A stack of children's books with a cup in the background

Coding Books

For as long as coding has existed, books have been written about it. The paper format has been somewhat overshadowed in recent times by the explosion of online training courses but books are still as effective as ever. When it comes to coding books for kids, there is a huge array of titles out there. Below are some reviews of a selection of the best ones out there. Hopefully you can find the right one to engage your own little programmer’s interest!


Computational Fairy Tales

  • Type of book: Paperback
  • Number of pages: 202
  • Age range: 10+
  • My rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Cheapest place to buy: Amazon

 
 
 

If your child has an interest in computers and also loves reading about dragons, wizards and all things fantasy then this is the book for them. Computational Fairy Tales introduces principles of computational thinking, illustrating high-level computer science concepts, the motivation behind them, and their application in a computer-LESS fairy tale-domain. The protagonist, Princess Ann, is tasked with a quest to save the kingdom from darkenss. She must assemble a war chest of computational knowledge. Facing goblins, magical curses and other unpleasant characters, she makes use of the processes and concepts of data-collection and dissemination to solve the challenges set in front of her. This is a highly-enjoyable book. I docked half a point as some of the language is quite difficult for younger children to understand. A great read nonetheless.


Web Design for Kids

  • Type of book: Board book
  • Number of pages: 14
  • Age range: 4 – 8 years
  • My rating: 4.5 out of 5
  • Cheapest place to buy: Amazon

 
 
 

If I was to recommend a language to learn from the outset it would be HTML (HyperText Markup Language). HTML can be grey and it can be boring at times. But the beauty of HTML is that it provides a solid foundation upon which all other things can be built. In a clever twist in “Web Design for Kids”, the three main languages used in website design are personified into whimsical characters. HTML is a builder, responsible for the structure and getting things started correctly; CSS is the designer, who looks after the layout and color of the site. CSS stands for Cascading StyleSheet – the code that governs website appearance. JavaScript is becomes an engineer, the character who maintains the interactivity of all of the moving parts. Children will relate to these lovely one-of-a-kind individuals, and learn important concepts on the road to web design.





How To Code In 10 Easy Lessons

  • Type of book: Spiral-bound
  • Number of pages: 64
  • Age range: 6+
  • My rating: 3.5 out of 5
  • Cheapest place to buy: Amazon

 
 
 

The fact that this book is spriral-bound makes it perfect for readers to consult while working on their Scratch programs. It does take a while for the content to get going, including a lot of information on Scratch set-up and why one would choose to program in it. After a somewhat disjointed start the author really hits his stride in guiding the reader through increasingly complicated code. It gets easier to follow his prose as the code becomes more difficult. Simple games become feature-filled RPGs that the reader creates himself. The book utilises the graphics of Scratch in a true-to-form fashion before finishing up with some coverage of the basics of HTML tags and some CSS information; the goal being embedding a Scratch game in a personal website. This is a good read and would be useful although I can see your child needing some assistance at times.


Lauren Ipsum: A Story About Computer Science and Other Improbable Things

  • Type of book: Paperback
  • Number of pages: 192
  • Age range: 10+
  • My rating: 4 out of 5
  • Cheapest place to buy: Amazon

 
 
 

Described as “a looking glass tale for the computer age” by the School Library Journal, Lauren Ipsum is a gentle but profound introduction to computer science. The story captures the spirit of problem-solving. It ignites the reader’s imagination.

The protagonist, Laurie, has become lost in Userland. She must use her analytical skills to find her way home. She either knows where she is or she knows where she’s going but not both at the same time. This a common predicament many developers find themselves almost daily. With the help of a lizard who believes he’s a dinosaur, Laurie must wade through swamps of jargon and logic gates to the unknown in order to achieve her goal: getting home! This book is a fabulous read for kids on the ideas underpinning coding.


4 comments

  1. Neat! My son JUST completed an 8-week course called “Code Camp” where he learned the basics of HTML and CSS. If only I’d known he’d enjoy things like that, I’d have looking into books like this. But I can surely let him know about this website, because he loved the course and is looking forward to learning more. He’s already been a big help to me with my site!

    This is a great post and your site looks terrific. Keep it up!

    Best wishes,

    Kevin

  2. Nicely built, and strong niche..great…Well designed and great articles…..and very informative I’ve always want to know how coding are done. Over all it’s impressive. Cheers…!

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