Can you teach kids about the foundations of programming through a storybook about one little girl, a friendly Snow Leopard, a wise penguin, and a green robot? After learning about Linda Liukas’ Kickstarter campaign to bring her entertaining and educational book, Hello Ruby to kids everywhere, I think it’s possible.
Hello Ruby is a gorgeously illustrated storybook and activity book for kids created by a Finnish programming educator who was one of the first employees at Code Academy, and is the founder of Rails Girls, a non-profit that teaches girls about technology. In other words: She knows her stuff.
The book was created for kids between 4 and 7 years old, though with a female title character that will surely get more girls excited about STEM. It uses a quirky menagerie of characters to show kids how different people can work together on problems by breaking them into small sequences, and how looking at things differently and sharing ideas helps everyone.
From the galleys on her Kickstarter page, I expect that this won’t be a “how to code” instruction manual, but more about teaching kids some of the important principles that coders need to be successful.For more hands-on knowledge, Linda Liukas will pair an activity book with the storybook, which includes doodles, dot-to-dots, matching games, and logic puzzles as early education teaching tools.
Given how wildly successful this Kickstarter campaign has been, exceeding their goal by 15 times with a month left (!) it’s clear that I’m not the only adult who wishes there had been something like this to ease us into the world of computer programming when we were younger. Lucky kids today.
Check out the Hello Ruby book Kickstarter campaign and find out how you can preorder the storybook and activity book, due out in August 2014.