'Coding Projects in Python' Book Review

Sept. 13, 2020

Book Review for 'Coding Projects in Python'

Over the weekend I read 'Coding Projects in Python (Computer Coding for Kids)' (Amazon Link) to see if this is a good book to start coding projects with my kids. The book has over 117 ratings on Amazon and the average is over 4.6 out of 5:


(Picture Source: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1465461884)

Truth be told, I already have two of the other highly ranked, highly recommended Python-for-kids books but ended up not using them for one reason or another, so my hopes were not high. So I was a bit skeptical about this book but came away pretty impressed. After reading it, I have decided to give it a shot with my 10-year old and so far she managed to finished the first project with minimal supervision.

Here are what I liked about the book.

Minimal Projects

All the projects are small and manageable but with enough bells and whistles to keep the kids interested. The easier projects are about 2 pages long while the longer projects are about 4 pages. Each page is full of pictures and graphics to grab the kids' attention. This is pretty important, in my opinion, as some of the other books fail to keep the kids engaged due to the length of projects or contain too much text. This is especially important since there is a certain amount of hurdle the kids have to go thru before the 'fun' part can begin.


(Picture Source: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1465461884)

"How it works" Decision Tree Flowchart

Since my intention is not to teach my kids to write code for a living but to teach them about logical reasoning, problem-solving, and design thinking, I was pleasantly surprised to find the flowchart in each project. It saved me the trouble of writing the flowchart myself as this is something I would have done had it not existed.


(Picture Source: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1465461884)

Real Code

While I like and enjoy block-based coding programs like MakeCode or Code.org, they are not something a kid can transfer easily to their computers. Also, the code is mostly in JavaScript when you switch to the text-based version of the code. Nothing against JavaScript, but since I code mostly in Python it takes me a bit of effort to switch my mindset sometimes, even for a simple program.

Having the code in Python (all in Python 3) allows me the minimal effort in understanding the code and concentrates more on explaining the logic behind the code.

No Math

This is more of my kid's preference than mine. Sometimes when they see math it is a turn off for them.

Minimal Handholding

With some of the other books, I have to read the book with my kids due to the wording or vocabulary. So far my 10-yr old seems to be able to read and understand the chapters fine.

Since we are only on the first project of the book I guess the jury is still out. However, I am seeing more promise with this book than others. Perhaps after finishing this book I can give the other books another shot.

Happy Coding,


Return to blog