"Sandcastles," by Patti Mitchell; photographs by Frankie Frankeny (Chronicle Books, 79 pages, $14.95)
A challenging and enchanting text for the construction of beach absurdities. There is a clear and useful inventory of tools for making and perfecting sand sculpture, as well as a surperlative discussion of techniques. The smashing joy of this little book is the illustrations of 26 beach works, ranging from mermaid to moon rocket, from land shark to a fire hydrant. Following the whole thing could keep an entire family busy for an entire summer. But it also could make your day.