Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Learning from Non-Fiction Picture Books

Visit Alyson Beecher on Wednesdays for Non-Fiction Picture Books at Kidlit Frenzy.  Thanks to her hosting and sharing and those who add their posts, you can discover and celebrate terrific nonfiction picture books!  I always learn from these books, am happy that they are more and more available today for children, for everyone!

              Again with the computer science nonprofit Girls Who Code, Josh Funk and Sara Palacios take readers on another adventure, this time to an amusement park. One pleasing part here is that Pearl and her robot friend, Pascal whom we met in How To Code A Sandcastle, are back, and discover right away that their top goal, to ride that fabulous Python Coaster, may need to wait a bit. The line is so, so long. Pearl begins with a map and announces she'll use "code" for their day. When a coding term is introduced, Funk gives clear, easy-to-understand, definitions. For example, they have ten tokens for rides and Pearl is going to keep track through using a "variable", which holds information, this time those tokens! They begin with a Ferris wheel (robots ride free) which is one token. And since they love the ride, Pearl explains a "loop", which repeats the action of "one token-one ride". There follows a few other needed actions/terms, all while having a great time on the rides, and all those other amusement park delights: trying to win a prize and ice cream! Oops, having fun this time means spending tokens and suddenly they're out but have still not been on that coaster. 
           Along with learning this new way to keep track of the new coding rules, the new challenge might also mean another code that's missing? When teachers want a way to introduce coding, using the colorfully designed illustrations in an amusement part, labeled with the instructions will aid the process. 

A favorite page gives an idea of the creative way Sara Palacios illustrates Josh's way of explanations, this time more about a "variable", but shown in the ice cream shop menu, with a diverse group of people happy to have some delicious ice cream! 

           There is an introduction by the founder, Reshma Saujani, of Girls Who CodeAdditional explanations of the code words can be found in the backmatter. Thanks to Josh Funk and Sara Palacios for another book that shows how coding works, can be helpful, and is easy to learn!


  1. Coding is really popular at our school! I love that there are books that go along with it. The vocabulary is still new to me!

    1. For those who are teaching younger students, these can serve as the beginning. Thanks, Michele.


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