How to talk to your computer

Seymour Simon

Book - 2019

Introduces young children to computer languages and explains programs and how to write them.

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Let's-read-and-find-out science.
Instructional and educational works
Readers (Publications)
Picture books
New York, NY : HarperCollins Publishers 2019.
New edition
Physical Description
36 pages : color illustrations ; 21 x 26 cm
Includes bibliographical references (page 35).
Main Author
Seymour Simon (author)
Other Authors
Mike Lowery, 1980- (illustrator)
Review by Kirkus Book Review

Of all the print generated by the computer boom, these introductions might be the most elementary. The first half of Meet the Computer simply points to the keyboard and screen; defines input and program; notes that programs can be stored on cassettes, disks, and cartridges; and takes ""you"" through a game of Space Mission that shows the computer in action. The second part goes a step beyond the obviously visible, taking ""you"" inside the computer to meet the CPU and its contents, a CPU chip, memory chips, and an output chip. ""Now,"" says Simon in conclusion, ""when you use a real computer at home or in school, you will know what it is doing."" How to Talk to a Computer talks in appropriate terms to kids, showing how ""your friend"" Anna responds easily to ""Throw the ball to me,"" but a computer-run robot needs exact step-by-step directions. In the same mode, Simon uses a program for making a peanut-butter sandwich to demonstrate that the steps of a BASIC program must be numbered in the correct order. Introducing a second simple language, he demystifies a Logo program for drawing a square, explaining ""FORWARD 100"" as telling the Logo turtle to move forward ""100 tiny turtle steps"" and ""RIGHT 90"" as telling it to turn right 90 degrees. Unfortunately he doesn't explain the term 90 degrees, which is not necessarily understood at this level. Overall, unimposing, orienting companions to a first encounter with computers, all the more approachable for Emberley's perky cartoons. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.