A tutorial lesson book on programming in Scratch, along with a Web-design primer.
The spiral binding on this book is completely necessary, as it enables the book to lay flat for readers to consult while working on their Scratch programs via computer—following along with the book without having the Scratch website open would be a confusing undertaking. The first couple of sections feel disjointed and provide only minor background on Scratch’s purpose and why one would program in it: it easily makes programs with graphics, and it does so while the programmer is online, requiring no software installations. After the rough start, programming teacher and prolific code-guide writer McManus (Web Design in Easy Steps, 2015, etc.) hits his stride in guiding readers through increasingly complicated code—the farther into his subject matter he writes, the easier his prose is to follow. He takes readers from simple quiz games to games in which the player’s character jumps between moving platforms while dodging enemies. The book’s full-color design takes advantage of Scratch’s very visual, color-coded format, but the true-to-screen reproductions falter with some glossy code images of black text on dark colors, which are much harder to read than their computer-backlit equivalents. The final sections cover the basics of HTML tags and an impressive demystification of CSS, with the goal of embedding the Scratch game in a personal website.
An uneven but very workable guide. (resources, glossary) (Nonfiction. 8-13)