Review: Python for Kids, A Playful Introduction to Programming

9781593274078First she rejected nerds, then programming, but at the wise age of nine, she gave Scratch programming a chance after reading the Super Scratch Programming Adventure. Soon after, Python for Kids arrived, and she quickly picked up the book. 

Kevin could not have been happier. While no one mentioned the n-e-r-d word, Clover took a leap closer to Kevin’s interests. “You know, programmers at Google use Python,” he said quietly. Her eyebrows went up. Clover was more interested.

Normally, she zips through books, then will either try or ignore what was inside. With Python for Kids, she took it in parts, following the steps lined out in the book. Soon after she started, she called out, “Mom! I made a turtle!” The book is fun and filled with things that I would have thought to be really complicated, like adding movement to graphics or basic game development, but it’s broken down into simple parts. And of course, there are illustrations.

While the book is geared toward kids, it’s secretly for adults, too. When I figure out a new HTML trick, I feel like I’ve accomplished something huge, but when I see my husband’s large tomes on different programing languages, it may as well be written in Greek because the writing is just as foreign. Python for Kids made sense to me, which means it must be perfect for kids. It’s fun, and straightforward, building confidence as it moves. After entertaining activities, each chapter includes a summary of what was learned and programming puzzles to further try out those skills.

Scratch was a great entry into programming, but Python definitely feels like the training wheels are off. She’s moving into website design next, she said, which is something I don’t know she would have been interested in before she got in to the intro programming books. When her bookshelf was returned to her room recently during the remodel, Python for Kids was given a prominent spot. Just don’t call her a nerd.

Disclosure: The review copy was given to us for free. All opinions are our own. 

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