Linda Liukas is a big name in the world of computer-science and computer programming. Her CV includes a period of employment at Codeacademy in New York, the founder of Rails Girls - an organisation that teaches programming to young girls around the world, has worked on edutech, delivered a TED Talk and has been appointed the Digital Champion of Finland. She certainly knows her stuff and with Hello Ruby: Journey Inside the Computer she shares some of her knowledge.
Ruby is bored. There’s nothing to do, no one to play with and dad’s computer won’t work. According to Mouse, Cursor has gone missing. Determined to troubleshoot the problem, Ruby and Mouse tumble into the computer and with the guidance of some helpful components are determined to get to the heart of the problem. Join Ruby on a knowledge-filled mission to fix the computer and learn about its inner workings…
In a world powered by computers, Hello Ruby delivers some essential knowledge for curious children who want to know what a computer actually is, how they work and what they are made from. It promises a ‘Journey Inside the Computer’ and this is exactly what it is as children take a fun, exciting and educational trip into hardware, software and the role of the various components.
Spilt into two parts - non-fiction narrative and activity book, it is a clever and simple way to introduce children to the complex workings of computers and technology. Much like Alice tumbled down the rabbit hole, Ruby finds herself tumbling inside the computer and into a world of bits, logic gates, CPU, GPU, RAM and mass storage who introduce themselves and their responsibilities.
Following the cute story is a brilliant activity book that continues to develop children’s understanding through fun activities, question prompts and a build a computer activity (I should point out that this is a computer made out of paper although it does have all the relevant components).
I really like how everything is presented. Colourful and playful illustrations are accompanied by easy to read and accessible text and it all feels very child-friendly and really inviting. The visuals will appeal to younger readers whilst the content is better suited to older readers who will relate more easily to many of the technical terms. Younger children would really benefit from sharing this book with an adult or older sibling.
You can visit Ruby, learn more about her world and print off resources at www.helloruby.com
Recommended for 6+.