Review: Jules vs the Ocean

Jules vs. the Ocean
Author & Illustrator: Jessie Sima
Simon & Schuster
Ages: 4 to 8 years old

Suddenly, she looks down and in a panic realizes that her feet are no longer visible–the ocean seems to have taken them!

On a special trip to the beach, Jules has one thing on her mind: building the BIGGEST, FANCIEST, MOST EXCELLENT castle that has ever been built–all with the ultimate goal of impressing her big sister. She soon finds out that even the best laid plans do not always work out as intended.

Again and again she tries to build her castle to no avail. Every time she seems to be making progress, an ocean wave tears it down. The goal of impressing her sister seems to be an impossibility and she is definitely feeling the frustration associated with her repeated, failed attempts.

All around her, others are building castles and all she can do is look on with longing as her progress is sloshed and slapped by the waves. Suddenly, she looks down and in a panic realizes that her feet are no longer visible–the ocean seems to have taken them! Then the ocean takes her bucket! 

Truly upset by this last turn of events, Jules gives up, lying in the sand hopelessly. Just then, her sister comes along.  

What happens next is a sweet tale of sisterhood, beach adventures, and the bond that siblings share, all through the use of soft, earthy beach colors, expressive characters, and a sweet storyline. 

At the start, younger sister Jules is eager for her big sister’s attention and does what she thinks is going to get it. In the end, her big sister is there for her when she needs her and makes her beach adventure special by helping her accomplish what she had set out to do. Their time together is what really matters to both girls, the castle that was originally so important now just a catalyst for their shared fun.

Written for children ages 3-8, this has the makings of a great summer read aloud. It talks about relationships between siblings, and shows just how important those relationships are. It is also a great classroom tool to introduce tide and wave patterns. 

Jules vs. the Ocean (Support a Local Bookstore)
Jules vs. the Ocean (Hardcover at Amazon)*

More books for this Age Group can be found here.

Please, leave comments! I love a HEALTHY exchange of ideas. After all, critical thinking is essential to life.

My thanks to Simon & Schuster for providing a complimentary copy of this book. The views expressed herein are my own.

*As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


    1. We try really hard to only bring the best of the best. We are fortunate to be living in a time when Children’s Literature is thriving. There are so many wonderful, diverse stories out there that it is VERY hard to keep up! Keep reading!

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