary?"
Mary was digging another hole, this one much deeper than the first. "I want to have a swimming pool," Mary said. "Next to the ponies."
James threw his hands up into the air. "A swimming pool? Knights don't swim. They ride on the back of horses and attack bad guys. What would they want a swimming pool for?"
Mary looked at him with a wide grin. "For their pet crab, of course." She held out a small crab in her hands, showing it to her brother.
James gaped. "Where did you get that crab? I wanna see it." He inched closer to get a better look. "Whoa, cool."
Mary plopped the crab down in her mud pool. "I'm gonna call her Shelly because she has a nice shell."
"That's a hermit crab, Mary," James said. "Hermit crabs live in snail shells."
"Shelly lives in this pool."
"Ok," James said. "I guess you can have a pool. For Shelly."
Mary got to work widening her pool to give Shelly more space.
"I'm going to connect your pool to my moat," James said. "A moat goes around the castle, protecting it from bad guys."
"Shelly is going to be best friends with the ponies I'm making," Mary said. She picked up some empty shells and lined them up inside her stable.
James rolled his eyes.
Mary said, "They’re going to have a pink pony party with Shelly."
James shook his head. "Mary," he said. "They’re fighting bad guys. Not having pony parties."
Mary's mouth widened into a smile. She laughed out loud. "I want them to have pony parties too. What are they going to do after they're done fighting bad guys?"
James pulled at his hair. "Ugh, Mary, you're ruining it," he complained.
"Pink ponies," Mary said. She lined up more small shells inside the stable with her hands.
"Well, my knights are going to fight monsters and bad guys," James said, making clumps in the sand inside his castle.
"I'm bored," Mary said, standing up. "I'm going to go explore."
"Finally," James said, sighing. He could get back to work building a real castle. Not one with ponies.
James built another few towers and set up a line of sand walls, connecting them to one another. Then he used the shovel to carve out the tops of the towers. That was where the archers would sit.
"James, James," Mary said, running back to him.
What was it now? James thought to himself. She was ruining his peace and quiet.
"Look what I found," Mary said, her eyes wide.
"What is it?" James asked, curiously.
Mary held in her hand a glass bottle. It glittered in the sun, light streaming onto her hand. It glowed bright green.
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I'm an independent writer who lives just outside New York City with my wife and children. I started publishing in 2020 during the COVID lockdown. It has proved to be a great outlet for my creative energy and a nice way to balance out the quantitative work I typically perform in my day job.