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Exploring Computers and Coding with Usborne Books

Exploring Computers and Coding with Usborne Books

The Industrial Age is over, and the Information Age is here. While I am far from computer illiterate, my use of technology is limited to my laptop and smartphone. I use social media all the time and can work with HTML a little bit, but I cannot troubleshoot any coding problems. My husband and I thus agree that both our children will learn to code. As he says, even administrative assistants will need at least basic coding skills in the near future. Thus, when recently offered the chance to review four computer and coding books from Usborne Books in exchange for my honest opinion, I eagerly accepted the opportunity to add some new titles to my home library. I received Look Inside How Computers Work, Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding, Coding for Beginners Using Scratch, and Coding for Beginners Using Python.

Computers and Coding from Usborne Books

About the Books

Look Inside How Computers Work

Written by Alex Frith and Rosie Dickins and illustrated by Colin King, Look Inside How Computers Work features stunning color illustrations and over seventy flaps to lift. The hardcover book in the Look Inside Board Books series introduces readers age 5 and older to many facts about computers including what goes on inside a computer, how programs organize and send information around, and the history of computers. The board book aims for young readers to gain an understanding of how computers work. The book currently costs $14.99.

Cover of Look Inside How Computers Work Inside Pages of Look Inside How Computers Work

Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding

Usborne returns to the days of being a market-leader in computer books for children, Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding features stunning color illustrations and over one hundred flaps to lift. Written by Rosie Dickens and illustrated by Shaw Nielsen, the board book offers an interactive introduction to information and communication technology to readers age 7 and older. Children will devour the fascinating data in the non-fiction book including what goes on inside computers and the basics of coding. The book currently costs $14.99.

Cover of Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding Inside Pages of Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding

Coding for Beginners Using Scratch

Written by Rosie Dickins, Jonathan Melmoth, and Louie Stowell and illustrated by Shaw Nielson, Coding for Beginners Using Scratch provides an introduction to coding for complete beginners. Recommended for children age 9 and older, the 96-page book teaches the basics of Scratch — a free, online program developed by MIT which is widely used in elementary schools — allowing children to get inside the code of their computer and create simple games and animations on screen. The book currently costs $14.99.

Cover of Coding for Beginners Using Scratch Inside Pages of Coding for Beginners Using Scratch

Coding for Beginners Using Python

Written by Rosie Dickins and Louie Stowell and illustrated by John Devolie, Coding for Beginners Using Python also provides an introduction to coding for complete beginners. Recommended for children age 9 and older, the 104-page book teaches the basics of Python, which is a widely used programming language. The book currently costs $14.99.

Cover of Coding for Beginners Using Python Inside Pages of Coding for Beginners Using Python

Evaluation

My children are currently 2.5- and 5.5-years old. My oldest, however, already has the reading skills of a second grader. My son also adores any books with interactive flaps. Both kiddos love flipping through the pages of Look Inside How Computers Work and Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding. My daughter especially enjoys learning about computers by reading Look Inside How Computers Work. The language is simple enough for a kindergartener while also being able to young readers the basics of computers. Even I learned a little bit, and I found the information on the first computers most interesting.

Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding presents a lot of the same information as Look Inside How Computers Work but delves a little deeper, particularly into the subject of coding. Recommended for slightly older readers, Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding teaches readers age 7 and older a lot about computers and computer language through age-appropriate text, colorful illustrations, and fun flaps. My daughter likes reading the information and telling me what she learned. My toddler son loves flipping the flaps and pointing out familiar pictures. Again, although geared towards children, the book taught me quite a bit about computers and coding.

Coding for Beginners Using Scratch and Coding for Beginners Using Python are both recommended for much older readers than my children at the moment, but I am super excited to have both on hand when my kids get a little older. Coding for Beginners Using Scratch is for absolute beginners and teaches coding through the free Scratch program. After mastering Scratch, kids can move on to Coding for Beginners Using Python to further develop their coding skills. I will admit that I am not all that tech-savvy. However, my husband works in the online world including working closely with coders within his own business endeavors. He looked at both books and was impressed by the content.

Final Verdict

Computer and coding skills are essential for success in the Information Age. I was thus super excited to receive Look Inside How Computers Work, Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding, Coding for Beginners Using Scratch, and Coding for Beginners Using Python from Usborne Books to add to my home library. All four books teach various computer skills to younger readers. My young children especially love the interactive flaps in the colorful Look Inside How Computers Work and Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding. Both Coding for Beginners Using Scratch and Coding for Beginners Using Python teach coding skills for absolute beginners. I am by no means computer illiterate, but even I learned quite a bit from all four books. If you want your children to learn more about computers and coding, I highly recommend all four books from Usborne Books.

Purchase Look Inside How Computers Work, Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding, Coding for Beginners Using Scratch, and Coding for Beginners Using Python online from Usborne consultant Deborah Guerrero.

Image Credits

Exploring Computers and Coding with Usborne Books © 2017 Heather Johnson
Computers and Coding from Usborne Books © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Look Inside How Computers Work © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Look Inside How Computers Work © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Lift-the-Flap Computers and Coding © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Coding for Beginners Using Scratch © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Coding for Beginners Using Scratch © 2017 Heather Johnson
Cover of Coding for Beginners Using Python © 2017 Heather Johnson
Inside Pages of Coding for Beginners Using Python © 2017 Heather Johnson

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