The Definitive Guide to

Jules vs. the Ocean

Written & illustrated by Jessie Sima
4.75 / 7.0
- Bookroo Rating
Goodreads Rating - 4.0 / 5.0
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Prices as of Oct 31
Retail Price
used $5.87
May 12, 2020
Publication Date
Target Age

What Does Bookroo Think of This Book

“A pleasant and playful tale about sisters, sand castles, and the ocean.”

Jules cannot wait to make the “BIGGEST . . . FANCIEST . . . MOST EXCELLENT” sand castle ever during her outing to the beach with her older sister and mom. Jules grabs her bucket, eager to make a castle that will impress her sister, and wonders if the ocean will help her in her task. As she begins to build, it’s clear the ocean will not help as a wave crashes down and obliterates her work. She tries a few more times with the same end result, eventually losing her bucket to the tide and dramatically lying face down in the sand. Jules’ older sister reassures Jules that it happens to everyone and helps her make the most amazing castle ever with just their hands—that is, until the ocean sweeps it all away again (though this time the girls acknowledge how cool the ocean is instead of feeling upset). As they leave the beach, their mom wisely advises the girls that it happens to everyone and explains how the moon plays a part in the ocean’s tides. Sima’s illustrations mirror the story in its simplistic and playful style with a few greater moments, like the sunlight reflecting off the ocean. The characters are unique and not idealistic, with slightly larger-than-average noses. A loving older sister and her helpful response quietly shines through in this pleasant read about an unremarkable yet memorable day at the beach.

What's This Book About

Publisher Summary

From the creator of Not Quite Narwhal comes a story about a young girl determined to impress her older sister by building elaborate sandcastles, even if that means standing up to the ocean and its smash-happy waves!

Jules is going to build the biggest, the fanciest, and the most excellent sandcastle. Her sister will be so impressed.

But the ocean has other plans.

Jules keeps building bigger, fancier, and more excellent castles, and waves keep smashing them.

And when the ocean takes her bucket, that is the final straw.

Jules is going to take a stand!

From beloved storyteller Jessie Sima comes the tongue-in-cheek story of the sand, the sea, and sisterhood—told with her signature warmth, timeless humor, and delightfully playful illustrations.

What Kind of Book is Jules vs. the Ocean

Quotes from This Book

  • “Not today, Ocean.”
  • “Jules thinks the Ocean might be out to get her.”

Trusted Reviews & Ratings

English Degree, Former SAHM, Grammy Extraordinare
4.5 / 7.0
The Book Snob Mom
Mom of boys. Lover of Harry Potter, Jane Austen and believes one can never own too many children's books!
4.75 / 7.0

A sweet look at a day on the beach through the lens of the big sister/little sister relationship. I love that the big sister stops her solo play to help her distraught little sister.

B is for Bookworm
Book-loving mommy-to-be! Recently enjoyed The Hobbit, Becoming, and The Marvelous Magic of Miss Mabel.
5.0 / 7.0
The Goodfather
Favorite pastime? Reading with my kids. Just finished Nana Cracks the Case!
4.75 / 7.0

Book Lists That Include Jules vs. the Ocean

Book Topics › sandcastles
Children's Books About Sandcastles
Book Topics › the ocean
Children's Books About The Ocean
Book Topics › fiction
Children's Books About Fiction
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Who Wrote Jules vs. the Ocean

author & illustrator
Jessie Sima

Jessie Sima is an author/illustrator living and working in New York City. She grew up in a small town in Southern New Jersey, unaware that she was a storyteller. Once she figured it out, she told her family and friends. They took it quite well. She is the author of Not Quite Narwhal, Harriet Gets Carried Away, and Love, Z. You can visit her at

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What Has Jessie Sima Said About This Book

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Jessie Sima's Book Dedication

For Dad

What Do Critics Say About This Book

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Book Details

Publication Date:
May 12, 2020
Text Details:
The text for this book was set in Freight Sans.
Illustration Details:
The illustrations for this book were rendered in Photoshop.
Library of Congress Number (LCCN):
WorldCat Number (OCLC):

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Core Score - 70%
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