I recently received a copy of No-Starch Press to take a look at, as a huge fan of “Python for Kids”, I was very keen to take a look!
Java Script for Kids looks like another winner from No-Starch Press.
The book replicates the simple and straightforward approach of the “Python for kids book”, a book which not only do I recommend at the events I attend, but often goes AWOL (thankfully making its way back before the end of the day) as a reference in the workshops. Always a sign of a good book!
The “For Kids” titles work well on many levels, from providing a soft introduction for kids to a quick start and no fuss basic reference for adults.
I find these types of books excellent for catching the feel of a language without getting too bogged down in the details. Due to their straight forward nature you often get to the “meat” of the language a lot quicker than other books. Because the approach is centered towards teaching a little about the language first, you can quickly get to grips with the basic syntax without any fussing around. A lot of books get side-tracked with trying to show off, often jumping past the foundation parts, when in many cases if you’ve programmed before, you just want to know the 101 to get started. Let’s face it, once you’ve got the initial concepts and syntax down, the rest is mostly working with whatever library or module you need to actually do things.
It is particularly interesting by using the Chrome browser for the programming environment, even as a seasoned programmer it is like pealing back the cover to discover the inner workings underneath!
For a book aimed at kids, taking something which even younger children will have used and effectively turning it on its head. This should be a real eye-opener for them and hopefully reveals that the code in the book is the same code used for real things. This should also underline to them that computers aren’t just there to consume content from, but we can push our own ideas inside them, make our own content and take control.
Experienced programmers will be able to browse through the initial chapters with ease, although they are worth a look as the book go into detail about the common gotcha’s and features of the language (for example the “===” and “==” concepts!). All very useful for new programmers and those familiar with other languages.
Each chapter tackles a key programming concept, from data types to arrays and objects. It introduces the topic, explains it thoroughly with examples and finishes off with a fun exercise and then some additional challenges.
Check out the No-Starch Press website for details – also it appears they have 50% off kids print books at the moment, so get in quick!