The modern world runs on the binary brains of computer technology. Just like a foreign language, children who learn the foundations of information communication early develop a crucial advantage. To motivate four to seven year-olds and their parents to begin the journey of writing code, Linda Liukas created “Hello Ruby,” a children’s book currently featured on Kickstarter. In the first 24 hours of its launch, the project blew past its initial goal of $10,000 and has so many supporters that the campaign has raised nearly $262,000 to date.

hello ruby, linda liukas, computer programming, children's book, kickstarter

Through the power of storytelling, “Hello Ruby” introduces young children to the concepts of computer programming. The book is the tale of a inquisitive little girl who explores her own imaginary world while her father is away. In her adventures, she meets the lonely Snow Leopard, solves puzzles with penguins, and bakes gingerbread with a group of green robots. Each colorful page communicates the basics of technology in a manner that attracts the science-minded and artistic alike. Although the protagonist is female, Liukas stresses that the tale is meant for both girls and boys equally.

Through her work with Rails Girls and Codeacademy, Liukas is confident that “Hello Ruby” has the potential to spark creativity and a DIY ethic within its audience.

“We all have treasured childhood stories that have affected the way we see reality. Instead of only focusing on how applications are built or code is constructed, I want to tell about the architects, principles and personalities behind software. And I believe the best way to tell this story is through a book that will be read with children and parents at night, and live in the bookshelf for years to come.”

Liukas hopes to not only engage readers, but draw in the participation of their parents as well. A workbook that accompanies the 32-page illustrated story is designed to be shared, scrawled on, and kept for future inspiration. Since she has already reached her original financial goal, Liukas is planning future targets for her venture. She intends to write a downloadable parents’ guide, and if she raises a total of $500,000, this will help her to turn the book into a mobile app.

To get a preview of “Hello Ruby” and check out the storyline, visit Liukas’ Kickstarter page or official website.

+ Linda Liukas

via The Guardian