Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming

by Jason R. Briggs


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Python is a powerful, expressive programming language that’s easy to learn and fun to use! But books about learning to program in Python can be kind of dull, gray, and boring, and that’s no fun for anyone.

Python for Kids brings Python to life and brings you (and your parents) into the world of programming. The ever-patient Jason R. Briggs will guide you through the basics as you experiment with unique (and often hilarious) example programs that feature ravenous monsters, secret agents, thieving ravens, and more. New terms are defined; code is colored, dissected, and explained; and quirky, full-color illustrations keep things on the lighter side.

Chapters end with programming puzzles designed to stretch your brain and strengthen your understanding. By the end of the book you’ll have programmed two complete games: a clone of the famous Pong and "Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit"—a platform game with jumps, animation, and much more.

As you strike out on your programming adventure, you’ll learn how to:
–Use fundamental data structures like lists, tuples, and maps
–Organize and reuse your code with functions and modules
–Use control structures like loops and conditional statements
–Draw shapes and patterns with Python’s turtle module
–Create games, animations, and other graphical wonders with tkinter

Why should serious adults have all the fun? Python for Kids is your ticket into the amazing world of computer programming.

For kids ages 10+ (and their parents)

The code in this book runs on almost anything: Windows, Mac, Linux, even an OLPC laptop or Raspberry Pi!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781593274078
Publisher: No Starch Press
Publication date: 12/14/2012
Pages: 344
Sales rank: 69,076
Product dimensions: 9.10(w) x 6.90(h) x 1.00(d)
Lexile: 1070L (what's this?)
Age Range: 10 - 13 Years

About the Author

Jason Briggs has been a programmer since the age of eight, when he first learned BASIC on a Radio Shack TRS-80. Since then he has written software professionally as a developer and systems architect and served as Contributing Editor for Java Developer's Journal. His articles have appeared in JavaWorld, ONJava and ONLamp. Python for Kids is his first book.

Table of Contents

About the Author and Technical Reviewers
Part I: Learning to Program
Chapter 1: Not All Snakes Slither
Chapter 2: Calculations and Variables
Chapter 3: Strings, Lists, Tuples, and Maps
Chapter 4: Drawing with Turtles
Chapter 5: Asking Questions with if and else
Chapter 6: Going Loopy
Chapter 7: Recycling Your Code with Functions and Modules
Chapter 8: How to Use Classes and Objects
Chapter 9: Python's Built-In Functions
Chapter 10: Useful Python Modules
Chapter 11: More Turtle Graphics
Chapter 12: Using tkinter for Better Graphics
Part II: Bounce!
Chapter 13: Beginning Your First Game: Bounce!
Chapter 14: Finishing Your First Game: Bounce!
Part III: Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit
Chapter 15: Creating Graphics for the Mr. Stick Man Game
Chapter 16: Developing the Mr. Stick Man Game
Chapter 17: Creating Mr. Stick Man
Chapter 18: Completing the Mr. Stick Man Game
Afterword: Where to Go from Here
Appendix: Python Keywords

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Python for Kids: A Playful Introduction to Programming 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is exactly what it says it is: a kid-friendly introduction to programming with Python. It explains concepts in simple terms and doesn't assume you understand anything about programming. It doesn't even assume you know anything about some useful mathematical concepts such as angles and the modulus operator. I think even kids could use this book to learn to program. The one place where I think the book may have problems is with motivation. Kids (or anyone for that matter) want to produce something fun and interesting quickly. Unfortunately to learn to program you need to learn the syntax for a lot of operations--performing calculations, repeating code, building classes, and so forth. It's important and the book does a great job of explaining it in simple terms but it's not exactly fun, despite the kid-friendly jokes sprinkled throughout the text. The book finishes by building two games that are pretty fun, but it's a long way from page 1 to those games. In contrast, the book Super Scratch Programming Adventure!: Learn to Program By Making Cool Games is shorter, has colorful pages, and explains how to use the Scratch programming language to write games. Scratch uses drag-and-drop programming and that book dives quickly into graphics and the other elements you need to write simple games. "Python for Kids" provides a better introduction to the real world of programming (it's taught at many colleges and universities) but "Super Scratch Programming Adventure!" is more engaging. You'll have to decide which book is right for you. Perhaps both?