An illustrated book that aims to teach kids the basics of the Python programming language.
In this short work for elementary school–age kids, colorfully illustrated by Villafraz and other uncredited artists, Eskenas, the founder and CEO of Redondo Beach, California–based Sundae Electronics, crafts a simple narrative about a faraway land where an enchanted computer generates nursery rhymes using Python programs. “A program is a collection of code that can be run by a computer,” the narration notes, starting with introductory definitions. “Every programming language has its own set of rules for how the code is written, which is called the syntax.” In small, gradual steps, Eskenas deepens the complexity of the terms and concepts that her young readers will need in order to master this language, always offered in direct, easy-to-understand terms: “You assign a value to a variable with an equal sign (=), which is called an assignment operator,” goes one such passage. “The value on the right side of the equal sign is assigned to the variable on the left side of the equal sign.” The text uses different typeface colors to give different operations a clear visual element, and it’s all done in the context of well-known nursery rhymes that many kids will already know, such as “Rain, Rain, Go Away” (rendered as a program that begins “if weather == ‘rain’ ”), and more complex fairy tales, such as “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” (whose program features the line “if large_porridge == ‘too hot’ or large_porridge == ‘too cold’ ”). The combination of the fairy tale–style narration and boisterous artwork works extremely well, as it completely removes the tedium that often accompanies computer programming instruction for kids. There’s no denying the importance of getting across the basics of coding to youngsters, and it’s hard to imagine a more engaging, and therefore effective, vehicle for that education.
A brightly inventive children’s introduction to a widely used programming language.