Independently Published (2020)
Reviewed by Lydia (age 8) and Mom for Reader Views Kids (06/2022)
“Squishy Sand” is the story about a boy named Leigh and his two friends on a day when they are at the beach. Leigh is in a wheelchair and wants to figure out how he can be with his friends in the sand when his wheelchair keeps getting stuck in the sand. His friends think of different ideas, including using his wheelchair like a bobsled in the snow and having dogs pull it! Things aren’t working out until one of his friends finds the thing they need, along with a lot of trash that they don’t, and Leigh comes up with an idea that will make it happen! The kids use teamwork and their imagination to fix the problem.
“Squishy Sand” is based on a real boy named Leigh, who also moves around in a wheelchair. I am not sure how I would feel about being in a wheelchair since I have never tried one, but I thought his friends were nice to him, even though he was different. I liked the part of the story when they got the big wheels on the wheelchair and went down the ramp; it made me jealous because I wanted to do that too! I also felt excited to see them having fun, taking turns, and going through the water – I love the beach and playing in any water!
Out of the three ideas for the name of his wheelchair, I liked “Sand Terminator” the best because it defeats sand! I liked when they shared their hot chips with the birds because they were thinking of the birds and the birds could have been really hungry. I understood the whole story and can read it by myself. I think that other kids my age will like this story because it has a beach and the kids figure out how to fix problems.
Note from Mom: “Squishy Sand” contains a worthwhile moral lesson for readers of all ages – accept those who are different from you and persevere! The kids showed perseverance when they didn’t give up on including Leigh, even when he told them he’d be content with them going on their own. The language in the story and its length are age-appropriate, and the illustrations are beautiful to see. I would recommend “Squishy Sand” to kids and look forward to hopefully reading the second book in the “Leigh’s Wheelie Adventure” series.