Synopses & Reviews
For Kids Aged 10+ (And Their Parents)
The code in this book runs on almost anything: Windows, Mac, Linux, even an OLPC laptop or Raspberry Pi!
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.
Python for Kids is a lighthearted introduction to the Python language and programming in general, complete with illustrations and kid-friendly examples. Jason Briggs, author of the popular online tutorial "Snake Wrangling for Kids," begins with the basics of how to install Python and write simple commands. In bite-sized chapters, he instructs readers on the essentials of Python, including how to use Python's extensive standard library, the difference between strings and lists, and using for-loops and while-loops. By the end of the book, readers have built a game and created drawings with Python's graphics library, Turtle. Each chapter closes with fun and relevant exercises that challenge the reader to put their newly acquired knowledge to the test.
Python for Kids is a lighthearted introduction to the Python programming language, full of fun examples and color illustrations. Jason Briggs begins with the basics of how to install Python and write simple commands. In bite-sized chapters, he explains essential programming concepts. And by the end of the book, kids have built simple games and created cool drawings with Python's graphics library, Turtle. Each chapter closes with offbeat exercises that challenge the reader to put their newly acquired knowledge to the test.
Featuring original artwork by Miran Lipovaca!
About the Author
Jason R. 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; About the Illustrator; About the technical Reviewers; Acknowledgments; Introduction; Why Python?; How to Learn to Code; Who Should Read This Book; What's in This Book; The Companion Website; Have Fun!; Learning to Program; Chapter 1: Not All Snakes Slither; 1.1 A Few Words About Language; 1.2 Installing Python; 1.3 Once You've Installed Python; 1.4 Saving Your Python Programs; 1.5 What You Learned; Chapter 2: Calculations and Variables; 2.1 Calculating with Python; 2.2 Variables Are Like Labels; 2.3 Using Variables; 2.4 What You Learned; Chapter 3: Strings, Lists, Tuples, and Maps; 3.1 Strings; 3.2 Lists Are More Powerful Than Strings; 3.3 Tuples; 3.4 Python Maps Won't Help You Find Your Way; 3.5 What You Learned; 3.6 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 4: Drawing with Turtles; 4.1 Using Python's turtle Module; 4.2 What You Learned; 4.3 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 5: Asking Questions with if and else; 5.1 if Statements; 5.2 if-then-else Statements; 5.3 if and elif Statements; 5.4 Combining Conditions; 5.5 Variables with No Value--None; 5.6 The Difference Between Strings and Numbers; 5.7 What You Learned; 5.8 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 6: Going Loopy; 6.1 Using for Loops; 6.2 While We're Talking About Looping . . .; 6.3 What You Learned; 6.4 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 7: Recycling Your Code with Functions and Modules; 7.1 Using Functions; 7.2 Using Modules; 7.3 What You Learned; 7.4 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 8: How to Use Classes and Objects; 8.1 Breaking Things into Classes; 8.2 Other Useful Features of Objects and Classes; 8.3 Initializing an Object; 8.4 What You Learned; 8.5 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 9: Python's Built-in Functions; 9.1 Using Built-in Functions; 9.2 Working with Files; 9.3 What You Learned; 9.4 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 10: Useful Python Modules; 10.1 Making Copies with the copy Module; 10.2 Keeping Track of Keywords with the keyword Module; 10.3 Getting Random Numbers with the random Module; 10.4 Controlling the Shell with the sys Module; 10.5 Doing Time with the time Module; 10.6 Using the pickle Module to Save Information; 10.7 What You Learned; 10.8 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 11: More Turtle Graphics; 11.1 Starting with the Basic Square; 11.2 Drawing Stars; 11.3 Drawing a Car; 11.4 Coloring Things In; 11.5 A Square-Drawing Function; 11.6 Drawing Filled Squares; 11.7 Drawing Filled Stars; 11.8 What You Learned; 11.9 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 12: Using tkinter for Better Graphics; 12.1 Creating a Clickable Button; 12.2 Using Named Parameters; 12.3 Creating a Canvas for Drawing; 12.4 Drawing Lines; 12.5 Drawing Boxes; 12.6 Drawing Arcs; 12.7 Drawing Polygons; 12.8 Displaying Text; 12.9 Displaying Images; 12.10 Creating Basic Animation; 12.11 Making an Object React to Something; 12.12 More Ways to Use the Identifier; 12.13 What You Learned; 12.14 Programming Puzzles; Bounce!; Chapter 13: Beginning Your First Game: Bounce!; 13.1 Whack the Bouncing Ball; 13.2 Creating the Game Canvas; 13.3 Creating the Ball Class; 13.4 Adding Some Action; 13.5 What You Learned; Chapter 14: Finishing Your First Game: Bounce!; 14.1 Adding the Paddle; 14.2 Adding an Element of Chance; 14.3 What You Learned; 14.4 Programming Puzzles; Mr. Stick Man Races for the Exit; Chapter 15: Creating Graphics for the Mr. Stick Man Game; 15.1 Mr. Stick Man Game Plan; 15.2 Getting GIMP; 15.3 Creating the Game Elements; 15.4 What You Learned; Chapter 16: Developing the Mr. Stick Man Game; 16.1 Creating the Game Class; 16.2 Creating the Coords Class; 16.3 Checking for Collisions; 16.4 Creating the Sprite Class; 16.5 Adding the Platforms; 16.6 What You Learned; 16.7 Programming Puzzles; Chapter 17: Creating Mr. Stick Man; 17.1 Initializing the Stick Figure; 17.2 Turning the Stick Figure Left and Right; 17.3 Making the Stick Figure Jump; 17.4 What We Have So Far; 17.5 What You Learned; Chapter 18: Completing the Mr. Stick Man Game; 18.1 Animating the Stick Figure; 18.2 Testing Our Stick Figure Sprite; 18.3 The Door!; 18.4 The Final Game; 18.5 What You Learned; 18.6 Programming Puzzles; Where to Go from Here; Games and Graphics Programming; Programming Languages; Final Words; Python Keywords; ; Glossary; Updates;