Rox’s Secret Code is a book that introduces kids to the wide possibilities of coding in a fun and imaginative way. Before I read the book to my kids, I read the book myself to see what it was all about. I was immediately drawn into the cute and colorful images, the spunky main character, Rox and her unique style, and the imaginative STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) story. I love sharing imaginative stories with my kids because I hope that it unlocks their own imaginations and helps them grow their creativity and interest in STEAM.
I’ve shared a few emails back and forth with the book’s creator, Mara Lecocq, and got to know a little about her. She created the Secret Code brand to empower young girls to see themselves as heroes in diverse industries from a young age. It’s a mission that she has an obvious passion for and that I can get 100% behind. It’s what I’m trying to do by introducing my kids to STEM at a young age with my STEM for Kids experiments. A free app is included with the book for children begin to learn coding by playing along with the story.
Here is more information about Rox’s Secret Code from Mara followed by a video trailer showing the book and app in action:
The story of Rox’s Secret Code
Rox is happy to spend the whole day on her computer inventing awesome robots, but her dad wants her to clean up. When the Chorebot she designs gets a mind of its own, it tries to organize not just her room – but the whole city! It’s up to Rox and her neighbor Amar to race and recode Chorebot in time to save the day.
Redefine the next robot engineer role model for girls and boys with a fun and empowering story—and take inspiration into action with a coding game.
Values & notions in the book
Bravery, problem-solving, leadership, inclusion, stereotype-breaking, empowerment, feminism, coding, robotics, STEM, boys supporting girls, friendship between genders, self-care, identity.
About the app
Rox’s Secret Code turns inspiration into action by pairing a picture book with a companion app, uniting traditional and digital storytelling to create educational entertainment.
How it works
On the cover and last page of Rox’s Secret Code, parents are prompted to download the app at www.yoursecretcode.com/game
Magically make the book’s Chorebot come to life in AR by holding your phone up to the cover. Customize the robot’s head, arms, legs and body – and even name it – to make it your own. Goal is to code your robot to pick up toys for you. Drag coding blocks to the code line to give your robot instructions that tell it what to do: move forward, rotate, and pick up a toy. Snap pictures with your new robot friend, inspiring new stories and new types of play. Earn points for completing levels and keep track of your progress on the scoreboard. Future updates include enhanced gamification and prizes to reward kids the more they explore.
You can visit the official Secret Code website to find out more information about the book, app, and more.
The book is targeted primary to kids ages 4-6, but I read it to both my 4 year-old son and 2 year-old daughter. I have to admit, although we all found the pictures and story fun, the content was advanced for my kids. My daughter enjoyed the pictures and listening to the story, but did not understand the content.
My son understood the content a bit more, but I still think some of the concepts were too advanced for him. But it’s a great book to keep in our library. I know that my son will surly grow into understanding the book and wanting to learn more about creating his own robots using the app by the end of the school year.
My kids especially loved the cute pictures and descriptions of the robots throughout the book. They loved reading about and seeing the robots Rox created (Brocc Bot, Blotter Bot, Mischief Bot, and Chorebot), and learning about the materials she needed to make Chorebot.
I know this is book we will be reading regularly now that it’s in our home library. Today is the release day for this book! If you want to add Rox’s Secret Code to your home library too, you can purchase it on Amazon by clicking here.
The app will also be released soon, and I can’t wait. I think that will really help close the gap in my kids understanding of how coding works by seeing it in action in the app.
I can’t get enough of these colorful imaginative books that are also teaching STEAM concepts to the kids. I hope that authors and publishers continue to release fun and interesting books in this genre for our kids to learn about STEAM through creative stories!
Do you enjoy reading books in this genre to your children? What other STEAM children’s books do you recommend?