Creating cool kids from scratch: Get in on "The Wonderful World of Creatures & Code"

Really, if there’s one thing Portland is good at, it’s DIY. But DIY doesn’t have to be all about homemade leather suspenders or knit bombing telephone poles… When two local women needed a cool kid’s book about code for a gift to their new-to-fatherdom friend, they couldn’t find one. And this being Portland, they decided, "That’s a shame. Let’s make one." And so they have.

And now it’s a reality.


You see, The Wonderful World of Creatures & Code is now going to be a thing. What started as a Kickstarter campaign only a few days ago is now a fully-backed, this-is-really-gonna-happen reality. No really! It’s already reached its funding goal and is moving toward the stretch goals of making enough books to be donated to local schools and libraries.

But what is this book about? And why should we care?

Because this book sets out to fill a small hole in the landscape of kids books; in a world where reading, writing, and arithmetic aren’t enough. In a world where code and digital culture are inseparable from our day-to-day lives. And where a fluency (or at the very least cursory understanding) in coding, markup, and design will be as important as knowing your there/their/they’re-sesses. Because software is eating the world, and we should break down the boundaries for kids so they can start approaching those topics as a normal part of their lives. Because it will be a normal part of their lives.

The creators are Amie Pascal and her wife, Heather O. Petrocelli. Amie has been working at Instrument for almost as long as Instrument has been around, so she’s seen her share of websites and code. She’s also seen how important those skills are to an exploding industry of creatives. They brought in illustrator Jason Heglund to round out the team and to add that visual style that really pulls the book together. And if you take a look, it’s pretty obvious he was the right choice. The illustrations are fun, whimsical, and engaging.

You can read more about their campaign (and get a copy of the book for yourself or that parent you know who’s trying to raise their kids on code) at their Kickstarter page. And you can read Mashable’s coverage and Fast Company’s coverage as well.

Jason Glaspey got his professional start making crappy advertising, then managing and building crappy websites. Eventually, he found himself lucky enough to be working on global brands as a producer and information architect. He worked with a bunch of fancy agencies and brands, and had a good time. But, in the end, it was always for someone else’s end. So he struck out on my own and created crappy little startups, and made crappy little mistakes. However, he eventually learned some valuable lessons along the way and soon found himself running a real company that had real employees, and was actually profitable and exciting.