My New Primer GO FOR KIDS

© 2002, 2009 Milton N. Bradley

Providing what I deeply believe is the answer to the centuries old and heretofore unsuccessful quest for an ideal mechanism for learning Go, especially by children, I'm pleased to announce the publication by Yutopian of my new primer GO FOR KIDS (ISBN 1-889554-74-X) as of Monday, Sept 17, 2001.

There are a number of Go primers already in print, so it is logical to ask why yet another is needed and what mine provides that is different and better. The answer lies in both the special audience for which GO FOR KIDS is designed and its novel presentation.

As a Chessmaster and member of the world famous Marshall Chess Club in New York I first learned to play Go 52 years ago (!), and have been teaching beginners and thinking deeply about their perceptual and learning problems ever since. The hard won insights gleaned over these five decades were both augmented and refined during the course of the 8 years of my recently concluded after school Go program in the South Huntington School District, during which I taught Go to over 700 children, primarily in the third through fifth grades. In the resulting epiphany, I became acutely aware of both the children's characteristic and unique perceptual/learning problems, as well as the serious deficiencies in addressing them inherent in all the existing "conventional" Go primers.

Since the rudiments of Go are invariant, the core material presented in any primer must necessarily be pretty much the same. But finding a way to make that presentation both attractive to and comprehensible by children is the critically important problem that I believe that GO FOR KIDS uniquely solves! Perhaps equally important, while most of the extant Go primers more or less satisfactorily address the essential issues of the "what" and "how"of Go, I believe that only GO FOR KIDS also satisfactorily explains the almost equally important "why"!

The attractiveness and clarity of presentation of GO FOR KIDS derives from its unique use of 427 cartoon strip panels of question-and-answer dialogues between instructor and students, which augment its 340 conventional Go diagrams and their accompanying explanatory text.

GO FOR KIDS is written for children of about age 12 (sixth grade) and up, because the nature and inherent complexity of Go concepts require at least that level of reading skill, vocabulary and reasoning ability. But it can also be used quite satisfactorily by even much younger children with some assistance from older siblings or parents.

IMPORTANT! Although GO FOR KIDS is uniquely child-friendly, it is nevertheless a complete, incisive and insightful presentation of the rudiments of Go suitable for the intelligent adult. It does use cartoon panels to convey many of its most important insights, but this is no more "childish" than is the conveying of their pithy social commentary via the same cartoon mechanism by such well known and widely respected "comic strips" as Peanuts, Dilbert, and Doonesbury. The result of its unique approach is that GO FOR KIDS succeeds where most Go primers fail in making this greatest of all strategic board games accessible to the "average" person, while still providing the depth of content desired by the most apt and/or technically sophisticated beginner.

To provide some idea of the efficacy of its unique presentation, the entire INTRODUCTION to GO FOR KIDS is reproduced below. The only change from the book is that here these panels are in their original full color, while the first edition of the book was printed in black & white to minimize costs and resultant selling price!

All artwork by SEHO KIM.

To find out more about this talented young artist and/or to utilize his services, visit Seho Kim's web page. Because of all of the artwork contained therein the page load slowly, but it's worth the wait!!!! Enjoy!

Throughout the book "comic strip" dialogue panels like these provide a much needed context for the material being presented (almost entirely missing in other Go primers) while answering the children's most frequently asked questions. The result is that deep rather than superficial comprehension and learning can take place. They also provide a familiar and pleasurable child-friendly format as well as "built in" breaks from the more formal tutorial material, and this makes GO FOR KIDS far easier and more pleasurable for children to read than the conventional text-and-diagram-only approach used by all prior Go primers.

I am acutely aware that no presentation can possibly completely satisfy the perceived needs and preferences of all potential users, but it is my honest belief that GO FOR KIDS goes far further in this regard than anything extant, and most of those who have seen it agree. But ultimately the only judgment that counts is yours, and the only way that you can make that judgment objectively and accurately is to read GO FOR KIDS yourself. It's available directly from Yutopian , Barnes & Noble, Amazon, or your local bookseller. After you've read it, I'm confident that you will want each of your children, students, friends and relatives to obtain a copy of their own as well!

Finally, it's important to reiterate that although GO FOR KIDS was created specifically for the juvenile reader it's a complete, coherent presentation of the essential rudiments of Go that will not insult the intelligence of an adult. So if you or anyone you know has heretofore been unable to develop interest in the world's premiere strategic board game or has had difficulty learning it, GO FOR KIDS might just provide the long sought breakthrough!

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