Jules Vs. the Ocean

Written & Illustrated by: Jessie Sima

For ages: 4-8 years 

Language: English

Topics Covered: Siblings, Social-Emotional Learning, Ocean, Girls Outdoors, BIPOC Characters.


This book is so cute, and really funny. Jules wants nothing more from this day at the beach than to impress her older sister with a sand castle. Unfortunately the ocean has another idea! After attempting to build a castle in a few different places with the ocean right behind her (literally) the water might have sabotaged her once and for all. Luckily, this is where the sibling bond comes in and Jules may still be able to impress her sister with sandy architectural feats.

Something I love about Jessie Sima’s work is the facial expressions on the characters. Jules is so relatable, and I laughed out loud in some places while reading the story. The illustrations are just as important to the words in the book, and they convey the angst Jules feels when the ocean seems to be out to get her.

Jules’ skepticism about the ocean reminded me of conversations I’ve had with students, when they’re unshakeable in beliefs that some adults chuckle at (like the ocean purposely sabotaging Jules’ sand castle). Being so firm in their beliefs and viewpoints is something I love about kids, and it is amusingly clear that Jules has a firm suspicion of the large body of water. This book is also another lovely example of BIPOC characters being joyful and living their life. It’s pure and simple, a fun and humorous story. Perfect for enjoying with a popsicle in the sunshine!

This book was sent to us by friends at Simon & Schuster, but all opinions are our own.

It will be released tomorrow, June 16th!

About the author and illustrator

Jessie Sima grew up in a small town in southern New Jersey and now lives and works just outside of New York City.

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