Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

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Overview

For Kids Aged 10+ (And Their Parents)

The code in this book runs on almost anything: Windows, Mac, Linux, even an OLPC laptop or Raspberry Pi!

Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that's easy to learn and fun to use! But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull, gray, and boring, and that's no fun for anyone.

Python for Kids brings Python to life and brings you (and your ...

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Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction To Programming

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Overview

For Kids Aged 10+ (And Their Parents)

The code in this book runs on almost anything: Windows, Mac, Linux, even an OLPC laptop or Raspberry Pi!

Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that's easy to learn and fun to use! But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull, gray, and boring, and that's no fun for anyone.

Python for Kids brings Python to life and brings you (and your parents) into the world of programming. The ever-patient Jason R. Briggs will guide you through the basics as you experiment with unique (and often hilarious) example programs that feature ravenous monsters, secret agents, thieving ravens, and more. New terms are defined; code is colored, dissected, and explained; and quirky, full-color illustrations keep things on the lighter side.

Chapters end with programming puzzles designed to stretch your brain and strengthen your understanding. By the end of the book you'll have programmed two complete games: a clone of the famous Pong and "Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit"—a platform game with jumps, animation, and much more.

As you strike out on your programming adventure, you'll learn how to:

  • Use fundamental data structures like lists, tuples, and maps
  • Organize and reuse your code with functions and modules
  • Use control structures like loops and conditional statements
  • Draw shapes and patterns with Python's turtle module
  • Create games, animations, and other graphical wonders with tkinter

Why should serious adults have all the fun? Python for Kids is your ticket into the amazing world of computer programming.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593274078
  • Publisher: No Starch Press San Francisco, CA
  • Publication date: 12/14/2012
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 344
  • Sales rank: 82,407
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Jason R. Briggs has been a programmer since the age of eight, when he first learned BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS-80. Since then he has written software professionally as a developer and systems architect and served as Contributing Editor for Java Developer's Journal. His articles have appeared in JavaWorld, ONJava and ONLamp. Python for Kids is his first book.

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Table of Contents

About the Author;
About the Illustrator;
About the technical Reviewers;
Acknowledgments;
Introduction;
Why Python?;
How to Learn to Code;
Who Should Read This Book;
What’s in This Book;
The Companion Website;
Have Fun!;
Learning to Program;
Chapter 1: Not All Snakes Slither;
1.1 A Few Words About Language;
1.2 Installing Python;
1.3 Once You’ve Installed Python;
1.4 Saving Your Python Programs;
1.5 What You Learned;
Chapter 2: Calculations and Variables;
2.1 Calculating with Python;
2.2 Variables Are Like Labels;
2.3 Using Variables;
2.4 What You Learned;
Chapter 3: Strings, Lists, Tuples, and Maps;
3.1 Strings;
3.2 Lists Are More Powerful Than Strings;
3.3 Tuples;
3.4 Python Maps Won’t Help You Find Your Way;
3.5 What You Learned;
3.6 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 4: Drawing with Turtles;
4.1 Using Python’s turtle Module;
4.2 What You Learned;
4.3 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 5: Asking Questions with if and else;
5.1 if Statements;
5.2 if-then-else Statements;
5.3 if and elif Statements;
5.4 Combining Conditions;
5.5 Variables with No Value—None;
5.6 The Difference Between Strings and Numbers;
5.7 What You Learned;
5.8 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 6: Going Loopy;
6.1 Using for Loops;
6.2 While We’re Talking About Looping . . .;
6.3 What You Learned;
6.4 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 7: Recycling Your Code with Functions and Modules;
7.1 Using Functions;
7.2 Using Modules;
7.3 What You Learned;
7.4 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 8: How to Use Classes and Objects;
8.1 Breaking Things into Classes;
8.2 Other Useful Features of Objects and Classes;
8.3 Initializing an Object;
8.4 What You Learned;
8.5 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 9: Python’s Built-in Functions;
9.1 Using Built-in Functions;
9.2 Working with Files;
9.3 What You Learned;
9.4 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 10: Useful Python Modules;
10.1 Making Copies with the copy Module;
10.2 Keeping Track of Keywords with the keyword Module;
10.3 Getting Random Numbers with the random Module;
10.4 Controlling the Shell with the sys Module;
10.5 Doing Time with the time Module;
10.6 Using the pickle Module to Save Information;
10.7 What You Learned;
10.8 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 11: More Turtle Graphics;
11.1 Starting with the Basic Square;
11.2 Drawing Stars;
11.3 Drawing a Car;
11.4 Coloring Things In;
11.5 A Square-Drawing Function;
11.6 Drawing Filled Squares;
11.7 Drawing Filled Stars;
11.8 What You Learned;
11.9 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 12: Using tkinter for Better Graphics;
12.1 Creating a Clickable Button;
12.2 Using Named Parameters;
12.3 Creating a Canvas for Drawing;
12.4 Drawing Lines;
12.5 Drawing Boxes;
12.6 Drawing Arcs;
12.7 Drawing Polygons;
12.8 Displaying Text;
12.9 Displaying Images;
12.10 Creating Basic Animation;
12.11 Making an Object React to Something;
12.12 More Ways to Use the Identifier;
12.13 What You Learned;
12.14 Programming Puzzles;
Bounce!;
Chapter 13: Beginning Your First Game: Bounce!;
13.1 Whack the Bouncing Ball;
13.2 Creating the Game Canvas;
13.3 Creating the Ball Class;
13.4 Adding Some Action;
13.5 What You Learned;
Chapter 14: Finishing Your First Game: Bounce!;
14.1 Adding the Paddle;
14.2 Adding an Element of Chance;
14.3 What You Learned;
14.4 Programming Puzzles;
Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit;
Chapter 15: Creating Graphics for the Mr. Stick Man Game;
15.1 Mr. Stick Man Game Plan;
15.2 Getting GIMP;
15.3 Creating the Game Elements;
15.4 What You Learned;
Chapter 16: Developing the Mr. Stick Man Game;
16.1 Creating the Game Class;
16.2 Creating the Coords Class;
16.3 Checking for Collisions;
16.4 Creating the Sprite Class;
16.5 Adding the Platforms;
16.6 What You Learned;
16.7 Programming Puzzles;
Chapter 17: Creating Mr. Stick Man;
17.1 Initializing the Stick Figure;
17.2 Turning the Stick Figure Left and Right;
17.3 Making the Stick Figure Jump;
17.4 What We Have So Far;
17.5 What You Learned;
Chapter 18: Completing the Mr. Stick Man Game;
18.1 Animating the Stick Figure;
18.2 Testing Our Stick Figure Sprite;
18.3 The Door!;
18.4 The Final Game;
18.5 What You Learned;
18.6 Programming Puzzles;
Where to Go from Here;
Games and Graphics Programming;
Programming Languages;
Final Words;
Python Keywords;
;
Glossary;
Updates;
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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    This book is exactly what it says it is: a kid-friendly introduc

    This book is exactly what it says it is: a kid-friendly introduction to programming with Python. It explains concepts in simple terms and doesn't assume you understand anything about programming. It doesn't even assume you know anything about some useful mathematical concepts such as angles and the modulus operator. I think even kids could use this book to learn to program.

    The one place where I think the book may have problems is with motivation. Kids (or anyone for that matter) want to produce something fun and interesting quickly. Unfortunately to learn to program you need to learn the syntax for a lot of operations--performing calculations, repeating code, building classes, and so forth. It's important and the book does a great job of explaining it in simple terms but it's not exactly fun, despite the kid-friendly jokes sprinkled throughout the text. The book finishes by building two games that are pretty fun, but it's a long way from page 1 to those games.

    In contrast, the book Super Scratch Programming Adventure!: Learn to Program By Making Cool Games is shorter, has colorful pages, and explains how to use the Scratch programming language to write games. Scratch uses drag-and-drop programming and that book dives quickly into graphics and the other elements you need to write simple games.

    "Python for Kids" provides a better introduction to the real world of programming (it's taught at many colleges and universities) but "Super Scratch Programming Adventure!" is more engaging. You'll have to decide which book is right for you. Perhaps both?

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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