Paneled layouts provide ample opportunity for readers to view each step in the siblings’ process, and close-ups of their facial expressions (frustration, disappointment, determination) add nuance to the story. . . . Young readers will also appreciate that these parents, while always within eyesight, mostly leave the kids to their own devices, allowing for a most satisfying beach day for everyone.
—Booklist (starred review)
Gorgeous ink and watercolor illustrations give a constant sense of movement to this wordless picture book. . . an immersive read. The sibs’ emotions—frustrated disappointment to hardened determination to elated triumph—are masterfully conveyed in their body language and dynamic poses. . . an obvious choice in anticipation of a beach visit.
—The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)
Leng renders the beach in sunny watercolors and delicate, wispy ink lines that capture the movement of dune grass, waves, and sand in the wind. The pacing moves like waves, too, with panoramic double-page spreads alternating with pages of panels that zoom in on the action.
—The Horn Book (starred review)
Lawson and Leng create ample space for the reader to supply the story. . . . A wondrous wordless picture book that will make readers want to grab a sand bucket and head to the beach.
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
The team behind Over the Shop offers a wordless story about a long, wonderful day at the seashore. . . Lawson creates a portrait of the best kind of childhood learning curve—slow, cooperative, independent, and made with little more than sand and water.
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
As the author-illustrator duo also did in Over the Shop, JonArno Lawson creates a detailed narrative that Qin Leng’s ink and watercolor artwork brings to life. . . . A Day for Sandcastles is a delightful story about perseverance and the joy of seeing a work in progress to completion. . . . will leave readers longing for a beach trip of their own.
JonArno Lawson and illustrator Qin Leng tell of a glorious outing to the seaside in “A Day for Sandcastles. . . The book’s ink-and-watercolor pictures are full of life and detail. . . There’s a lot of vicarious pleasure to be had in this charming book.
—The Wall Street Journal
This breezy, sun-washed story of a day at the beach has a beautiful, filmlike rhythm to it. With panels to show sequences, interspersed with whole-page spreads, this wordless book demonstrates the story-telling power of illustrations.
—The Virginian Pilot
Perfect summer reading material . . . Leng does a masterful job of creating colourful vignettes that track the kids’ efforts — and the various disasters that befall their sandcastles, including a relentlessly advancing tide. With charm and humour, Lawson and Leng give us a taste of summer at its best.
—The Calgary Herald
A great way for children to create, imagine, and tell their own story versions.
—The Calgary Herald