Customer Review

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Well-written Fun Introduction to Programming Scratch, August 25, 2009
This review is from: Scratch 1.4: Beginner's Guide (Paperback)
Michael Badger, is an experienced author and his experience definitely shines through. This book was a pleasure to read and Michael's humour kept me amused and entertained throughout. The exercises are well-crafted and well-paced, guiding the reader through a series of tasks that gradually introduce new programming concepts and Scratch features. The concept of bugs and debugging was beautifully illustrated through a soccer-ball-heading game that resulted in some unexpected behaviour and a challenge to the reader to figure out the problem and find a solution. As always, Michael provides the solution later on in the section with a full explanation. If, on occasions, I felt lost in an exercise, the confusion was quickly cleared up in the "What just happened" section that followed.

The production of this book is nearly flawless and the proof reading and editing team have done a fantastic job, although I'm not sure who was responsible for the little message at the bottom of page 99: "I learned how to use some additional markup tools in acrobat!." My money would be on the proof reader. Oops. The fact that that was the only error I could find worth pointing out is a testament to the quality of this work.

The frequent Pop quizzes are a good and, although for the most part, the questions are quite easy, on at least one occasion I would have liked a list of answers to check against rather than having to skim back over the text I had just read; but these are minor niggles and I'm sure Michael could easily put a list of answers on his [...] site.

Reading this book won't teach you how to write video games (at least not the sort I'm used to playing), but it is a great introduction to the world of programming and will give you the basic understanding you'll need to get started. If you want your kids to get more from the internet than access to mindless Facebook games, YouTube video blogs, and Tweets, I recommend you give this book a go and get Scratching.

I'm a big fan of Scratch and this is a fantastic book. I'm looking forward to working through the exercises once more with my daughter when she's a little older.
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