It’s hard to believe we’re already most of the way through September! Now that the kids are settled back into their routine and the weather is getting wetter and cooler, we’re in the mood for some books that will encourage them to learn new things and explore new interests. When my kids are ready to research their next class project, these books will be on hand!
DK has a fantastic assortment of reference books in their Back to School Boutique that will foster a love of learning and help kids develop their computer and coding skills. Check out what we’re reading and scroll all the way down for your chance to win one of these books.
A visual exploration of “one million” things from acid rain to zebra finches, this unique encyclopedia is a slickly beautiful reference book that kids will want to come back to over again and again.
The eight chapters cover nature, the human body, science and technology, space, Earth, people and places, history, and art and culture. Each page in this hefty reference book is packed to overflowing with fascinating facts about a wide range of topics that will pique any child’s interest. Some pages dig deeper into one area, for instance a spread dedicated to facts about human blood. Other spreads offer a wider overview, for example a two-page spread showcasing 77 different types of gems, each with a short, one sentence descriptor.
The information is presented in visually fun and engaging ways. The page exploring the body’s organ systems uses 3-dimensional knitted representations of each. Movie genres are illustrated by iconic movie posters.World festivals are represented by their special foods. The story of space exploration is told through an astronaut’s stamp collection.
My only disappointment is in whatever the printing process they used that leaves the black-coloured pages very easily marked with indelible fingerprints, a shame when it comes to a child’s book I hope will get lots of use. Back matter includes a bonus section of reference facts arrayed in different font sizes across the page.
Did you know 2019 is the 150th anniversary of the periodic table? Celebrate this scientific milestone by exploring all 118 currently known elements in illustrated detail from actinium to zirconium.
The Elements Book is a beautiful visual reference guide to all 118 known elements and the ways in which we use them. Introductory pages at the front explain elements and atoms and provide a full periodic table. Cataloged by group/type, each element’s properties and uses is explained. A small data box next to each element’s name and symbol outlines its atomic structure, place in the periodic table, state of matter, and year of discovery.
Each spread includes photographic representations and information about where the element is found and the variety of ways in which it’s used. We knew that sodium is found in table salt, but did you also know sodium is also used in fireworks and plays an essential role in the mummification process? Chromium isn’t just a shiny silver coating on faucets and motorcycles. It also gives rubies their distinctive red colour in the form of chromium oxide. Glossary and index in the back.
My kids have set themselves the challenge of learning all 118 elements and their symbols, and we are well on our way!
A picture is worth a thousand words! Billing itself as the ultimate visual resource for kids aged 9-12, Picturepedia presents ten thousand stunning photographs and illustrations cataloguing the wonders of the world for curious children.
This massive book is organized into six wide-ranging chapters on science and technology, nature, geography, culture, sports and hobbies, history. Each double-page spread is filled with vibrant photographs and illustrations, exhaustive lists, visual timelines, explanatory graphics, and blocks of text, sometimes to the point of feeling a bit cluttered. Kids and adults alike will appreciate the diverse wealth of information gathered here, whether poring over a timeline depicting the story of flight, a two-page tree of life illustrating how all life is related, or step-by-step ballet positions and dance steps.
There’s so much to see and learn in this fascinating book! It will be a valued addition to any home reference library.
A step-by-step visual guide to coding your own animations, games, simulations, and more using Scratch 3.0.
Scratch 3.0 is the world’s most popular free visual programming language, and Coding Projects in Scratch is a great place to start learning how to code for younger kids and complete beginners. Colourful characters and graphics walk kids step-by-step through very simple visual projects that will introduce basic coding concepts and skills.
Create a dancing dinosaur, design an animated fortune-telling character, or plant a field of vibrant flowers! Fun, colourful, and visually engaging projects are meant to teach basic concepts, build confidence, and encourage kids to discover a love of coding.
This book makes it easy for kids to get started and lays a solid foundation for them to build on as they advance on to more advanced skills.
A unique step-by-step visual guide, from binary code to building games, using Scratch 3.0.
In comparison to the previous book, this guide is appropriate for slightly older children interested in learning how to code. It covers some of the same material in Coding Projects in Scratch via an accelerated introduction to Scratch 3.0 and teaching fundamental programming concepts like variables, loops, and conditionals.
Once those basic skills are mastered, kids can then move on to writing code in Python, a text-based programming language that’s more challenging to learn than Scratch but can be used to do much more. The back half of the book revisits the same skills learned in Scratch and re-introduces them in Python. Tables show equivalent commands between the two languages to help young coders graduate from Scratch to Python.
This visual guide will walk kids through advanced topics like debugging and basic algorithms, as well as helping them create more complex projects and games using their new coding skills in Python. The final chapter gives an overview of programming in the real world and how budding coders might put their skills to use in the future.
Cute graphics and step-by-step instructions do an excellent job of explaining and breaking down difficult concepts. Kids don’t need to have read Coding Projects in Scratch to understand this book, but it does reinforce those concepts and applies those skills in a larger context.
Win a Book for Back to School!
Is your child interested in learning basic computer coding concepts and skills? One of my readers will win a copy of Coding Projects in Scratch. Enter in the giveaway widget below. This giveaway is open to residents of Canada, 18+. All the winner’s entries will be verified.
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Disclosure: I received sample items to facilitate this review. All opinions expressed are completely honest and my own, based on my personal experience. Your experience may differ. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases at no additional cost to you.