How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up

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Pub Date Oct 10 2023 | Archive Date Oct 10 2023

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The best-selling author of the Baby Loves Science series levels up with this playful STEM picture book introducing kids–and grown-ups–to the coding world.

Grown-ups do NOT have all the answers! In this tongue-in-cheek guide, an in-the-know narrator instructs perceptive kid readers in the fine art of explaining coding to a grown-up. Both children and their adults learn the basics of coding, including hardware, software, algorithms, and debugging. Cleverly disguised “pro tips” suggest best practices for teaching any topic.

Fun and fact-filled, the How to Explain Science series will empower kid experts to explore complex scientific concepts with any grown-up who will listen.
The best-selling author of the Baby Loves Science series levels up with this playful STEM picture book introducing kids–and grown-ups–to the coding world.

Grown-ups do NOT have all the answers! In...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781623543181
PRICE $17.99 (USD)

Available on NetGalley

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Average rating from 27 members

Featured Reviews

This was a fun picture book aiming to empower children by teaching them how to explain a complex concept like coding to a grown up. The book shows step by step how coding can be explained in simple terms and with examples. The book also encourages the reader to engage with the text by enacting the examples in real life. I especially loved the way the narrative showed that children can be just as competent as grown ups and I’m sure it will be a big hit with curious children everywhere!

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I absolutely love this book, I'm not a coder. and my attempts to understand it have previously left me just confused. I won't be starting my own silicon valley startup anytime soon, but I do now understand the very basic fundamentals!

This isn't a "how to code" book, but a "what IS code??" It has just the right level of detail for the age group, and with the "grown-ups don't know everything" built in, you might avoid lots of questions from the said kid!

It's nicely laid out, with bright and fun illustrations.

I received an advance copy for free from NetGalley, on the expectation that I would provide an honest review.

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How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up is possibly one of the most well thought out books on coding available.

The author, Ruth Spiro, has combined humour and visual descriptions to enthral and inspire anyone who picks up this book.
My husband and I sat down to read it before sharing with our eight year old and we were delighted and laughing along with the pages. My husband is a programmer and I watched him mentally check off all the aspects.
This helped me understand the basics of his job better as well as giving a visual insight for our son.

The illustrations are stunning, honestly I'd be tempted to buy this book alone for the piece of art that it is but the actual information has me sold. The simple storyline is perfect for under 10's but informative enough for older children - and adults- as well.
I love the note 'please don't actually open a computer'.

I was gifted a digital copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. This is a book I plan on purchasing.

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How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up by Ruth Spiro - 5/5

This is a fantastic book. A great way to encourage children to learn something new and share that with a grown up. I am not a coder and the idea of learning how to code seems a bit overwhelming. This book has helped ease some of that feeling as it is not a How-to Code book but more of a What is coding. It was nice to have a book break down what exactly coding is in a way that is easy to understand. It is explained in a cute way and the illustrations made it fun.

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I have had students requesting books on coding. I have not found a book that I have loved. I was excited to see this book pop up and I loved it. I feel like is is the best, well thought out books on coding. I will be purchasing this for the school,

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This book was so cute and a very great introduction to coding for grown ups and kids. I loved how the format was the kid teaching the grown up all about it, and found it engaging and interesting myself.

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This informative and amusing book puts a child in the role of explaining coding to an adult. It's funny and instructive as the child has to support the adult’s learning and consider the adult’s responses. The child has to explain clearly and patiently and consider the needs of the adult learner. I love books that do this! It’s effective and funny.

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What a GREAT title to introduce coding! I loved the illustrations, and there was a great text-per-page balance for young readers. I will absolutely be purchasing copies for our library.

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Thank you, Ruth Spiro, Charlesbridge, and NetGalley for the digital copy. This review is voluntary and contains my honest opinion about the book.

If the kid is smart enough, they will read in-between the lines and learn to hack Intelligence agencies and participate in covert operations.

If not, I suspect they become Lord of the playground, with the swing serving as their throne.

All-in-all, a fun little gift for a second grade kid with science on their mind. I imagine this, along with the other entries in the series explaining STEM for kids would serve as a launching pad to explore the field given ChatGPT is but a click away. Querying the words 'algorithm' and 'loop' will be more than enough to be introduced to hours of material, falling down a rabbit hole of hard facts instead of using their parent's credit card to spend thousands in a pay-to-win mobile game.

The illustrations were fun. With roles inverted, it is the child teaching the adult the fantastical operations of a computer and how 'code' is a method of conversing with it.

Given the age category the book was tailored for and the goal of the author, it would be anything but unproductive to have a child running around with this book, re-reading it and in 20 years, dusting it off to have it read to his child.

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This was a very cute "what is coding" book that takes the unusual approach of casting the kid in the teacher role and the parent in the student role (technically it was more of a 'perplexed person needing everything explained to them' role). This role reversal will be fun for kids and may even make the details covered in the book stick better in their minds.

The actual details on coding are sparse, but the basics are there and explained in a way that actually makes sense.

For a first- or second-grader, this is perfect. My science-loving third-grader may be a bit beyond it, but they could probably get something out of this too.

*Thanks to NetGalley and Charlesbridge for providing an early copy for review.

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I was very excited by this book, I think kids will really be engaged. I read the ARC on NetGalley and then I went and pre-ordered a copy for my Library.

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This was a very cute book about coding. I really liked the unique format of the child explaining to the parent. Also, the book was laid out in a very concise way that makes it clear for kids to read and understand coding, but also gain a lot of new information.

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Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an eARC of this title. I help teach coding to kids and I think this is a pretty good basic understanding of how coding works. This could be a good start for a lesson on coding.

3.5 stars, rounded up to 4.

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Coding for Adults taught by your child—Genius. This book is even a great resource if you are wanting to have an early introduction into coding.

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This is an original book from the point of view of a child explaining the step by step process of coding to an adult. It makes the concept of coding relatable and easy to understand. It even gets into debugging/hardware/conditional. I enjoyed this book!

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Jump up and down and celebrate, people! If you've EVER tried to explain coding to people who struggle with the concept (no matter what age they are), this beautiful, charming, funny, smart, perfect book is for you! Huge kudos to author Ruth Spiro, and illustrator Teresa Martinez, for creating something I wouldn't have thought possible - an engaging, accessible look at coding, why it matters, and how to do it. The book assumes that young readers (the character in the book looks 8-10 years old) have figured out that grownups do not know everything, and that they might need a little help with understanding this whole coding thing. So - a visit to the park, and deciding whether or not to go on a swing, is explained in coding terms. Terms like variable and conditional are included right along the way. There is a terrific two page spread that lays out the swing adventure in text code form, with an if...else element. This is a beautiful way to demystify code for both kids and adults. The "Pro Tips", such as "If your grown up can explain it, that shows they understand it", will be hugely appreciated by young readers. The language of "grown-up" rather than designating a specific (often gendered) grown-up role is something I use myself with my students, and it is wonderful to see it here. As someone who will be teaching pre-service teachers about coding at a School of Education this fall, I am delighted with this, and can't wait to get my hands on a print copy to share with my students. Ontario teacher and T-L's, get on this one. It comes out in October! This could work for K-8 classes, and would be a terrific text to work through with reading/coding buddy groups. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thanks to Net Galley and Charlesbridge for this remarkable book, which should find its way into a lot of Makerspace and Learning Commons collections!

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The way I see this book it is a good excuse for a parent who is somewhat vague on the meaning of various terms and uses of computers to *upgrade* their understanding alongside of their child. Simple and easy to understand the application of this knowledge in daily life.
The illustrations by Teresa Martinez are to delightful, imaginative, and vividly colorful.
Well suited for reading WITH someone of any age including ESL, and great for gifting to anyone, but especially to a school or public library!
I requested and received a free temporary e-book on Adobe Digital Editions from Charlesbridge via NetGalley. Thank you!

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I will absolutely be purchasing this book for all of my libraries! This explains coding in a way that makes sense to early childhood and up. Coding always sounds like something so complex, like you need to be very tech oriented to understand it, but this book explains that it is not so intimidating. Thank you NetGalley for the advanced preview.

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Thank you to the author, Charlesbridge Publishing and NetGalley, for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

This is a great children's book that explains what coding is in a way that this absolutely non-digital native (but who cannot conceive of life with the internet) can understand. It's short, and does not explain "how to" code, but it does an excellent job of opening the door for younger children to think about the digital world that they are growing up in, and what its application is in everyday life.

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Ruth Spiro's How to Explain Coding to a Grown-Up is a fun, tongue-in-cheek book that encourages children to help the adults in their lives understand the world of coding.

One of the best ways for children to demonstrate their knowledge on a subject is by sharing their expertise about the topic with someone else. This book does an absolutely fantastic job of encouraging children to do just that and it also includes "Pro Tips" to guide children as they teach their adults about coding.

How to Explain Coding is an engaging book for children ages 4-8 that will create, expand, and further a child's interest in coding and STEM.

Kind thanks to Charlesbridge and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy of this wonderful book.

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I was impressed with this book, at least what little of it I got. It was awfully short, and I don't think the galley was complete

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Silly book on a cool topic. This book explains coding while making the kids feel big. The illustrations are super cute.

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I loved this title so much that I included it in my booktalks for third grade this year. The irreverent, breezy style and appealing illustrations were a winning combination! Five Stars!!

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