Children's LiteratureChildren today press buttons and things happen: televisions change channels, microwave ovens cook food, and cell phones activate. Computers and machines follow instructions to do these things and much more. But people must write the instructions, or programs, for machines to follow. Children will get a sense of how successful programs are written with this primer. Using clever illustrations, photographs, and age-appropriate text, readers should see the correlation between sound instructions and the desired result in technology. This book provides basic instructions for readers to create computer programs for simple activities, such as drawing shapes and patterns on the computer. Testing and re-testing programs to eliminate mistakes is emphasized. Excellent illustrations demonstrate that designing a control sequence involves careful planning. To program a set of traffic lights, for instance, programmers must ask and answer many questions before writing instructions. Readers are urged to draw a story board before undertaking a complicated control sequence. This title, part of the "Learn Computing" series, does a great job of showing children the thought processes and work that go into writing computer programs. An index and glossary are found at the back of the book. 2004, QEB Publishing, Ages 9 to 12.
Jeanne K. Pettenati, J.D.