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on 3 February 2014
My 9 yr old had a taster of Scratch and Kuda at school and as a responsible (geeky) Dad this was my choice of Xmas present. Just a month later, we still use family desktop (!) for something more educational than tablet-esque social network grazing and she feels truly empowered; so much that she mentioned this title to her IT teacher who asked to borrow it. My 30 years of IEEE membership cannot be wrong about this one and the next step is (something like) Raspberry For Kids
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on 15 June 2017
Great book and my daughter loves it.
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on 2 December 2012
It's hard to say how should you teach kids programming. This is not an easy topic. Jason tries to make the subject as simple as possible, but this is really not that easy if you start looking at details. However, Jason makes his best and makes it really good, to give you plain and straightforward explanation of Python. First of all he tells you how to install and configure programming environment. And for thous, who have never ever developed in the past, configuring Python may not be that straightforward. After you are ready to go, author takes you on the journey through the set of most basic constructs of the language. You will learn concepts of variables, classes, objects. You will get familiar with arrays, maps and constructs that let you create conditions and loops within the application. It would be fair to say, that half of the book is filled with these simple foundations of the development process. After all the basics are laid out you will be told how to use graphics in applications. How to combine the code and pictures and make them work for you. Do you recall famous LOGO? Yes, this "turtle like" computing language! You will find it here as well with all it's simplicity. But this time, you are getting it in Python flavor.

After you have learned all the basics it's time to do some serious stuff. Jason guides you through the game development process by showing how to create simple games. What's really cool here is the fact you really do something. You will create simple games that do something. And this is the place where simple, boring "Hello world" strings are taken over by moving objects and graphics. If you have read carefully first part of the book you should be able to follow second part and be able to develop discussed games. Just one remark here. As reading first part of the book is rather easy, the leap between simple constructs and games is quite big. It may turn out that you will slow down with your reading and will have to focus more, but still you should be able to follow what author has to offer.

Last thing to discuss here is the definition of "kid". This book requires your kid to be able to read and to understand some basic concepts of mathematics like addition, multiplication, angles, length, width, measurement, etc. It's hard to judge, but in my opinion there is no point of buying this book unless your kid is 9-12 years old. Well, in fact, in case you have really smart kid, you can buy the book sooner.

Anyway. If you think about pushing your kid towards programming, buy this book together with Raspberry PI and you are ready to go :)
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 December 2012
Many teachers and adults have to complete a programming module at college, and struggle. If Java has left you cold, then try Python and this book.

You program "Game over"... rather than "hello world", to start off. The book begins by programming jokes.. to get the hang of the print statement and it's quirks.
Because the concepts are "applied", it allows massive leaps in learning.

Then you have shopping lists for wizards... and how to append into a wizards list. It's daft, but overnight, I've "leapfrogged" what I've done in a years programming course at college. Which is full credit to the Author.

If statements are explained as yes and no questions.
If you answer yes, then it's considered true - and it will run. eg If age > 20 years, then print out "What are you doing here? Why don't you go mow the lawn".

You can see that it's fun, and a bit cheeky (for those of us, who are over 20 years old).
Therefore, if you've struggled with programming, then don't give up.
Use this book, and Python, which is great for those of us, who have to master programming in order to graduate.

ps...I'm off to mow the lawn. Cheeky monkey!
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on 19 March 2016
Out of date. One of the first units has an instruction which is impossible with Windows 10, as far as have been able to find out, so the book is effectively unusable, as we never got beyond that point.
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on 5 January 2014
If you're completely new to programming, this is a fantastic book to get started with. Before I read it I didn't know a thing about any programming language, but now I'm definitely getting to grips with it. I'm not sure how suitable it is for kids, as once you're about mid way through the book it gets quite complicated, but I'd definitely recommend it for any adult wanting to start. Don't be put off by the title, it's ideal for anyone.
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on 9 August 2015
I have been trying to get to grips with programming for many years....I am 76 years old and this is the first book that has kept my interest and started me programming ...Thank you Mr Briggs
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on 13 March 2014
Disclaimer: I'm not a kid!

Although this programming book is targeted towards the youngest generation of nerds, it works well for us oldies too! The book introduces the reader to basic, core programming in Python.

A short book, but it helps you develop a decent foundation in Python.
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on 26 January 2016
Great book. I am an adult and decided on a whim to try and learn python and I am enjoying the up beat style of writing.
Just a quick note about getting the Turtle module to work~ After lots of head scratching and errors despite following everything you need to use a CAPITAL P in turtle.Pen() -turtle.pen() will throw up the error. The author has addressed this on his forum
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on 6 August 2013
Good range of activities, great that it includes how to install and run the software. Activities are simple and complex and test your learning.
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