A programming manual for parents and kids to use together.
This is a straightforward, crystal-clear guide to programming in Python, the language used for Gmail, Google Maps, and YouTube, according to the introduction. Speaking both to parents (with advice for teaching code to kids of various ages) and kids (“Python does your homework”), the instructions are easy enough for advanced middle-graders (or technophobe parents) to follow alone. Payne makes coding intuitive, explaining what every line of code does in a way that encourages, often explicitly, the new coder to experiment just to see what happens instead of asking them to simply regurgitate the example codes he provides. And the codes he provides usually have flashy results—such as brightly colored, cool computer-generated artwork; homework-help programs; and games. By marrying artistic visuals (and their mathematical bases) to textual explanations of the code, the book provides points of entry for a wide variety of learning styles. Although it’s math-heavy, it presents the math as a purposeful means to an end—it doesn’t intimidate and likely will result in increased confidence in school. The full-color printing includes charming spot illustrations, code-output screenshots, and example codes in a layout and color scheme identical to the Python editor.
Sophisticated concepts and serious programming make for an easy, enjoyable game for families. (Python setup information, Pygame setup instructions, module-building instructions, glossary, index, website address for updates) (Nonfiction. 8 & up)