The fun of this treasure trove begins with its tactile cover: a sandpapery castle against the glossy blue-sky antics of the girl who built it… Tsarfati sneaks in sublimely ridiculous details: Look, there’s an igloo on the beach, wisely in partial shade. She even hides a tiny swimsuit-wearing mouse throughout, à la Richard Scarry’s gold bug.
—The New York Times Book Review
The artwork is delightfully whimsical, with medieval knights playing Twister and mummies and pirates and bikini-clad elephants sunbathing among typical beachgoers. It’s lusciously diverse and multicultural in its representation of royalty from across the world (and across time barriers). Best of all, the hidden peekaboos—a unicorn here, a mermaid there, bird-people on the side—make the pages worth revisiting over and over. Every page is an utter pleasure.
—Booklist (starred review)
Tsarfati’s illustrations are engrossing and detailed, and they could easily be used in a wordless picture book. The detail and vibrancy makes it hard to turn the pages, for there are surprises everywhere. Worth considering for purchase. Glimpses of familiar characters, from other books or movies are a special treat.
—School Library Journal
Saturated colors, particularly the deep yellow of the sandcastle and the blue of the ocean and sky, perfectly evoke a hot summer day, and the potential for re-readability and the many absurdities lurking in the ornate scenes make this an excellent choice to engage and occupy any youngster.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books
Delightfully fanciful, with copious funny details to pore over.