A must for any collection of programming books for kids.

READ REVIEW

CODING FROM SCRATCH

A Scratch programming introduction with wide scope.

The book opens with an introduction to Scratch programming (with graphics that take good advantage of the program’s color-coded visual interface in explanations of each element) and how to access it. Following that, this guide takes young programmers through a variety of games, Scratch’s visual tools and animation, and sound incorporation, and it even touches on basic circuitry. Full-color screenshots of exactly how things will appear on a computer screen are shown large size, in line with font sizing and spacing designed with the audience—independent readers—in mind, producing a book that minimizes the need for adult assistance. While this surprisingly packed volume doesn’t touch much on troubleshooting and mucking about in code to see what happens as some other Scratch guides for kids do, its approach (emphasizing the purpose of each step it asks readers to take) is clear, thorough, and especially accessible for less-confident learners. The extensive instructions on image creation and animation will enable just about anyone to create something nifty, and they provide tools for those with artistic aspirations to advance with their own embellishments. The final section covers music, note by note, and how to connect and program a Makey Makey controller kit (a basic interface that allows anything that can conduct a small charge to function as a button).

A must for any collection of programming books for kids. (glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-14)

Pub Date: Aug. 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5435-3589-1

Page Count: 160

Publisher: Capstone Young Readers

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2018

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A splendid volume for young adventurers.

SURVIVOR KID

A PRACTICAL GUIDE TO WILDERNESS SURVIVAL

Based on her work with middle-school students, Long offers lessons on how to stay healthy and out of trouble while awaiting rescue, the same lessons taught to adults in her survival classes.

Her matter-of-fact, no-nonsense tone will play well with young readers, and the clear writing style is appropriate to the content. The engaging guide covers everything from building shelters to avoiding pigs and javelinas. With subjects like kissing bugs, scorpions, snow blindness and “How going to the bathroom can attract bears and mountain lions,” the volume invites browsing as much as studying. The information offered is sometimes obvious: “If you find yourself facing an alligator, get away from it”; sometime humorous: Raccoons will “fight with your dog, steal all your food, then climb up a tree and call you bad names in raccoon language”; and sometimes not comforting: “When alligators attack on land, they usually make one grab at you; if they miss, you are usually safe.” But when survival is at stake, the more information the better, especially when leavened with some wit. An excellent bibliography will lead young readers to a host of fascinating websites, and 150 clipart-style line drawings complement the text.

A splendid volume for young adventurers. (index not seen) (Nonfiction. 9-14)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-56976-708-5

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Chicago Review Press

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

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What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

GET THE SCOOP ON ANIMAL SNOT, SPIT & SLIME!

FROM SNAKE VENOM TO FISH SLIME, 251 COOL FACTS ABOUT MUCUS, SALIVA & MORE

Cusick floats a slick, select gallery of nature’s spitters, nose-pickers, oozers, and slimers—most but not all nonhuman—atop nourishing globs of scientific information.

Title notwithstanding, the book is limited just to mucus and saliva. Following introductory looks at the major components of each, Cusick describes their often similar uses in nature—in swallowing or expelling foreign matter, fighting disease, predation and defense, camouflage, travel, communication (“Aren’t you glad humans use words to communicate?”), home construction, nutrition, and more. All of this is presented in easily digestible observations placed among, and often referring to, color photos of slime-covered goby fish, a giraffe with its tongue up its nose, various drooling animals, including a white infant, and like photogenic subjects. Two simple experiments cater to hands-on types, but any readers who take delight in sentences like “Some fungus beetles eat snail slime mucus” come away both stimulated and informed.

What better way to make natural history slide down easily? (index) (Nonfiction. 8-10)

Pub Date: Dec. 15, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-63322-115-4

Page Count: 80

Publisher: Moondance/Quarto

Review Posted Online: Sept. 19, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2016

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